It can be difficult for the average person to answer the question, “Who is my Congressman?” One of the first and most confusing aspects is the fact that although the terms “congressman,” “congresswoman,” and “congressperson” are almost exclusively used to refer to members of the United States House of Representatives, United States senators are technically members of Congress and could therefore be referred to as congresspeople as well, strictly speaking.
The Difference Between Senators and House of Representatives
However, since senators are statewide representatives, and only come two-per-state, it is usually a simple matter to find out which senators represent a state. The more complicated matter is in finding out which Congressional Representative represents an individual’s district. The following will guide users to answering, “Who is my Congressman?” Please not that the term “congressman” will be meant to refer herein to members of the United States House of Representatives.
Each state is allotted a number of members of Congress which is dependent on the population of that state. Each congressional member will represent a particular geographical district within that state. A thorough discussion of the drawing up of congressional district boundaries is beyond the scope of this article, but suffice to say it is a complicated matter in its own right, and in many regions its intricacies are hotly contested by both sides of the political spectrum.
What is a Constituent?
What are “constituents”? The citizens who live within each particular congressional district are referred to as constituents. They are represented in the legislative branch of the United States government by a congressman or congresswoman. For those attempting to discover “Who is my Congressman,” those people would need to access the official website of the House of Representatives. There, users can find links that will direct them to a search page.
The search page at the House of Representatives website will ask for the user’s zip code. This is the five-digit code used by the United States Postal Service to locate mailing addresses by region. Once this zip code (also referred to as a Postal Code) is entered, the website will return the result for the member of Congress who oversees that particular district, answering the question as to “who is my Congressman?”
I know who my Congressman is. Now what?
Once located, information as to the identity of the Congressman for a particular district can be quite useful. Any legislative matters which are being addressed in the United States House of Representatives will be voted on by each Congressman. This means that when citizens discover “who is my Congressman,” they can contact that Congressperson’s office to give their input into those legislative matters that are up for a vote, proving that each individual can make a difference.