Tips for writing to your elected officials

  • Write them even if you agree
    And if you don't agree with them, then offer polite and respectful "directional advisement."

  • Go electronic
    Paper letters travel through a decontamination process that takes a long time.

  • Keep it short and to the point  

    • State your point, keep it concise, direct, and straight forward.

    • Hit only one or few points.  Pick a minimum number of points and expand, explaining why they should adopt your point of view.

  • Personalize it

    • Do you vote?  Do you donate time or money?  Do you have personal or business ties to them?

    • Be confident.  You may be an expert on a topic or you may have a strongly felt point of view.  Sharing your experiences or personal stories can be very effective.

  • Be polite

    • Never threaten or attempt to intimidate. Kindness and tact pay off big.

    • Say thank you.  Your mom was right.

  • Use your full name and address
    Let them know you are their constituent and that it matters to your community.

Dear Governor Johnson,
Dear Senator Humphrey,
Dear Representative Knutson,

I'm writing to ask that you not support the expansion of the Springfield rendering plant.  As a member of the surrounding community, my family must already avoid the outdoors when the wind comes out of the east.  The expansion can be stopped through existing regulations.  I have appreciated your voice and efforts in the past, and I thank you for your continued work.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Sincerely yours,
Homer Simpson
742 Evergreen Terrace
Springfield, USA 99011