A very good idea was suggested by commenter Clay:
Could you or another Front Pager put a link (or set of links) on the side bar to click on when we want to call Congress? Like, maybe a link to a list of phone numbers for Congressional offices, and a link to the “how to talk to staffers” post that’s come up before, and whatever else might be useful. That would give us a handy resource for instant action.
I think this is a great idea but there is, of course, no ready-made solution for this. I did some preliminary searching for WordPress plugins, but they are all a bit different than our needs. So I think we could do this ourselves, perhaps with a bit of crowdsourced work looking up info and putting it into a spreadsheet.
I’m thinking a “Contact Your Congress” button.
Click that, and you go to a page where you enter your address and it looks up the info and tells you who your reps are, their numbers for both national office as well as all state branch offices. It would of course give mailing addresses, email addresses, and fax number. If this works well, it might make sense to do something similar for state reps and senators as contacting state government is often very effective compared to the Feds.
This page would also have some general tips for such communication.
Finally, I’d prefer it if there was a clickable button that would start a pre-addressed blank email that you can type into, then hit send (all done using whatever email system or program you use, nothing to do with Balloon Juice.)
So, what do y’all think? And how should it work from the user experience side of things?
I am making no promises, and will need the help of others to make this happen, but if we get a good plan, I think we can get this done and further improve our collective contact efforts.