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.
There are three primary ways you can communicate with your elected officials:
While each method is different, certain rules hold true for all of them.
- Correspondence (letters, faxes, emails)
- Telephone contacts
- Personal visits
Tips on Grassroots Letter Writing
- 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.
- 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….