Contacting Your State Legislators
Calls, letters, visits, and town hall meetings offer effective avenues for influencing your state legislators and state officials.
You can call your legislator at any time, day or night, and leave a message. While all legislators maintain both a home and an Olympia office, it is best to call Olympia during the legislative session. If a live person answers the phone, take the opportunity to ask the legislator’s position on your issue. Be prepared to leave your name, state legislative district, and a succinct statement about what you are seeking (vote yes on bill A).
You can send a letter, postcard, fax or email to your legislator at their Olympia or district office. If you have expertise or a personal story related to your issue, share it. Legislators can’t know every issue in detail, and they welcome the opportunity to be educated by their constituents.
Each year in January or February, the Washington Council organizes Capital Connections, an opportunity for architects across the state to meet in Olympia, learn about issues impacting the industry, and visit their state legislators. Capital Connections is a great introduction to state politics.
On your own, you can set up an appointment to meet your state legislators either in Olympia during session or in their home districts when they are not in session. Contact the office ahead of time, tell them briefly what you would like to talk with legislator about, and request an appointment. When you visit, you may meet with either the legislator or a staff person. Use the meeting to share your personal expertise or experiences related to the issue or bills you care about. State legislators often rely on their constituents to help them understand the wide range of issues they must address. Legislators may offer feedback on what political factors may be impacting your issue or which legislators should also be contacted on your issues – take notes and share this information with AIA Washington Council staff.
Town Hall Meetings
State legislators usually schedule town hall meetings in their home district that are open to all constituents. These meetings are not held during the months of the legislative session. Call your legislator’s office to ask when the next one is scheduled, then come prepared to ask questions and state your concerns.
Commenting on Legislation
You can also comment on specific bills on the state’s bill tracking website. Search by bill number, author or text.