Proper communication techniques with your elected officials often can determine their responsiveness to your issues. Before you begin writing, here are some tips to consider:
Writing a Personal Letter
- Be sure to give your representative enough time to consider your point of view on an issue before having to vote on it.
- Only discuss one bill or topic per letter.
- Make sure that your letter is clear and concise and include the specific bill number or name.
- Use your own personal experiences to help illustrate your point.
- Be respectful--don't use offensive or rude language
Go Online to Voice Your Concerns
While a personal letter is probably still the best and most effective way to communicate with your elected official, email offers a new and easy tool for citizens.
- Use the subject line to state that you are a constituent.
- Be sure that your name and return address (both mail and email) are included.
- Don't write anything in an email that you would not write in a personal letter or say in person.
Make a Phone Call
Elected officials appreciate communication with their constituency. A brief, to the point phone call will demonstrate a greater constituent awareness of an issue and may sway or encourage their decisions accordingly. When calling remember:
Be brief and to the point. Official offices are very busy places - the more concise your message, the more likely it is to be articulated clearly to your representative.
Be sure to request a written acknowledgement of your message from your representative.