Excerpt from Chapter 1

Communicating with your legislators is very important. They need to know that someone in their district cares enough about an issue to write a letter, pick up the phone or set up a meeting. Use these tips to assist you in being the most effective grassroots communicator.

Basic Tips
There are three primary ways you can communicate with your elected officials:

  1. Correspondence (letters, faxes, emails)
  2. Telephone contacts
  3. Personal visits
While each method is different, certain rules hold true for all of them.
  • Be Brief. To be effective, you need to be succinct and brief.
  • Be Accurate. Never give false or misleading information.
  • Personalize Your Message. Cite examples from your own experience to support your position.
  • Be Prepared. Know the issue.
  • Be Politically Aware. Every issue has at least two sides. Always remember that by supporting your side of an issue, a legislator may go against another constituent.
  • Be Courteous/Don’t Threaten.
  • Be Patient.
Tips on Grassroots Letter Writing
  • Address your legislator properly.
  • Use hospital, if appropriate, or personal stationary and include your voting address.
  • State your relationship to the legislator (i.e.: “as a constituent”) and your reason for writing in the first several sentences.
  • Discuss one issue per letter; keep your letter to one page, if possible. · Be factual. Always include the bill number and subject or title if applicable.
  • Whenever possible, include personal or hospital experiences that relate to the issue….