The Power of One…Let Your Voice be Heard

The Power of One…never underestimate the power of one voice.  After all, wasn’t the historic Women’s March on January 21, 2017 started by Hawaii’s own Teresa Shook’s Facebook post?

Make your voice heard by paying attention to proposed legislation and then writing or calling your elected officials to express your opinions.  All this can be done by email or voicemail (see contacts at the end of this article) – it’s easier and faster than you might think.

How can you find out about proposed legislation?  In addition to news outlets, you can learn about pending bills at:

For Federal Legislation: https://www.senate.gov/legislative/legislative_home.htm and http://www.house.gov/legislative/

For Hawaii State Legislation:  http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/log-in here you can register for an account and select matters on which you would like to be notified of pending legislation and hearing dates.  After registration, you can also then submit testimony on bills through your account.

For the City and County of Honolulu:  http://www4.honolulu.gov/docushare/dsweb/View/Collection-2588

During the Hawaii State Legislative session our Advocacy Committee Chair, Susan Wurtzburg periodically sends out emails notifying us of pending bills and asking for written testimony.  Often the turn-around time for written testimony is tight from when she receives a notice of hearings and the testimony deadline, but every bit helps, so please, when you can, respond to Sue’s emails by submitting testimony.

For Federal Legislation, AAUW National has set-up “The Two-Minute Activist”.  This is a quick, easy tool where you are notified of issues AAUW National has identified as being consistent with our national agenda, and then provides a direct link to your Congresswoman or Senator.  To sign-up go to:  https://www.aauw.org/what-we-do/public-policy/two-minute-activist/

We hope to have “Two-Minute Activist” set up for Hawaii state legislation soon, so stay tuned!

Often people hesitate to contact their elected officials because they aren’t sure “what to say”.  After talking to many elected officials, here are some tips they share:

  • In your opening sentence refer to the Bill in question by number and name and whether you are writing to SUPPORT or OPPOSE the Bill;
  • Be brief and succinct – get your point across in a way that can be read within one-minute (one page or less is best);
  • Be factual, not emotional and always, be respectful (anger, threats and name-calling can result in immediate rejection of your ideas);
  • Personal experience stories grab their attention (hearts and minds) – tell how the issue being considered affects you, your family, your business or those with whom you work.

Elected Officials Contact List

Via U.S. Postal Service:

  • For correspondence to U.S. Senators:

Office of Senator (Name)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

  • For correspondence to U.S. Senate Committees:

(Name of Committee)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

  • For correspondence to U.S. House of Representatives:

Name of Representative
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC  20515

  • For correspondence to U.S. House of Representatives Committees:

Name of Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

  • For correspondence to the President or Cabinet:

Name of person to whom you wish to address including title
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

  • For correspondence to Hawaii State Senators/Representatives:

Name of Senator
State Capitol, Room 10
415 Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

Name of Representative
State Capitol, Room 27
415 Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

  • For correspondence to City & County of Honolulu representatives:

Mayor Kirk Caldwell
Honolulu Hale
530 South King Street, Room 300
Honolulu, HI 96813

City Council Member(s) by name
Honolulu Hale
530 South King Street, Room 203
Honolulu, HI 96813

Via email (go to link and then click “contact me”):

By telephone:

  • The White House public comment line (202-456-1111)
    U.S. Senators and/or Represenatives: (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senator/Representative’s office you request.
  • Representative Tulsi Gabbard: (202) 225-2726
  • Representative Colleen Hanabusa: (202) 225-4906
  • Hawaii State Senate: (808) 586-6720 and your call will be directed to the appropriate Senator’s office.
  • Hawaii State House of Representatives: (808) 586-6400 phone and your call will be directed to the appropriate Representative’s office.
  • Mayor Kirk Caldwell: (808) 768-4141