established 2008

Media Training

How To Write Letters To Your Elected Officials

by Joreth Innkeeper © 2009

Letters are an extremely effective way of communicating with your elected officials. Many legislators believe that a letter represents not only the position of the writer but also many other constituents who did not take the time to write. So you should take care to write your letter in the manner best designed to make your message heard.

The most important thing to ask yourself when writing anything is: Who is my audience? And, what do I want to accomplish? Do you want to increase support for or opposition to a particular piece of legislation? Do you want them to help obtain services from a government agency? Do you want to inquire about where they stand on an issue?

Once you identify the purpose, you then need to find the appropriate official to write or call. There are a list of websites at the bottom to help find your elected officials at the state level or higher, but letters to regional officials are also very helpful. Write only to the official who is representing you or your geographic location if you want to address a concern, but thank you and support letters may be welcome by all officials even if they do not represent you directly.

A Sample Letter

Return Address Line 1

Return Address Line 2

Date [Month Day, Year]

Mr./Mrs./Ms./Dr. Full name of recipient.

Office Title of Recipient.

Address Line 1

Address Line 2

Dear Ms./Mrs./Mr. Last Name:

Subject: Title of Subject

My name is [your full and real name] and I live in [Official's district] and I am writing to you about [Bill Number or Name of Issue]. As a polyamorous Democrat/soldier/shop owner/woman/parent/fill-in-your-label-here, I am very concerned about this issue. It will affect your constituents in these 3 ways.

Here is more detail on Point #1. This is a personal anecdote about Point #1. Here is more detail on Point #2. This is a personal anecdote about Point #2. Here is more detail on Point #3. This is a personal anecdote about Point #3.

Thank you for taking the time to hear my concerns. As one of your supporters who voted for you in the last election, I hope you will take this into consideration. Just like you, I am a [insert common interest here], so you can see how important this issue is for your voters.


[Signature if printed / handwritten]

Your Name [Printed]

Your Title

Your Tag [email address or phone number or website. Do NOT insert a quote and only include your website if it is professional or relevant]

Enclosures/Attachement (#) [If you are including an attachment or additional paper documents]

Typist Initials [if someone else typed this for you, your two intitials go first in caps, then the typist's intials in lowercase, i.e. SD/mp].

© PMA 2008