As you’ve likely seen on social media in the last several weeks, there has been a virtual flood of information being shared about how to contact elected officials asking for change. And, while it has been suggested that phone calls – or showing up in person to town hall events – might be among the most effective strategies, there is still something to be said about the art of written persuasion.
If you’re feeling a bit of writer’s block when it comes to drafting a letter or email to a government official, don’t worry – there are plenty of sources to help:
Don’t know the proper form of address for this official? The Emily Post institute has got you covered.
Don’t know the specifics of the policy? Many government websites like congress.gov allow you to search for and read up on the needed information in a variety of ways.
Don’t know where to start? Here’s an easy-to-follow student example with step-by-step explanations from the South Carolina Legislature website.
Don’t know what to look for as you edit? The National Education Association offers these specific suggestions for writing to legislators. Pay particular attention to the suggestion to keep it brief – remember, these legislators are quite busy! Also, as we’ve said before, sometimes the simplest, most direct language might be best.
Good luck – your letter could help make a difference!