Ten Tips on How to Write to Your Legislator
1. Write on only one issue per
Combining different issues and bills in one letter becomes
confusing and diffuses your message. If you know the bill number, use it, and
make certain it's accurate.
2. Make sure it's neat.
Type neatly, if you can. Proofread for errors and typos. Try
to fit your message all on one page... it's easier to read.
3. State clearly your position on the issue.
Some persons/organizations choose to stamp "SUPPORT" or "OPPOSE" on the top
of the letter next to the bill number or issue identification. This makes it
easy for the legislator to see where his/her constituents stand.
4. Try to learn where your legislator stands before you write.
If you know they agree with your position, thank them and support them. If
you know they are opposed to your position, offer them sound reasons to change
5. Back up your position with facts.
Provide any background documentation you have to support your position, e.g.
research articles, public opinion polls, newspaper clippings, etc. if you don't
know the facts or can't produce them, don't guess.
6. State clearly your reason for writing.
If you want to learn your legislator's position on a particular bill,
ask for it. If you want your legislator to vote for a bill in committee, say so.
7. Request a written response.
Ask specifically for a written response to the question(s) you have
8. Never be abusive or threatening.
9. Let your legislator know who you represent.
If you represent yourself - a constituent - fine. If you represent a
parish, school, agency or organization, say so. Use your organization's official
letterhead if they have one.
10. Write again!
Especially if you receive no reply in a reasonable amount of
time, write again. write different letters on different issues. Be in continuous
communication with your legislator. Encourage other constituents/ organizations
who agree with your position to write the legislator with the same message.
How to Write
Letters that Get Results
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Fr. Frank discusses communicating with legislators with Capitol Hill activist
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