Sample Phone Call to Congressperson

This example of a phone conversation assumes an astronomer is calling a Congressperson's office about a letter sponsored by two Congressmen and being sent to the House leadership.

Staffer: Hello, Congressman King's office, can I help you?

Astronomer: Yes, I would like to speak with a staffer about the National Science Foundation.

Staffer: OK, I will see if she is in right now. She can speak with you now [note; you may get voice mail, leave same message as the next bit of conversation]

Sci.Staffer: Hello, I'm Michelle Scott and I'm responsible for NSF can I help you?

Astronomer: Hi, my name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a constituent of Congressman King's. I am calling to ask that she sign onto the Ehlers-Foster letter to the House leadership support science. This letter calls for strong support of NSF, NIST, and DoE Office of science in any appropriations bills passed this year. I think this is a very important issue and I hope that the Congresswoman can sign on. Congress passed the America COMPETES Act overwhelmingly last year, but appropriations have not materialized to fund the bill.

Sci. Staffer: I hadn't heard about this letter yet, can you tell me more about it?

Astronomer: You can call either Congressman Ehlers' or Foster's offices for details and to sign on. Julia Warner in Ehler's office (x53831) and Matt Ploszek in Rep. Foster's office (5-2976) are handling the letter.

Sci. Staffer: Great, I'll call them to find out more.

Astronomer: Great!  If I can be of any help in the future just let me know. I work at the University in the Congressman's district and have use telescopes supported by NSF or have received grant money from the NSF in the past. Also, funding for all basic research is a key investment in the country's future, and the engine of a 21st century economy.