Letter Writing for Service
Letter writing is an excellent way to engage in your community, show support for those in need, and be heard. To do so effectively (and receive service hours credit for it) you will need to educate yourself about a topic you are passionate about, choose the correct person to receive your letter, and express yourself well using your own thoughts and words. There are some instructions on letter writing for advocacy below. Once you write your letter, email a copy to [email protected] and then mail the original to its intended recipient.
The following has been adapted from AAPPD.org with permission.
How to Write an Email or Letter to an Elected Official/Community Leader
Elected officials rely on citizens to help keep them apprised of what is taking place in their constituency. Working with and getting to know lawmakers and other officials and familiarizing them with your concerns allows them to advocate for those they are tasked with representing.
Here are seven items you should always include in communications with elected officials and community leaders:
- Let the legislator know you are a constituent in their district.
- Let them know that you have been paying attention to their work on your issue (that you appreciate their support or would like to ask them for their support).
- Craft a personal story to support your ask and use personal examples to support your position.
- When you share personal information about yourself, only provide the information you are comfortable sharing;
- Many elected officials and community leaders place a high value on empirical data – that is, information or facts that can be backed up by actual documents or studies. Be sure that you are using information that is factual and relevant (can you back it up and does it apply to the current day.)
- If there are less pertinent issues that require more explanation, but affect you, be sure to briefly reference those topics as well.
- Thank the elected official for consideration of your issues. Say that you look forward to working with them on the issue.
Don’t worry if you don’t receive an immediate response to your communications. Many elected or community leaders have busy schedules and numerous requests for their time. Communicating with elected officials and community leaders can be intimidating. Remember, you have valuable information to provide and they may not be up to speed on your issue and how it affects your community.
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