As the oldest nonprofit organization in the underserved area of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), ASHA plays a leading role in sexual health advocacy efforts through in Washington, DC. We work with members of Congress and other important partners in health policy to educate policy makers about the urgency of sexual health, the need for additional research, and the importance of frontline support for sexual health programs in our communities.
You can help ASHA make the case for sound sexual health policy by contacting your elected officials. The most effective communication remains the personal message, whether by a visit, letter, or phone call from a concerned constituent.
Click here for points you can make with your elected officials.
Legislators are real people, elected by you to represent your interests. Most are extremely personable and will genuinely enjoy meeting you. Appointments can be arranged by calling or writing the legislator’s district or Washington office. District offices are listed in your local phone book. Always identify yourself as a constituent when asking for an appointment. If the legislator is unavailable, the appropriate staff person may offer to meet with you—don’t pass up this opportunity to initiate a relationship.
A poll of House and Senate staff members asked what form of communication makes the most impression on them and the legislators for whom they work. The overwhelming response was articulate, thoughtful and timely letters from constituents. Letters should be kept short and to the point. The most effective letters tie the relevant issue to the legislator’s home state or district. If you know how STD funding levels, or block-grant proposals will impact your facility, program or clinic, be sure to include this information in your communication.
Unless you have a personal relationship with the legislator you are calling, ask to be referred to the staff member responsible for health issues or funding. Keep in mind that congressional offices receive hundreds of calls each day — be brief and to the point. You can always follow up with more information by mail. To reach any Washington congressional office, phone 202-224-3121 and ask for your legislator by name. District and state offices are listed in local phone books.