TABLE OF CONTENTS

Engaging Your Members of Congress 

When manufacturers use their voices, key decision makers in Washington, D.C. and our communities listen. To make sure our officials hear us loud and clear, it’s important that we take advantage of the primary engagement channels that officials use every day. Below are resources and tips on how to best engage officials through email, calling and town halls 

We encourage you to contact us with any thoughts or questions on how to engage your officials. Manufacturers are driving our industry’s future, and it’s our job to amplify your efforts along the way. 

FIND MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

Emailing Congress

Sending a personal email to the office of your Member of Congress on a specific issue is one of the more impactful ways to use your voice. Not only is sending an email quick and easy, but it ensures that the target office reads and keeps a record of your message. This allows offices to refer to advocate communications when working on related legislation.

Quick tips when drafting and sending an email: 

Don’t bury the lead: Make sure your email subject line clearly identifies the purpose and mission of the email. In your first paragraph, state who you are and why you’re writing. It’s recommended to not include more than one issue in your email

Inform the reader: After making clear that you’re a constituent, be sure to clearly communicate your view, including your specific ask. Make sure to include data that supports your view(s) and include the relevant legislative bill number (e.g., H.R. 1234) 

Lead with facts & make it personal: While the NAM can help you find and embed facts around a given issue, it’s incredibly important to state how you are personally affected by the relevant legislation. Including your personal story is just as – if not more – important than citing policy-focused data to support your view(s). 

Be concise: Officials and their staff are busy and need to be able to quickly read constituent emails. Try to keep your email to 500 words or less. 


Below is an email template to help structure your communications: 

*The example below is based on manufacturers’ successful efforts to stop proposed tax hikes: 

Subject Line: Protect Manufacturers from Crippling Tax Hikes 

Dear [Member TITLE] [Member LAST Name], 

As a supporter of the manufacturing community in [@advState], I urge you to stand with manufacturers and reject proposed tax hikes within the Build Back Better Act would threaten the great progress and achievements that manufacturers have made as a result of tax reform. 

At a time when Americans are counting on manufacturers to lead our recovery and respond to supply chain challenges, we must support—not restrain—manufacturers’ ability to expand their operations, hire more workers and raise wages and benefits. The ‘book tax’ in particular will do significant harm to manufacturers, as it will increase the cost of machinery and equipment purchases, which lie at the center of manufacturers’ operations and their ability to create and support American jobs. 

In fact, according to a recent survey of manufacturers, if Congress follows through on these changes, the negative consequences would include: 

– 91% of manufacturers will have trouble creating jobs and expanding 

– 90% of manufacturers will have trouble raising wages 

We must build on the great progress and growth that was seen across manufacturing because of the tax reforms of 2017, rather than support changes that will disadvantage manufacturers and other businesses leading our recovery. 

I urge Representative/Senator _______ to stand with manufacturers in our state and reject changes to the tax code that would hurt the manufacturing workforce and the health of our recovering economy. 

Thank you,  

Calling Congress

Next to an in-person meeting, making a call and leaving a message with your Member of Congress is the most effective way to connect with Congress. While it’s important to be prepared (see tips below!), calling Congress allows you to attach a real voice to a message without written limitations.  

Want to use our tools to call Congress? The NAM hosts action opportunities can include patch-thru tools across pressing issues. Contact us to learn more.  

If you would like to place your own calls, you can find and reach your Member of Congress via the Capitol Switchboard. An operator will connect you to your Senators’ or House Representative’s office.

  • U.S. House of Representatives: (202) 225-3121 
  • U.S. Senate: (202) 224-3121 

Quick tips when making a call: 

You do not need to be an expert, but do have an idea of where your Member of Congress stands on the issue that you’re calling about

Introduce yourself as a member of the manufacturing community in their state or specific congressional district. Establishing a connection to the lawmaker’s community is important

Clearly present the issue and have a clear ‘ask’ to leave with the staffer. What are you asking the Member of Congress to do? 

Personalize your message! Can you relate to the issue? Why? The staffer would love to hear about how you might be personally affected by the issue. This helps make your call memorable – and helpful to the Member of Congress

Thank the staffer for their time and let the staffer know that manufacturers are excited to continue their work with the Member of Congress


Sample Phone Call 

*The example below is based on manufacturers’ successful efforts to stop proposed tax hikes

Identify yourself as a resident in your Member of Congress’s state or district and explain why you’re calling: 

Hi – my name is _______ and I’m calling on behalf of the manufacturers in [STATE NAME/DISTRICT#] to urge your office to reject proposed tax hikes targeting America’s manufacturers.   

Establish why the issue is important and the perspective you offer as a manufacturer: 

These proposed tax changes would put manufacturing jobs at risk, stall wage growth and limit new investments in our communities. 

And according to a recent survey of manufacturing leaders, nearly 94% of manufacturers said that higher taxes would be harmful to their businesses.  

Ask your Member of Congress to take action: 

I urge Representative/Senator _______ to stand with manufacturers in our state and reject changes to the tax code that would hurt the manufacturing workforce and the health of our recovering economy. 

Thank the staffer: 

Thank you for your attention and time.  

Attending or Hosting a Townhall Discussion

Members of Congress understand the importance of holding in-person townhalls – interactive conversations to allow community members to discuss their thoughts, ask specific questions and offer productive criticism and guidance. With a busy congressional calendar, it’s important to know when and where your Member of Congress is planning to hold a live community discussion.  
 
You can locate your nearest upcoming town hall or learn how to host your own by visiting the Town Hall Project. Planning to host a townhall? We want to help make your townhall experience impactful. Contact us with any questions or thoughts.