How to write a letter to a Public Official
City, State ZIP
The Honorable [Name of Official]
Dear [Title and Name],
How does one write and effectively communicate an issue that they feel strongly about to a powerful leader? The key lies in balancing ones emotions with a clear, concise, well-structured letter that includes an introduction, supported arguments, and a conclusion.
Perhaps the hardest part is narrowing your topic to one or two main points, and then creating logically progressing arguments that support each point. As you structure your arguments, use facts, statistics, and quotes by experts to make your case. Remember that you want an elected official’s support, so you must convince him/her to act!
As you begin the letter, briefly introduce your topic and key points. If you are writing about a dated event or upcoming vote, identify it and briefly include all pertinent information. Never personally attack the official, other individuals, or groups, and refrain from profane language. It detracts from your letter and renders it ineffective.
Upon presenting your arguments, complete a brief review of your points and end with a strongly worded statement of what you want to achieve.
Type the letter on one page and include your name, return address, and telephone, fax, or e-mail number, and your signature.
A powerful letter to an official is short, concise, and balances emotion with logic and well-supported arguments. Be proud to sign your letter and know that you have made an important contribution to the democratic process.