Members of Congress have always served as a vital link between citizens and government. Step back in time to learn how hand-written petitions, toll-free numbers, and hometown speeches helped connect voters with Representatives.
Representatives have always been attuned to the people of their congressional districts and have attended to their particular needs. How Representatives and their staff devote individual attention to constituents has changed over the centuries.
The right to petition Congress is guaranteed by the Constitution. Petitions were one of the original means for people to communicate formally with their Members of Congress. Historically, petitions were addressed to a particular Member or to Congress as whole and expressed support or opposition to policies or issues.
Constituent outreach has come in many forms—from events to coloring books—to inform, cultivate, and support their constituents.