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Local citizens wanting to contact their state House of Representative or state Senator may find the process quick and easy with a few tips from our veteran slate of state office holders.

While most have published cell phone numbers, there is often precious little time, until the session's end, each day to return phone calls.

Benton County State Senators

• State Senator Bart Hester- Dist. 1: bart.hester@senate.ar.gov

• State Senator Jim Hendren – Dist. 2: jim.hendren@senate.ar.gov

• State Senator Cecile Bledsoe – Dist. 3: Cecile.Bledsoe@senate.ar.gov

Benton County State Representatives

• State Rep. Robin Lundstrum – Dist. 87: robin.lundstrum@arkansashouse.org

• State Rep. Jana Della Rosa – Dist. 90: Jana.DellaRosa@arkansashouse.org

• State Rep. Dan Douglas – Dist. 91: dan-douglas@sbcglobal.net

• State Rep. Gayla McKenzie – Dist. 92: gayla.mckenzie@arkansashouse.org

• State Rep. Jim Dotson –Dist. 93: jim.dotson@arkansashouse.org

• State Rep. Rebecca Petty – Dist. 94: rebecca.petty@arkansashouse.org

• State Rep. Austin McCollum–Dist. 95: austin.mccollum@arkansashouse.org

• State Rep. Grant Hodges – Dist. 96: grant.hodges@arkansashouse.org

If you feel you must call the legislators, it is best to use the House and Senate switchboards and leave a call-back message for the solons to call you back.

• The House of Representative switchboard number is 1-501-682-6211.

• The State Senate switchboard number is 1-50-1682-2902.

Employees answering the switchboard will ask your name, who you are calling and your phone number. These hourly employees do not take long messages about bills or votes or answer questions about legislation.

These phone messages will be sent to the House and Senate chambers and placed on the desks of the elected officials.

The switchboard employees cannot guarantee when the elected officials will call you back.

And, importantly, they certainly cannot go out onto the House or Senate galleries and bring the elected officials to the telephone.

Email, most of the area elected officials say, is the best means of contact.

But even with emails, there are a few hints to help get your message across to our local legislators.

First and foremost is identifying yourself in the emails.

Many senders of emails forget they have a proxy name -- such as MeeMaw123@yahoo.com as their email handle. While our local elected officials, no doubt, may know the real name of MeeMaw123 -- they may not at first blush recognize that email as the name of Marsha Jones of Prairie Grove.

So use your name and where you live as a courtesy.

Also if there is a particular bill you want to make a comment on, or urge a Representative or Senator to vote FOR or AGAINST, please include the bill number in the subject line.

For example, in the subject line of the email, list NO on HB1101. Or FOR HB1101.

Then in the text of the email quickly tell the elected officials why you support or don't support that bill. If you have specific questions ask them in the text of the email.

All of the elected officials ask that you please DO NOT send long, copied e-mails from others as your reason for emailing then. It may be easy to use a copied email from a group or another person, but this is not what legislators want to see -- they truly want to hear from you and your thoughts.

Most elected officials have already seen these long copied emails several times already.

Please include your local thoughts and reasons for emailing them about a particular House or Senate bill in the Arkansas Legislature.

Remember, the members of the Arkansas House and Senate have little to do with the bills in Congress on the federal level.

They also have little influence on what is being proposed from the White House.

If you want an email to be returned to you, please ask for that in your email.

Courtesy and civility always win out over sarcasm and criticism of your elected officials, even if you disagree.

Also do not reply all on a long string of emails to elected officials. Individual emails have more impact than an email blast to all 100 House members of the 35 senators, local officials say.

Also be patient, some elected officials are busy with phone calls, emails, visitors to the House or Senate chambers and may be hours before your emails are returned or answered.

-- Maylon Rice is a former journalist who worked for several northwest Arkansas publications. He can be reached via email at maylontrice@yahoo.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 01/23/2019

Print Headline: How to contact legislators by e-mail or telephone

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