Write to Your Member of Congress
The focus of the letter should center upon a particular issue or policy, and it should clearly state the position of the letter writer and/or special interest group.
Ideally, there should be precise "next steps" that may advance the purpose of the letter.
For example, co-sponsoring a bill, voting on a particular piece of legislation in committee, or requesting the President to sign into law a recently passed piece of legislation are examples of targeted advocacy that might be included in a letter to an elected federal official.
When composing the statement, it should be, of course, polite, to the point, written on professional letterhead, signed, dated, and copied to relevant stakeholders.
The "ABC's" of How to Write a Letter to Your Member of Congress:
- Identify yourself as a constituent. Be concise, and keep your letter ideally to one page.
- State the issue and your position (be clear). Explain the import of the issue, your concern, and specifically how that may impact both the local and broader community.
- Use language that is clear, polite, and factual. Avoid exaggerations of the truth.
- Send a copy of your letter to local officials and policymakers, in addition to your targeted recipient.
- Be appreciative (i.e. state your thanks).
- Be professional. Compose your letter on letterhead, include titles, and provide a means for a response.