Virtual Letter Writing Event

On Mar 23 - we held a virtual letter writing event. Click on the video to learn how to effectively reach out to your legislator.

 

The Importance of Writing Your Legislator

Representatives have a lot of constituents in districts that span urban/rural divides, income disparities, and a myriad of interests. Daily, they are faced with multiple issues from public safety, to the budget, to healthcare. Since representatives and their average staff members cannot be experts on every issue, providing them with a clear, concise, and actionable position makes their job of representing your interests easier.

Taking the time to establish a relationship with your representative establishes you as a thoughtful constituent. If you really want to get involved, send a letter once a quarter about an issue that is important to you, but not urgent. That way, when a truly urgent or hot button issue for you comes up, your opinion may be considered with added value.

If once a quarter seems too daunting, don’t worry. Writing once in a blue moon about something vital to you is also effective.

When you contact your legislator, they assume you represent many voices in their community (i.e. voters)

The Three Branches of Goverment

white house
Executive

Executive

Headed by the President. Enforces the laws.

Example: Spends the Budget

capitol-2
Legislative

Legislative

US House of Representatives and US Senate. Writes the laws. 

Example: The Budget.

justice-1
Judicial

Judicial

Headed by the Supreme Court. Interprets the laws.

Example: Is the budget Constitutional? 

What to Say. Be Clear. Be Concise. Be Respectful.

  1. Present one issue at a time. Provide a clear yes/no stand on this issue.
    Back up your stand with a maximum of three arguments
  2. Introduce yourself.
    • State you live in their district
    • State your qualifications to speak on the issue (if you have them)
    • State group memberships (if applicable)
  3. Provide a connection to the issue
    • A personal story about how the issue affects you
      OR
    • How this affects the community / state
  4. Provide a personal connection (if possible)
    • I voted for you
    • I met you at a BBQ
    • I also play baseball
  5. Remember to sign your name and address – anonymous letters are never personal, and they might go under a “watch list” for security concerns. This is not a good thing.
  6. Be passionate. Show you care. Do not go overboard.
    Good: “Tire dumps are a danger to our environment and cause a myriad of health problems. It breaks my heart that good people with chronic health problems are not able to contribute as they want.”
    Bad: “If we don’t stop all tire dumps, people will die, and their suffering and death will be ON YOUR HEAD!!!”

Samples and Templates

Sample Post Card

Dear Rep X.

Please support programs to curb illegal dumping. Illegal dumps harm the local community by causing diseases that keep people out of work. I want my community to prosper and everyone to reach their full potential.

Thank you for your time,
Vicky Voter
District 12, Your Town, Zip Code
(for security - you don’t have to list your full address if you don’t want to)

Click on the Post Card below to download a template to fill and print. (From our friends at EScAN)

Science Post Card Template

Sample Letter or Email

Dear Rep X,

I am Vicky Voter, and I live in your district.

I ask you to support programs to reduce illegal tire dumping. This is important because tire dumps have been shown to cause chronic health problems in nearby communities. The standing water attracts vermin that carry disease. The runoff waste seeps into the local farmland and water sources.

My Aunt Louise lives near an unregulated tire dump. She now has chronic asthma. The fumes inflame her symptoms. After too many sick days, she lost her job and is now on disability. She has worked all her life as a teacher. She loved helping people. Now she can no longer do the things she loves. Not only is she suffering, but her local community has lost out on a terrific teacher.

[OR Tire dumps are often located near low-income neighborhoods. Residents develop chronic diseases and cannot work, further sliding into economic vulnerability. Think of all the people who want to work, who could be making their communities better, and the opportunities lost.]

I voted for you last fall, in part, because of your platform about getting people back to work.
Thank you for your time,

Sincerely,
Vicky Voter
123 Main St, Your Town, State
vivky@fakeemailaddress

Sample Tweet

@REPX - Please vote "yes" on BILL 7324

 

CAUTION: Your tweet history is an open book. Be mindful of your post history.

What Happens to Your Message?

Specific Issue or Bill

Your opinion is added to a "yes" vs. "no" tally.
It is very important to be clear on your yes or no opinion.

Long Term Issue

Filed under "constituent concerns"
Address one issue, provide one action.
Provide a method to follow-up with you.

How to Find Your Legislator

Register to Vote & Check Your Status

USA.gov has links to online registration and voter status for 39 states plus DC.

In Honor of Earth Month - Environmentally Relevant Topics

Georgia - Coal Ash Regulation

 

Coal Ash is Georgia is less regulated then household garbage.

 

 

National - Suspension of EPA Reulations During COVID-19

The EPA is suspending enforcement during COVID-19. The rule-change is open-ended.

National - EPA Rule Change Eliminates Ethics

A rule change on the science used in guiding regulations would elminate the use of ethical science.

Georgia - Titanium Drilling in the Okefenokee

A nebulous drilling permit bypasses needed public comment and scientific study.

GA/National - Science Advisory Panel

Join Sci4Ga in exploring the creation of a science panel to interact with policy makers.