How to Write an Effective Letter to your Elected Officials
While taking action online by texting, calling, and signing petitions are incredibly crucial, well-written letters, and emails from community members are the most direct ways to influence elected officials. The more personalized letters and emails written, the more critical the issue becomes! Here are some important steps to writing a compelling message.
Properly address your letter.
Make sure you use the correct address and greeting in your letter. Click here to find the address of all your legislators by entering your zip code. Do your due diligence when it comes to ensuring that your message goes through the proper channels and is read by the correct person. Your first paragraph should include an appropriate greeting as well as a request for an action to be taken. If you are referencing a specific bill, be sure to include the name and of the legislation.
Only mention one issue per letter.
Your message will likely have more of an impact if you address one specific topic as opposed to multiple. Take your time to personalize the letter and tie the issue to either your expertise or experience (use your own words). Always be polite and stay positive and keep your point clear and concise.
Make a call to action.
Ask for a specific change, such as sponsoring a bill, or taking on a particular leadership role. Ask how they plan to address the issue and request a direct response. When you are done, thank them for their time and consideration and sign your name. Be sure to include a return address so that the reader knows that you are a will see that you are a constituent and has an address to send a response to.