Many of my readers are interested in opposing the Trump administration. I’d like to suggest they look into 5calls.org.

Calling your representatives is one strategy for influencing their votes. If a representative gets a lot of calls about an issue, they’re likely to believe that their constituents care a lot about it. They are afraid to go against what their constituents want, because that means that you might vote for their opponent (either in the primary or the general election). Phone calls are generally considered better than emails, because they are difficult.

5calls.org makes calling your representatives very easy. You enter your address, and then it provides phone numbers for your representatives. There are a variety of issues on the sidebar: for instance, you might be interested in calling about a proposed bill that puts more limits on the President’s ability to engage in a nuclear first strike, a Senate investigation of Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia, or calling your governor to encourage them to protect immigrant rights. For each issue, it provides you with a script. All you have to do is say the script. For me, this reduces my phone anxiety a great deal.

Personally, some of the issues seem to me to involve rather poor prioritization skills: for instance, I am not particularly opposed to the nomination of Scalia II: The Scaliaing to the Supreme Court, and a while back one of the issues you could call about was public lands potentially being given to the states. However, you do not have to call about those issues! I think they try to do scripts for a wide variety of issues that people who oppose Trump could potentially be concerned about, so that people with a lot of different political opinions can use the website. Just ignore the things you don’t care about. Fortunately, the Trump administration does enough ridiculous things that you aren’t going to run out of phone calls.

I suggest doing some research on the issue you’re calling about to make sure that you really care about it and agree with 5calls.org’s position. In my experience, 5calls.org has done a pretty good job of highlighting the most urgent Trump-related issues, so this is also a sustainable way of staying updated on the news without being burned out by the continual stream of “Trump is an authoritarian dictator destroying America!” accompanied by no concrete action one can do to help. It might also be a good idea to look up your representative’s opinion on the issue, so that you can thank them if they have a good opinion. (Representatives like positive feedback too!)

The name “5 Calls” comes from their proposed goal of five calls a day. However, you definitely don’t have to do five calls a day! Personally, I have set a goal of one voicemail or conversation with a staffer daily. (This is slightly different from a phone call because Senator Feinstein’s staffers never pick up the damn phone.) I find that, including research, this usually takes me five or ten minutes.