Government Affairs

Helpful Links

  • Congress.gov
  • US House
  • US Senate
  • State of Illinois
  • Contact

    JUF/JF Government Affairs Program
    Chicago Office 30 S. Wells St.
    Chicago, IL 60606
    312-357-4770
    fax: 312-855-2477
    gov@juf.org

    Springfield Office
    520 S. 2nd Street - Suite 2-200
    Springfield, IL 62701
    217-753-1010
    fax: 217-753-1430

    Washington Office
    1720 I Street, NW, 8th Floor
    Washington, DC 20006
    202-466-7090
    fax: 202-466-7092

Writing Representatives

About Writing Elected Officials

The letter is the most popular choice of communication with a congressional office. Most offices in Congress use email as the main mode of communication, and forms can be found on your Member's webpage. Click here to find your Member of Congress. You may still mail letters to the State Assembly. Follow this list of helpful suggestions to improve the effectiveness of your letter:

Writing Tips

  • Individually written letters, rather than mass generated form letters, make a greater impression on your legislator. Type your name, address, and phone number at the top.
  • Most state legislatures are only in session part of the year. The Illinois State Legislature is in session January - May/June and a veto session in November.
  • The federal government is in session most of the year with recesses for federal holidays and the month of August.
  • When the legislature is out of session, it may be more effective to send your letter to your legislator's district office.
  • Your purpose for writing should be stated in the first paragraph of the letter. If your letter pertains to a specific piece of legislation, identify it accordingly, e.g., for state bills House bill: HB____, Senate bill: SB____ OR for Congressional issues House bill: H. R. ____, Senate bill: S.____. Send your letter while the issue is still alive.
  • State your position. Explain why you support or oppose this particular issue. Keep in mind that local examples concerning the impact of this legislation are very powerful. Be courteous and to the point, keeping your letter focused on one issue.
  • Address only one issue in each letter; and, if possible, keep the letter to one page.
  • Ask for a response. Indicate to your legislator that you would appreciate a reply containing his/her position on the issue. "Sincerely yours" is a proper way to conclude your letter.
  • Follow up. If you agree with your legislator's vote, take the time to let him/her know that. Similarly, if you disagree with his or her vote, inform your legislator.

Addressing Correspondence

To a Senator

Congress

The Honorable (full name)
__(Rm.#)__(name of)Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

 

State House

The Honorable (Full Name)
State House, (Room Number)
Illinois Senate
Springfield, IL 62706

Salutation: “Dear Senator:”

To a Representative

Congress

The Honorable (full name)
__(Rm.#)__(name of)House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

 

State House

The Honorable (Full Name)
State House, (Room Number)
Illinois House of Representatives
Springfield, IL 62706

Salutation: “Dear Representative:”

Chair of a Committee/Speaker of the House

Salutation: “Dear Mr. Chairman or Madam Chairwoman:” or “Dear Mr. Speaker:”