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A former congressional staffer explains how to best stand up to Trump through Congress

Don’t just write to your representatives. Call them — and go to town halls.

In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election, a lot of Americans are looking for new ways to make a difference and do their part to stop what they consider a dangerous agenda. And some are hoping that their representatives in Congress can act as a check on Trump.

For those taking this approach, blogger Emily Ellsworth has some advice: Don’t just tweet, write, or email your representatives. Call them — and go to town halls.

In a series of tweets, Ellsworth drew on her experience as someone who worked in Congress for six years to note what works and what doesn’t:

The basic lesson: Tweets, Facebook messages, emails, and even letters can be easily discarded and ignored without much disruption to a congressional staffer’s day. But a blast of phone calls can seriously disrupt a congressional office, leading them to at least openly consider and discuss the issues you’re raising.

Ellsworth also cautioned that, generally, these messages only fall to staffers — not the member of Congress you’re trying to reach. If you want to get more direct contact, you’ll probably have to go to some sort of public event, such as a town hall.

So there you have it. If you want to make a difference, call your representatives and show up at their town halls. For more information on how to do that, check out the websites for the House of Representatives and Senate.


Watch: It’s now on America’s institutions — and Republicans — to check Donald Trump