How to Write a Letter or Email to Your Elected Official

How to Write a Letter or Email to Your Elected Official

Tips on Writing Your Legislator


Writing a letter or email to your elected official is an easy and powerful way to make your opinions known to those who represent you in government. Choosing to write a letter or an email allows you to clearly articulate your position without having to worry about what to say on the spot. 

Letter or Email? 

If you plan to contact your elected official about a time-sensitive issue, you will want to email your elected official. But let's say there is no urgency and you just want to express your opinion about an issue or a piece of legislation that's been introduced. In this case, you can either send an email or write a plain old-fashioned letter. 

When writing your letter, you want to make sure your message is in your own words so that it sticks out from the hundreds of letters that your elected official receives on a daily basis. Here are some tips to help get you started! 

1. Personalize Your Correspondence 

First, be sure to personalize your correspondence. Write neatly so your message can be clearly understood. Next, target your elected official. Legislators only care about the views of those they represent and those who will decide whether or not they get reelected. 

Their Constituent

Also, be specific! Refer to a specific bill number and name or a specific local ordinance. Focus on one topic per letter and keep your letter to one page, or your email to no more than two or three short paragraphs. 

In a Capitol Hill office, there are different staffers responsible for helping the legislator with different issues, if your letter addresses multiple subject matters, it will be impossible for one legislative assistant to respond to them all. 

2. Acknowledge Your Legislator's Position

If you already know how your legislator has acted on the issue in the past, mention it, if his or her position is an agreement with yours, be sure to say thank you.If not, still express your opinion but always in a courteous respectful way. Illustrate the local impact of the issue, mention how it will affect you, your family, your business or your community, your call to action is asking for your legislator’s support on the issue or on a bill. The most effective approach is to always ask them to co-sponsor the bill. 

3. Ask For a Response 

Finally, always ask for a response. As a constituent, you deserve that feedback. If you don't hear back after a couple of weeks, call the office to follow up.

Being an effective grassroots advocate is easy with the right information. Here at Act for America, we want to be sure you have all you need to do so. Thank you again for watching and for all that you do to help make us safer.