Writing a Letter or Email

A letter can influence a legislator’s opinion:

  • By persuading him/her to take a position on a new issue
  • To reverse a position he/she has already taken
  • To encourage the legislator to renew efforts on a position already taken

Some tips to remember when writing a letter or an email:

  • Keep letters to one page, if possible
  • Limit letters to one subject
  • Write legibly or type your letter
  • Have your exact return address on the letter, not just the envelope
  • Letters should be dignified, respectful, and sincere
  • Be specific in stating why you are writing, what you want your legislator to do, and how the legislation will affect the district and you and your family
  • Be objective and avoid exaggeration
  • Enclose documentation which supports your position
  • Identify your subject clearly (If you are writing about a specific bill, note the bill name and number)
  • If using a form letter, add in your own introduction and closing
  • Request an answer
  • Ask what their positions are on an issue or bill
  • Time your letters, if possible, to arrive during the middle of the week
  • When appropriate, send a copy of your letter to a radio or television commentator, newspaper editor, or other opinion molder (Make a notation on the original to let your elected official know that your views will be considered by other influential people within their state or district)
  • Requests should be reasonable and possible to accomplish
  • Write your representative when he/she does something that deserves recognition and praise

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