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Wichita County Democratic Party

women hand casting a vote

  Writing to Elected Officials

It is important that we tell elected officials where we stand on issues. Our input can help shape
public policy. These tips will help you write a persuasive letter or email.

Keep it short and direct. Limit a letter if you can to no more than 1-2 pages and one issue. An
email should be concise and to the point. Limit your words.

Identify yourself and the issue. In the first paragraph of your message state who you are and
the issue about which you are writing. If you are referring to a specific resolution, bill, or topic
pertinent to a council or legislative meeting, note that in your first paragraph.

Focus on your main points. Choose the three strongest points to support your argument and
develop them clearly. Officials like bullets as they are a quick read and easy to reference.

Use factual support for your position rather than saying that you like or dislike something. But
at the same time, do not send officials lengthy reports to read as they often don’t have the
time to do so. If you send a document, summarize it with a cover sheet or flag the most
important pages of interest.

Make it personal. Tell your official why the issue matters to you and how it affects you, your
family, and your community. Make a connection to that official. Did you vote for him or her?
Did you contribute to the campaign?

Be clear and specific about what you are asking or what you want them to do.
Ask for a reply. Include your name and address in your message or in your letter and on the

Trust your voice. Be polite, take a firm position but don’t be overly aggressive. Be confident in
your understanding of the issue – remember that often an official may know less than you
about a subject.

Thank elected officials for their consideration or their supporting vote.
Note the following salutations: Dear Mayor (name) or Dear Commissioner (name), Dear
Senator (last name) or Dear Representative (last name).

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