Contact Your Elected Officials

Make sure your elected officials know you’re concerned about the border wall and ask them to reject funding for the border wall.

Below is a sample script you can use when calling your elected official.

 

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Hello, My name is [state your name] and I am your constituent from [city/town]. I urge you to reject funding that would expand border wall along the Southern border and build up President Trump’s deportation force of ICE and Border Patrol agents.

  • My community welcomes refugees and immigrants and I urge you to reflect these values. The border wall is inhumane and the 700 miles of existing border walls have already pushed families into deadly crossings, where thousands have died in the harsh desert.
  • The border wall will destroy habitats on the border and cause extreme flooding. I’m concerned that important environmental laws that keep us safe, like the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, have been waived to build these walls that do much more harm than good. We should focus funding instead on protecting our land, environment and people, not destroying them.
  • This border wall is a waste of American taxpayers’ dollars. Instead of building a harmful wall and funding mass deportations, we should be creating jobs and rebuilding our failing instructure. Congress should invest in our families, our children, our health, and our future.

Below is a sample email or letter you can send to your elected official.

 

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Subject: Stop the border wall. Oppose any appropriations legislation that fund it.

Dear Senator,

I am writing to express my strong opposition to any efforts to pass any appropriation legislation that would continue to fund the construction of a border wall.

Instead of focusing on funding an absurd and hateful wall that will be a waste of taxpayer dollars, do nothing for national security, and put at risk our communities, wild lands and wildlife, Congress should focus on funding critical federal agencies that exist to protect our health and environment.

Border cities are some of the safest in the country and communities with more immigrants are likely to be safer than places with fewer immigrants. The wall, increased militarization of the border region and the destruction of wildlife habitats only benefit special interests who seek to profit at the expense of border communities, which already have a poverty rate about twice as high as the national average.

I urge you to be as vocal as possible in your opposition to a border wall and vote against any bill that would fund it — including any appropriations package that converts less intrusive barriers into walls.

Sincerely,

Name

Community, organization, affiliation—if applicable
City, State, Zip Code

Click here to send this letter with a personalized message.

To schedule a district meeting you will need to email a request to the Congressperson’s scheduler; you can find that information by calling their district office. Below is a sample meeting request. Note: it’s advised to make only one visit request per group.

 

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Dear Scheduler,

I am writing to request a visit with Rep./Sen. [name] in district the week of [dated] at their [pick an office closest to you] to discuss funding for the border wall.

A group of constituents, representing [communities/ organizations] would like to meet with [representative/senator] to talk about the impact this funding will have on our community.

Please let me know as soon as you can about Rep./Sen. [name] availability on the week of [date].

Thank you for your time and attention to this request.

Sincerely,  

Name

Community, organization, affiliation—if applicable
City, State, Zip Code
List of who will attend the meeting

Attend town halls and public events with your Member of Congress and make your voice heard. Below are some tips you can use while attending a town hall. You can find nearby town halls here.

 

Tips

  • Stay focused. Your job is to make the Member of Congress give an answer to your question and to convey that you and the community are watching their votes.
  • Tell a story. The most compelling thing you can do is share your experience along with your questions. Be honest, vulnerable and open.
  • Have an ask. You will want to ask a very clear question that is actionable and can be verified. Try to stay away from yes and no answers. With
    questions like “Will you stand for me?”, you will get a yes. Instead ask “Will you commit to voting against funding for the wall? Questions like these
    provide for direct answers and keep them from dancing around the issue.
  • Engage. Don’t let your Member of Congress give you a standard talking point, require them to acknowledge you and your humanity—these
    issues matter.
  • Be supportive. If you are not comfortable asking a question or engaging with the Member, it is perfectly ok. Be supportive of your neighbors and
    friends and encourage folks in the group—your very presence shows that you care about the various issues.
  • Thank them. After a town hall or in-person meeting, send a note, post a Tweet, or call the office to let them know that you are grateful for the meeting and their willingness to listen. If they did not directly answer your question or did not commit to voting against your issue, express your disappointment.

One great way to get the attention of legislators, government officials, and your community is to write an op-ed and a letter to the editor. Below are some tips for writing and submitting.

  • Keep it short and to the point. Check the news publication for word limits and if you can’t find one, keep it to 150 or less for LTE’s or 750 words for op-eds.
  • Write in your own voice. Do not be afraid to tell your story and make your case from the heart and head.
  • Make it personal. Clearly state how you are connected, why this is relevant to you, and how this affects you.
  • Ask for action. Make a specific ask to policymakers and mention your Member of Congress by name to make sure they see it.
  • Follow up with your elected official!

Submit the letter directly to the newspaper and be sure to include your name, address, and daytime phone number, so the paper can follow up. To make it easier for editorial staff to read, put the letter in the body of the email. Include your contact information. the paper will contact you before printing your letter.

Sample LTE #1 (from the Sierra Club)

Sample LTE #2 (from Southern Border Communities Coalition)

In addition to contacting your federal legislators, you can build support in your community by encouraging your city or town council to pass a No Border Wall Resolution. This guide from the Lower Rio Grande Valley Sierra Club chapter will get you started.

Have an initial planning meeting. Find like-minded fellow residents who can help you. You can recruit people to a meeting by talking to your friends and neighbors, or by putting out an announcement on social media.

Plan a strategy.

  • Identify your targets. Which commissioner or councilperson would be most likely to support the resolution? Who might oppose it? Is there anyone who may be undecided?
  • Identify allies. Who has influence over city officials that might help you? What organizations or individuals could you reach out to and ask for support?
  • Determine what resources each person on your team brings. Do they know a commissioner personally? Are they willing to write a version of the sample resolution adapted to your community? Are they able to help recruit people to attend City or County meetings?
  • Map out a timeline. Consider when the next commission or council meetings will be held. Set goals around those meetings.

Draft a resolution. Adapt your resolution from Sample Draft Anti-Border Wall Resolution. You may want to do a little research to tailor it to your community.

Find a sponsor member. Identify a potential sponsor of the resolution, and have a meeting to ask them to introduce it. Bring along supporters who have some power in the member’s district, or leaders of an influential organization. If you have collected petitions, or a sign-on letter from organizations who support you, bring that as well. Get feedback on the language of your draft resolution.

Meet with other members. When you have a committed sponsor, you will want to meet with other members. Ask the official for a commitment to support the resolution. If they do not commit, you may want to use additional tactics to pressure them, such as calls from constituents or letters to the editor.

Make a show of force at the hearing. In most cases, when a resolution is placed on the agenda, there is a hearing in the council or commission meeting. It is important to get many supporters to the meeting at which the resolution will be considered and to find a way to be visible—sit up front, bring signs or wear t-shirts or stickers, and sign up to talk about the border wall during the public comment period. You might also ask people to call or write their commissioner and the mayor in the days leading up to the hearing. Make sure local press will be at the hearing and arrange for spokespeople to give statements to them that incorporate your group’s main talking points.

To read more about contacting elected officials to voice your opposition to the border wall, please see the Border Wall Issue Toolkit, written by LULAC, Hispanic Federation, ACLU, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, Interfaith Immigration Coalition, GreenLatinos, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Southern Border Communities Coalition.

HOW OTHERS ARE GETTING INVOLVED: