Lobbying Congress: NOW Just a Click Away

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by Sarah Stapleton-Gray, Internet and LAN Manager,

While the best way to lobby a member of Congress may be face-to-face, sometimes time or distance stands in the way. Since 1996, the National NOW Action Center has offered an e-mail action alert system which informs activists about federal bills that need action. (To sign up for these action alerts, connect to Many grassroots lobbyists have asked for a way that will make it easier to e-mail or contact your representatives-and now we have one!

Starting this month, all NOW web documents and e-mail messages urging activists to contact their representatives will link to NOW's new Legislative Action Center, a site that will make lobbying a snap. On the site, NOW will help identify the visitor's representatives and a web-based form will provide suggestions on how to communicate on pending legislation. With just a little effort, an activist using the Legislative Action Center can automatically send a message to the appropriate representative.

The site will also profile members of Congress so that constituents can research their representatives-find out what committees they are on, go to their web pages and see how they voted on NOW's priority issues. The site will also link to bills before Congress, Congressional schedules and information about the Executive and Judiciary Branches.

The Legislative Action Center can be reached directly from NOW's web site or by connecting to From there, activists can also sign up to receive e-mail alerts that will inform them when action is needed on a bill.

More Helpful Web Sites

The web site known as Thomas, found at, facilitates research on current and recent bills. Thomas also includes information about how laws are made (see the Legislative Process section). A good overview of the process can also be found from the House of Representatives at its page.

Piperinfo at has links to state legislatures.

Rutgers University Center for American Women in Politics ( has information about women in office.

As November approaches, the NOW PACs' site at will post information about candidate endorsements for the 2000 elections.

This is a crucial year to stay informed and get the feminist message to our representatives, so take advantage of NOW's important new lobbying tool and other helpful resources on the Internet, get involved in the elections and don't forget to vote in November.

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