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Want to write a letter to your Congressman or Senator, but don't know what to say?

Posted by on Apr. 4, 2009 at 12:10 AM
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Think Locally
It's usually best to send letters to the Representative from your local Congressional District or the Senators from your state. Your vote helps elect them -- or not -- and that fact alone carries a lot of weight. It also helps personalize your letter. Sending the same "cookie-cutter" message to every member of Congress may grab attention but rarely much consideration. 

Keep It Simple
Your letter should address a single topic or issue. Typed, one-page letters are best. Many PACs (Political Action Committees) recommend a three-paragraph letter structured like this:

  1. Say why you are writing and who you are. List your "credentials." (If you want a response, you must include your name and address, even when using email.)
  2. Provide more detail. Be factual not emotional. Provide specific rather than general information about how the topic affects you and others. If a certain bill is involved, cite the correct title or number whenever possible.
  3. Close by requesting the action you want taken: a vote for or against a bill, or change in general policy.

The best letters are courteous, to the point, and include specific supporting examples.

Addressing Members of Congress

To Your Senator:

The Honorable (full name)
(Room #) (Name) Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator:

To Your Representative:

The Honorable (full name)
(Room #) (Name) House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative:

When writing to the Chairperson of a Committee or the Speaker of the House, address them as:

Dear Mr. Chairman
Dear Madam Chairwoman

Dear Mr. Speaker
Dear Madam Speaker

The above addresses should be used in email messages, as well as those sent through the Postal Service.

by on Apr. 4, 2009 at 12:10 AM
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Replies (1-1):
Monicallee
by on Apr. 23, 2009 at 9:33 AM

Great help! Thanks!

Monica

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