IAGC
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Advocacy

"One problem we have is that we don't hear enough from people we represent." - U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo, R-Egan, Rockford Register Star, May 2, 2005

Judy Baar Topinka (IL Comptroller) stated in an interview on July 25, 2013, on WGN radio, that when she was a state legislator, if she got 5 letters about an issue, it became a big deal to her.


Tips for E-mail Communication with Congress


 How to Write to Your Local Legislator

  1. The National Association for Gifted Children tells us that letters are the most effective form of communication with elected official. However, due to security measure it may take up to three weeks for a letter to get to its intended legislator. One way to resolve this issue is to fax your letter.
  2. Use personal or business letterhead if possible.
  3. Keep your letter brief and to the point. Every legislator is busy and receives many pieces of communication. Make sure you start your letter in a manner that lets the reader know the reason you are writing.
  4. Include enough personal information to let the legislator know that this issue is important to you and why it is important.
     - You are asking for specific funding for gifted education because your child is gifted and you can see that she is not making the academic gains in school that would occur if her teacher had access to graduate level classes in the area of gifted education and actually understood gifted learners and how to modify the curriculum for them rather than just giving them more work to do or asking them to help others.
     - You are asking for specific funding for gifted education because you are concerned that  your child is not making the academic progress he could if he had access to resources that were matched to his ability level which is above those of his age mates.
     - You are asking for specific funding for gifted education because your child is showing signs of giving up on school, and you fear he will be one of the 18 to 25% of gifted students who drop out of sch ool each year.
     - You are asking for specific funding for gifted education because your gifted child spends her whole day in a regular education classroom with a first year teacher who has no training in working with gifted learners and for your child it feel like a lost year.
  5. Legislators care about their own constituents. Make sure you mention that you reside in the legislator’s district.
  6. Ask your elected official to provide his/her position on funding for gifted education in a written reply.
  7. Be sure to thank the official if he/she votes the way you requested or indicates strong support for your issue.  Everyone appreciates - and remembers - a complimentary letter.


How to Address Letters

State Senator
Dear Senator Doe:
The Honorable John Doe
State Senator
(Springfield or District Office mailing address)

State Representative
Dear Representative Doe:
The Honorable John Doe
State Representative
(Springfield or District Office mailing address)

Governor
Dear Governor Doe:
The Honorable John Doe
Governor of Illinois
State House
Springfield Illinois 62706

Contacting Decision-Makers

Hon. Bruce Rauner
Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706

Ph: 800-642-3112 or 217-782-0244
fax:  217-524-4049

Chicago office
Ph:  312-814-2121
fax: 312-814-6775
Tony Smith, Ph.D. 
State Superintendent
100 N. First Street
Springfield, IL 62777

Ph: 866-262-6663

General Assembly, to identify committee members, link to their contact information, and follow bill activity: http://www.ilga.gov/

Contact Information

To find your Illinois State legislators, go to http://www.votesmart.org/ and enter your zipcode.
Find your U.S. Representative.

U.S. Senators Durbin and Kirk - Go here

Senator Durbin:
Twitter
Facebook
YouTube
Flickr

Senator Kirk:
Facebook
Twitter
Flickr
YouTube
Shelfari

Comment on federal legislation

Handouts

To download PDF documents that you can print to give to your decision-makers, click on the links below.
Legislators
Principals
Superintendents


Fax numbers for Illinois House and Senate