How to Write a Letter to a Government Official By Brooke Julia ; Updated June 25, How to Write a Letter to a Government Official Your neighborhood is backed up every morning with commuters desperately trying to get to work, and you're convinced the solution is a traffic light. Or you're confused by the mud-slinging during the latest campaign, and you want to know just where an official stands before you vote again.
Learn how elected officials react to constituent communications, and how to create both printed and electronic communications to maximize reading and positive response.
What is a letter to an elected official? Why write to elected officials? When should you write letters to elected officials? How do you write to public officials? Should you use e-mail? By now you are probably looking for ways to get your issue noticed by people who have the power to help you.
To get the best results, you will probably want to try several of the direct action methods discussed in this chapter. In this section, we will show you the best way to write a letter to your elected officials.
A well-written personal letter may be the most effective way to communicate with elected officials. They want to know how their constituents feel about issues, especially when those issues involve decisions made by them. Your elected officials usually know what advocacy groups are saying about an issue, but they may not understand how a particular decision affects you.
A well-written letter describing your experiences, observations, and opinions may help persuade an official in your favor. Until a short time ago, you had two options if you wanted to contact an elected official: In the last several years, e-mail has been added and become the medium of choice.
Any guidelines for writing letters in this section — the style to use, the information to include — apply to e-mail as well. A political communication, to be taken seriously, should send the message that you care enough about the subject to take some care in writing about it.
In the days before e-mail, officials generally considered letters more important than phone calls, because they took more thought and effort. A proper e-mail letter carries the same message — this person has really thought about this, and has put some work into sending his opinion.
To explain to an official how a particular issue affects you or your group. To express support for a proposed law, policy, or course of action. To oppose a proposed law, policy, or course of action. To demonstrate to an official that his constituents are aware of an issue and have a real interest in the outcome.
To inform an official about an issue or situation, giving background and history that she may not have. To attempt to persuade an official to vote in a certain way on an issue, or to take other related action.
To build your reputation as a thoughtful person in the eyes of the officials, and thus make your criticism or support more influential, or to put yourself in the position of the person to be consulted when the official needs information about your issue.
To request a meeting to discuss the issue or some related matter of concern. To thank an official for support given, or action taken.
To criticize an official for a past vote or action. To put an official on notice that you and your group are watching his actions, and that he needs to take your votes into account at election time. To ask an official to state her position on a particular issue, or to reveal her voting record.
To ask for help or support. When would you want to write that letter? Whenever an issue arises that concerns your group, but especially when: You want an official to consider a certain action or policy e.Misspelling a name or using the wrong designation -- Mr.
Haley instead of Governor Haley, for example -- can detract a great deal from the seriousness of your letter. Good Beginnings. A formal salutation is appropriate for a letter written to a government official, such as, "Dear Governor Charles" or "Dear Senator Richardson," followed by a colon.
You might write: Close your letter. Thank the official.
Example: "Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this important matter." You might write: . Sample Letter to Elected Officials Sample Letter to Representative or Senator Date Your Name Your Address Your City, State, Zipcode Your E-mail Your Phone Number The Honorable_____ House of Representatives or United States Senate Office Address of Representative or Senator.
A letter-writing tactic that can be particularly effective is a letter-writing campaign, where dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people write either to the same official (if they’re all in, or somehow represent people who are in, her district) or to many officials about a specific vote, policy, or budget item.
A Letter to Government Official is a formal way to voice your concerns to a public officer. Be it your congressman, governor, or the President - public servants are accustomed to hearing the voices of their constituents, but that's no reason to be informal. SAMPLE LETTER Requesting access or copy of a public record Date Public Official or Agency Address City, Indiana Zip Code delivered personally to the public official’s office, the agency has 24 hours to respond to the respond to the request.) If you choose to deny the request, you are required to respond in writing.