Writing to Your Legislator

Checklist for Writing a Letter

Four Keys

  • 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,

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