Phone calls may be best when time is of the essence, when a bill is up for a vote in committee, for example. Phone calls can also be used immediately following a favorable vote to extend your appreciation.
Ask to speak with the legislator, but be prepared to talk to legislative staff as well. Staff are the keepers of all things the legislator does, so treat them with respect and work with them to speak to your legislator.
If you have spoken to or seen the legislator recently, remind him or her of the contact. Legislators meet with many constituents and may not remember precisely when they saw or heard from them last. This can help to break the ice and lead into your reason for calling.
Identify the specific proposal you are calling about, by bill number if possible. Call about only one issue at a time.
Briefly state your position and how you'd like your legislator to vote.
Ask your legislator's view on the issue or bill.
If necessary, offer to provide information the legislator needs to make an informed decision on the issue.
If the legislator is unsure of his or her position or vote, offer to follow up the phone call with another call or visit.