Writing Letters to your Elected State Representative
Writing a letter is one of the most effective ways we can communicate with our elected officials. Most representatives and senators tally handwritten letters from their constituents to gauge public opinion, so the more letters we write, the greater influence we have.
Here are a few tips for writing an effective letter to your representative:
Be personal. A mailed handwritten letter attracts greater attention than does a preprinted letter or card, or email. Be sure to include your postal address on both your envelope and letter so your member of Congress can know you are a constituent.
Be concise. Express your request clearly in one or two paragraphs
Request specific action. Make a specific request when you write. You may want a decision changed, a vote cast in a certain way, or to communicate specific facts, but be clear about what you want.
Be courteous. Rude comments in your letter make it less effective. You can be firm while still being courteous.
Utiliize letters-to-the-editor. If you get a letter-to-the-editor printed, send a copy from the newspaper to policymakers.
Sign your letters. Include your name, address and telephone number, so the policymaker can respond to your concerns.
Contact your representatives and make your voice heard.
Governor Gray Davis
To find the address and phone number of your local state senator and assemblyperson, go to the internet site: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/yourleg.html and type in your zip code.
Senator Liz Figueroa
Dear Senator Figueroa,
††††††††††† I urge you to do everything
in your power to stop the proposed budget cuts to
I am a student at
This must stop! Please use your power and influence, as my elected representative, to stop these proposed cuts.