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How to Write a Letter to a Politician (page 2)

How to Write a Letter to a Politician

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Updated on Nov 14, 2008

Support your stance: Cite the strongest research you’ve gathered: Mention local organizations working on current legislation and key players you’ve met in your neighborhood. Provide examples that illustrate the change you’d like to see: Maybe the Safeway down the street has decided to stop using plastic bowls at their Chinese takeout counter, or the organic bakery on the corner has received statewide media attention for its composting efforts. Also, mention what kids in other cities are doing regarding similar issues (check out sites like YouthNoise.com and DoSomething.org).

Write your letter:

Opening: Your pitch should be in your first paragraph, if not your opening sentence. Introduce yourself and why you are qualified to speak on this issue.

Supporting paragraphs: Pick at least three strong reasons why your local government must listen to your proposal. You can explain each reason in a single paragraph, or present all three in one long one.

Last words: Restate your pitch and thank your politician for taking the time to read your letter. Leave contact information (email address, school name, etc.). Sign your letter!

Quick Writing Tips:

  • Keep your letter short – definitely not more than a page.
  • Use accurate facts, quotes from community members, and statistics – but don’t overuse them. (A few sprinkled in each paragraph is a good amount.)
  • Provide real-life examples in your neighborhood to illustrate your reasons.
  • DON’T TYPE IN CAPITAL LETTERS IN THE HOPE OF CONVINCING YOUR READER. It’s not only hard to read – it’s unprofessional.
  • Write in a respectful and positive tone.

Follow Up: Politicians are busy people! If you haven’t heard from your official or one of their representatives in a few weeks, send an email to thank them again for reading your letter. Say that you hope someone will respond to your query when possible.

 

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