Published: April 2013
Make your voice heard
We want to help you make your voice heard. Our free Take Action Center makes it easy to help yourself and others through grassroots advocacy.
Our free Take Action Center delivers your messages to lawmakers and other policy-makers and ensures that consumers have an active voice in crafting the policies that affect our lives. Here are the services you can use:
- Take Action on important consumer issues
- Find your elected officials
- Contact Congress
- Send letters to the editor
Take Action Center
Consumer Action uses an e-advocacy tool powered by Salsa Labs to help you make your voice and opinions heard. This service, which we offer free to you, has online tools to help you play an active role in the political process.
When you use these services you will notice that the web address is different from Consumer Action's own website. You should see addresses beginning with http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50872 in your URL bar. When you receive email Take Action alerts from Consumer Action you may notice the “Empowered by Salsa” logo at the bottom of emails.
Consumer Action values your privacy and your email preferences. Each Take Action alert we send carries an opt-out link. If you opt out completely we cannot send you mail—but we hope you will consider setting your preferences so that you get only the emails you want instead of opting out completely.
We always want to hear your feedback. Click here to Talk Back to us.
Take Action on important issues. We post action alerts to encourage you to send personalized messages to elected officials. Let them know what you think about important issues that affect our organization. Take the time to personalize our pre-written alerts. You will always have the ability to edit the subject line and the content of the message in any way you want. While we take organizational positions on certain issues, we do not want to put words in your mouth.
Email your letters. After you compose your letters, you can send them immediately, an advantage since "snail mail" to Congressional offices can be delayed by several weeks while it is screened.
Send letters to the editor. You can send letters to the editors of local and national newspapers.
Drum up grassroots support. Use our Tell-A-Friend tool to let your family, friends and acquaintances know about Consumer Action's free Take Action Center. This is the way that movements are born!
Sign up for our email list. You will receive Consumer Action Take Action Alerts as well as our newsletters and press releases. Click here to sign up or simply use the quick link on the Action Center page.
Personalizing your messages
One of the best ways to get your point across to an elected official is to personalize your emails. Give an example from your own life that shows how the issue has affected you and why it is important to you and the group of which you are a part.
- How does this affect your job?
- What does it mean for your family?
- What will it change in your community?
Two or three sentences at the beginning of your message are enough to show why you care strongly about an issue. Make your message stand out!
There will be times when the message you send to the recipient is based on something that you have received from Consumer Action. Editing the subject line and adding a few personalized sentences to the message separates it from other messages on the same topic and increases its chances of getting attention at the lawmakers' offices.
Tips for letters to the editor
Writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper is a good way to create awareness of important issues in your community. Here are some questions and comments to consider before sending your letter:
- Try to focus on one topic and stick to it.
- Proof your message for typos or misspellings.
- What are you talking about? Reference the previous article/editorial that prompted your letter. It helps to include the title, date, and author's name.
- Send your letter soon after an article or opinion has been published. Sending a response the day or next day is most effective.
- Personalize it. Use an example from your own life to make your letter more powerful and compelling.
- Some papers may require contact information so they can verify that you are who you say you are.
- Be persistent. Your letter isn't going to be published every time. Consider revisions that might help get your letters get published in the future.
- Announce your success. Send a link or copy of your published letter to your elected officials along with a request for action.
Assistance with e-advocacy
If you have questions or comments about our e-advocacy tools and services, send an email to: Talk Back.
About Consumer Action
Consumer Action has been a champion of underrepresented consumers nationwide since 1971. A nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, Consumer Action focuses on financial education that empowers low to moderate income and limited-English-speaking consumers to financially prosper.
It also advocates for consumers in the media and before lawmakers to advance consumer rights and promote industry-wide change.
By participating in legislative, regulation, and policy initiatives, Consumer Action ensures that underrepresented consumers have a voice in front of lawmakers and the national media.
Consumer Action takes positions on dozens of bills per national legislative session. We are pleased to present the consumer viewpoint in testimony when asked. This year we are participating in more than 20 advocacy coalitions on national and state levels.
For More Information
Consumer Action recommends these resources:
- Thomas: Legislative information from the Library of Congress
- GovTrack: Legislative information from the U.S. government
- Congress.org: Get informed, get involved
- Change.org: A site for social change
- PopVox: Your Voice. Verified. Quantified. Amplified.
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