Communicate With Your Legislators
If you are especially interested in a particular issue, write, call, or arrange to visit your elected representatives to let them know where you stand. Write letters to the editor or opinion columns to your local newspaper, television or radio outlet, and relevant Blogs and other Internet forums, listed separately on this page. Your opinions matter, but only if you express them.
Although e-mail has become the common form of communication, in most cases, when contacting elected officials, a well-written, words-on-paper letter is most likely to draw attention. And your letter to an elected official is most likely to be read if you follow a these simple rules:
• Be specific
• Be positive
• Be brief
As a matter of courtesy, Use title, full name, and complete, proper postal address. To ensure your letter is routed properly, include the legislator’s district. There are separate ZIP codes for the House of Representatives (83720-0038) and the Senate (837-020-0081).
The correct form of address for members of the House of Representatives is:
The Honorable Representative (Full name)
Legislative district number
Idaho State Legislature
State Capitol Building
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720-0038
And for the Senate:
The Honorable Senator (Full name)
Legislative district number
Idaho State Legislature
State Capitol Building
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720-0081
The same general rules apply for creating an email message as for writing a letter, especially during legislative sessions, when members are most busy. The Legislature’s Web site provides direct links for contacting legislators, which can also be found here. Fill in your contact information and state your case briefly.
Several legislators have told us they welcome communication from their constituents, although they are sometimes discouraged, or even put off, by rude, rambling messages. If you don’t need a response, say so in your message. If you do want a response, don’t be disappointed if you do not receive one right away. Keep in mind each legislator represents thousands of constituents.
Consider the value of follow-up communication. Depending upon the circumstances, you may want to write a follow-up or reminder to your legislator about your concerns. Thank your legislator for considering your position, regardless of the outcome. And don’t be discouraged.
Letters do take more effort, both to send and to receive, than e-mail messages, and they therefore warrant more attention. It is easier to overlook an email than it is to disregard a letter (particularly a handwritten letter).
Keep your letter focused by addressing only one issue or topic, and state your main purpose in the opening paragraph of your letter.
Personalize your message
Make your message unique; don’t just copy a form letter and send it. Sending a dozen cut-and-paste copies of the same message is not effective, and can even be counterproductive.
Instead, introduce yourself, and explain who you are and why you are concerned about the issue. Tell your personal story to establish your qualifications to address the topic you’re writing about.
Support your position with facts
When you write your letter, and as you write, be honest and accurate in the information you present. Use specific statistics, numbers, or examples. Saying generally that you don’t like a certain proposal or bill won’t get you very far. State how the problem or issue you are addressing directly affects you personally. While being passionate about an issue is important, it is better to keep your message factual, rather than emotional.
Make your request
Indicate the specific action that you would your legislator to take. If you are for or against a particular bill or proposed legislation, say what you hope your lawmaker will do about it, but do so as a request, not a demand.
Even if you’re upset, be courteous and professional. This is one point many legislators have told us they find most disappointing. Don’t resort to demands, insults, mud-slinging, name-calling, swearing, or similar rants.
Keep you letter short
Your representatives are busy; make their lives easier by stating clearly and concisely what you want, and why. Keep your letter to one page, if possible. Close your letter
Close your letter by restating your purpose and repeating your request. Thank the legislator for taking the time to consider your message.
Read it again
Before you sign and seal your letter, make sure to proofread it first. Ensure that you have not left out any important, pertinent information. If you’ve repeated yourself or if something isn’t as clear as it could be, revise. After making any necessary changes, read over your letter one more time to check for spelling, punctuation, grammar, and other errors.
Know that your voice counts
Legislators are elected to serve you, as a voting member of a democratic society. Most Idaho lawmakers are everyday people who sincerely want to represent faithfully the concerns of those they serve. And they understand that without your vote, and those of others like you, they will not remain in office. Moreover, because representatives receive relatively few personal letters, your letter may get more attention than you think.
The heart of the United Vision for Idaho mission is regular people just like you, willing to engage and follow the activities of our legislators and local lawmakers at public meetings and town hall sessions, at legislative hearings, and at gatherings where they are likely to speak. When the Legislature is in session, most committee hearings and other meetings open to the public are also available by live audio and video streaming through Idaho Public Television, here. Idaho is a big state, and we want all our elected officials to know we are paying attention to what they do and what they say.
To volunteer, use the convenient form here.
The Legiscan running record of Idaho Legislature activity is available here.
