Before making a call, write out what you want to say. Know the issue. Be prepared so you can confidently tell your story and ask for the change you want. A staffer will answer the phone and will most likely ask if you are a constituent of the state or district. If you are not a constituent, be prepared to explain why you are calling and how the issue affects you and the legislator’s district. Below is a sample call:

Staffer: Congressman Smith’s office, how may I help you?

YOU: Hi, my name is NAME from CITY. I’m calling about the need for increased federal funding for hydrocephalus research.

Staffer: Thank you for calling. Are you calling to express your opinion? [Most congressional offices have an intake form they will fill out]

YOU: Yes. Please tell the Congressman/Senator to contact the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support a significant expansion of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) current efforts to establish a broader collaborative research effort into the incidence, causes and treatments of hydrocephalus.  Additionally, I would like to request that he/she ask the Department of Defense to gain a better understanding of how many of our veterans are now living with hydrocephalus, report how many federal dollars are now being used to treat hydrocephalus, and ensure that research dollars focused on traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are available to help develop a cure for hydrocephalus.

Staffer: I’ll convey your message.

YOU: Additionally, I would like to know the Congressmen’s/Senator’s position on increased funding for research into hydrocephalus, specifically.   I (or my family member) live with hydrocephalus and this issue is important to me.

Staffer: The staffer will either let you know on the phone or write down your request and respond via email, phone, or US mail.