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Wednesday, February 15, 2006LOBBYING BY LETTER
LOBBYING BY LETTER
Letters are important, even critical to influence legislation. Letters to the writer's own Senator or Representative are especially important.
Here are some guidelines to follow in writing effective letters.
1. Address the letter correctly.
(Note: because of security related to 9/11, it is best to email your letters- you can find the email address of your U.S. Senator or Representative )
Always put the Honorable Senator ____ or the Honorable Representative ____ in your introduction.
2. Clearly identify the issue about which you are writing and your position, in support or in opposition at the beginning of the letter. Be sure to include the bill number, if there is one.
3 .Write in your own words and include thoughts of your own. Tell how the problem and the proposed legislation affects you.
4. If you are a member of an organization which is pursuing the issue, include the organization's name. "I'm a member of the National Nursing Network Organization."
5. Show as mucyh knowledge as you can, but avoid sending a postcard or form letter.
Handwritten letters are fine if they are legible. Include your name and return address so legislators can respond.
6. Write briefly, on only one subject at a time.
7. If you live in the legislator's district, be sure to say so.
8. Ask for a response and the legislator's position on the issue.
9. If you don't get a reply to your letter, follow it up with another letter asking for a response.
10. When a legislator votes as you asked, send a thank-you note. A thank-you is a refreshing change that is likely to be remembered.