A Legislative View; How to write a letter to your representative

5:26 PM

So, you’re going to send your Representative a letter, but want to make sure he hears about it?  Do you have an issue that is close to your heart and want to let you elected official know about it?  Step right up to learn, from someone who has dealt with the mail, how to get noticed.

1.      Make sure that you write clearly.  No cursive, no big smudges.

2.      If you put your signature at the end, make sure to also include your print names.

3.      Petition, though the information is passed on to the representative and the opinions are tallied, people are more likely to read the letter if it is written from the heart, not copy and pasted.

4.      Letters, even when written from an opposing view, are better received when written from a kind and respectful tone.

5.      The representative and his staff have real jobs and get thousands of letters.  Keep your letter as brief as it can be.

6.      Don’t be vague.  There is nothing more frustrating than trying to figure out exactly what issue the letter writer wanted us to address.

7.      Look it up.  Make sure who your representative is.  If you send it to the wrong person, you might not get a response.  Also if you are for or against a particular bill, find out what number it is.

8.      A personal touch is always good.  Let the representative know how legislation will affect you.

9.      Don’t send books. No one has time to read them.  If there is something from a book you think they ought to know, write a summary and note your source.

10.   Form letters are tallied but not read.  If you want to be a number, send a form letter; if you want to be heard, be creative.

Next time on "A legislative view"; Visiting your representative 101.

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