Subscribers can track bills by number or text, and can choose to receive RSS feed notifications of action in any or all legislative committees.
Idaho’s Congressional Delegation
The same general rules apply for communication with members of Congress. Idaho has two congressional districts, each with a Senator and a member of the House of Representatives. Their contact information, in Washington, D.C., and in offices in Idaho, is here.
In addition, you can keep up with the activities, voting record, and policy positions of members of the Idaho delegation on their respective official Websites.
Sen. Mike Crapo
Crapo's voting record is here.
Sen. Jim Risch
Risch's voting record is here.
Rep. Raul Labrador
Labrador's voting record is here.
Rep. Mike Simpson
Simpson's voting record is here.
Idaho Legislature Email List
If you aren’t sure who represents you within Idaho, enter your street address and Zip code in the form field on the official Idaho Legislature site, here.
Note some of our elected representatives don’t respond to emails at all. Some don’t respond to messages from personal email addresses (Yes really.) You can contact legislators through the official Legislature site, here.
When bills are under consideration, you may want to contact all members of relevant committees. The committee member lists and contact information are here.
|Legislator||Email Address||District Seat|
|Paul Amador (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 4B|
|Neil A. Anderson (R)||email@example.com||District 31A|
|Robert Anderst (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 12A|
|Randy Armstrong (R)||email@example.com||District 28A|
|Vito Barbieri (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 2 A|
|Scott Bedke (R)||email@example.com||District 27 A||Maxine T. Bell (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 25 A||Megan Blanksma (R)||email@example.com||District 23 B||Judy Boyle (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 9 B||Van T. Burtenshaw (R)||email@example.com||District 35 A||Greg Chaney (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 10 B||Don Cheatham (R)||email@example.com||District 3 B||Sue Chew (D)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 17 B||Lance W. Clow (R)||email@example.com||District 24 A||Gary E. Collins (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 13 B||Brent J. Crane (R)||email@example.com||District 13 A||Thomas Dayley (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 21 B||Gayann DeMordaunt (R)||email@example.com||District 14 B||Mathew W. “Mat” Erpelding (D)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 19 A||John Gannon (D)||email@example.com||District 17A||Terry Gestrin (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 8A||Marc Gibbs (R)||email@example.com||District 32 A||Priscilla Giddings (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 7A||Karey Hanks (R)||email@example.com||District 35B||Steven Harris (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 21A||Stephen Hartgen (R)||email@example.com||District 24 B||Brandon A. Hixon (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 10A||James Holtzclaw (R)||email@example.com||District 20 B||Wendy Horman (R)||WendyHorman@house.idaho.gov||District 30B||Paulette E. Jordan (D)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 5A||Clark Kauffman (R)||email@example.com||District 25B||Ryan Kerby (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 9A||Phylis K. King (D)||email@example.com||District 18B||Mike Kingsley (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 6B||Hy Kloc (D)||email@example.com||District 16B||Thomas F. Loertscher (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 32B||Lynn M. Luker (R)||email@example.com||District 15A||Luke Malek (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 4A||Dustin Manwaring (R)||email@example.com||District 29A||John McCrostie (D)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 16A||Patrick McDonald (R)||email@example.com||District 15B||Ron Mendive (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 3A||Steven Miller (R)||email@example.com||District 26A||Jason A. Monks (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 22B||Dorothy Moon (R)||email@example.com||District 8B||Mike Moyle (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 14A||Ronald Nate (R)||email@example.com||District 34A||Kelley Packer (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 28B||Joe Palmer (R)||email@example.com||District 20A||Christy Perry (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 11B||Dell Raybould (R)||email@example.com||District 34B||Eric M. Redman (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 2B||Ilana Rubel (D)||email@example.com||District 18A||Heather Scott (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 1A||Paul E. Shepherd (R)||email@example.com||District 7B||Elaine Smith (D)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 29B||Thyra Stevenson (R)||email@example.com||District 6A||Scott Syme (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 11A||Jeff Thompson (R)||email@example.com||District 30A||Sally Toone (D)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 26B||Caroline Nilsson Troy (R)||email@example.com||District 5B||Janet Trujillo (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 33A||Julie VanOrden (R)||email@example.com||District 31B||John Vander Woude (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 22A||Melissa Wintrow (D)||email@example.com||District 19B||Fred Wood (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 27B||Rick D. Youngblood (R)||email@example.com||District 12B||Christy Zito (R)||firstname.lastname@example.org||District 23A||Bryan Zollinger (R)||email@example.com||District 33B|