WHAT TO WRITE?


OK, so you're ready to write your elected official - but you have no idea what to say!  We get it - it's the number one reason people fail to take action.  To the right we've provided some very simple boilerplate that you can copy/paste/edit to fit pretty much any issue. 

We did the research on writing to elected officials so you don't have to. We conducted interviews and poured over research like The OpenGov Foundation's  human-centered design study, From Voice Mail to Votes and a 2015 Congressional Management Foundation survey of congressional staff called, Citizen-Centric Advocacy: The Untapped Power of Constituent Engagement

Here are some important points to keep in mind:

  1. Since you're delivering a postcard vs a letter, it's important to be as succinct as possible 
  2. If you are an expert that can offer unique info/perspective on how the bill or issue will impact the district or state you live in, it will be especially potent
  3. Personal stories with authentic emotion related to the issue are very powerful
  4. Avoid simple form letters, make it you own
  5. Be polite and professional.  Hate speech doesn't work
  6. Be specific about what action you want your representative to take
 

SAMPLE CONTENT


As a constituent I'd like to express my [support / opposition] of _________ . This issue is important because [site personal significance or unique info/perspective]. Your [support / opposition] of _________ demonstrates your commitment to your constituents and our country. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Optional Signature

 


 

What congressional staffers Say about personal messages*:

* CITED FROM "Voice Mail To Votes” by The OpenGov Foundation

 

“I have a folder on my desk of unique, moving, personal stories for the Member to review and respond to by hand.”

“I hold onto [personal letters] so that our boss can call them back or write a handwritten letter.”

“In our district, student and kid stories carry a lot of weight.”

“Especially thoughtful letters get handwritten responses from someone on the team. The more original and organic, the more valuable it is to us.”

“If something is thoughtful and not a campaign, we will try to give it a personal response. Otherwise, a form letter gets a form response. That’s how it is.”

“If you want your voice to be heard, use your own voice.”