TLDR; New governors and US representatives should be updated within 24 hours of swearing in. New senators and state legislators may take a while. Targeting districts will be wrong for a period. Please be patient with us!
With new legislative districts, the activist's district (as shown on their activist record, used in email and reporting targeting) needs to be updated. When new elected officials take office, we have to update our system so that your activists write or call the correct new person. This takes a loooooong time and depends on factors outside of our control, so for the sake of transparency, here's how that process works for all of our built-in districts — governors, US House, US Senate, and state legislatures.
Table of contents
- All live letter and call campaigns (please read!)
- US House
- US Senate
- State Legislators
Starting in early January, we will begin assigning activists to their new legislative districts at the congressional and state levels. These are the districts used in the activist record, and email, mobile message, and report targeting, and clips. This will take a long time (weeks, probably) — we've done a lot of work to speed it up, but there's so many addresses in our system. This means that some of your activists will have updated districts, while others will not, at any given point during this process. We cannot pick and choose who gets updated at any point. We will update the footer, this help doc, and email you (if you sign up) when this is done.
Our advice: do not use letter/call campaign clips in your emails/mobile messages, or use legislative district email or report targeting until this is done.
However, letter campaigns and call campaigns will match people to the correct new district when they input their address in early 2023, meaning they will be able to email the correct new elected official (assuming we have contact info for them, read on). But this new district will not be reflected in their activist record, email targeting, mobile targeting, report targeting, or clips until the redistricting process happens for this person. (When they sign the letter/call campaign, they're basically added to the queue. It will happen eventually! We will update this doc and send an email (if you're signed up) when we've begun redistricting and have correct districts for letter and call campaign matching.)
All Live Letter or Call Campaigns (read this paragraph, please)
Regardless of which built-in targets you use, you will need to reselect targets once your new elected officials have been sworn in and we have the targets updated on the backend. To do this, you will need to edit your letter or call campaign letter versions, clear all targets of each letter version, add all targets, and save again. If you do not do this, your targets will not be updated to show the newly sworn-in people.
For example, if your letter campaign targeted Senator Axel, but he's been replaced by Senator Sunny, you need to remove Senator Axel and re-select targets to include Senator Sunny going forward.
We have nine new governors — Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Oregon, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. For each of these governors, there is no publicly working email address, so we have to write a file to match to their website's contact form. Often the contact form isn't up for a couple weeks (but don't worry, we check daily to see if the contact form is available), and once it is up we have to code some stuff. So basically, check the doc to see if the governor you want is done.
The new members of Congress will be sworn in on January 3, 2023. Thanks to our friends at House Communicating with Congress API, this process is easy! We just have to make a quick little file for each new member of Congress, add their special ID to another file, and it will be updated in our system. This process should be done by January 5.
Some background here: we connect to senators via their contact forms on their websites. When your activists fill out the form on Action Network, our system automatically fills out the contact form on their senators' websites. We have to match our forms to the website forms exactly (this is also why things like titles/prefixes and topic options are not always inclusive or appropriate).
New senators are sworn in on January 3. However, they never (ever) put up their websites on the same day. We get it, it takes time to build a website. So every morning, we look to see if their website is up. Once a website and contact form is live, we'll write the file thing to connect it to Action Network. We add their special ID to another file, and voila! This process only takes a few hours, but it may be up to a month or two before all the senators' websites are up. Bear with us, it's not our fault! We'll update the help doc as they are completed so you can keep up with the process.
Thanks to Google Civic, these are done for us. Google Civic gathers the email address and phone number for each legislator and our system matches to that. However, (big however), Google Civic doesn't get around to these for quite some time — like March. So state legislatures may not be updated for a few months. Trust us, as much as we want to hurry them along, you can't tell Google what to do.