Letter Writing

You can make change happen. It's as easy as writing a letter. 

Letters can be a useful tool to alert and educate legislators. After a bill has been introduced, letters
should be written and sent to the author. Once the bill has been scheduled for a policy committee
hearing, it should be sent to the chair of that committee, as well as members of the committee and
your local legislator and should be sent preferably at least one week before the hearing. A letter
from the organization also is sent to the committee office, so that it can appear in the analysis, as a
“support” or “oppose”. Individuals can also send them to the committee office, and individual letters
are listed in the analysis, by number of individuals. The analysis is very important because this is
usually what legislators and staff actually read. There are times when a bill is scheduled very
quickly and there may not be a week’s time to get your letter in. Faxing your letter can speed the
process but at key times, the fax lines are pretty busy.
This process needs to be repeated every time the bill moves to a different committee or to the floor.
It is very important that the letter refer to the most recent version of the bill. If your position on the
bill changes, because of amendments, it is also very important to let the author and committee
members know, as well.

When you are writing your letter:
· Include the bill number, author and a brief description of the bill
· State your issue and background facts
· Your position and what you want to happen
· Be brief and succinct, but still be able to get all of your points across
· Be specific about how the legislation would affect your community or your practice
· Share any expertise and explain your connection to the subject
· Be positive and do not ask for the impossible
· Address your letter with proper titles
· Sign your full name and give your complete address and telephone number