Checklist for Writing a Letter
- Be brief.
- Be legible.
- Be polite.
- Be timely.
Write the right legislator at the right time. You want your letter to reach a decision-maker right before they vote on the issue. Responding quickly to organizational alerts is crucial.
Dos and Don’ts
- Do keep your letter to a single page and single subject.
- Don’t write your letter after a vote. Your letter counts beforehand.
- Do identify yourself. Make sure your name and address appear on the letter; envelopes get tossed. If you use letterhead, have a reason for doing so. If appropriate, cite your involvement or title with the organization.
- Do use bill numbers if you have them.
- Don’t use form letters. Once you have the basic facts, write the letter in your own words.
- Do ask for a response. How will you vote? What is your opinion on the issue? What information do you need?
- Do send a copy of your letter and any response to your organization.
- Don’t expect an immediate reply.
How to Address the Letter
Senator Jane Smith Representative Bob Brown
Minnesota State Senate Minnesota House of Representatives
St. Paul, MN 55155 St. Paul, MN 55155
Dear Senator Smith, Dear Representative Brown,