A letter is one of the best ways to communication with elected officials and policymakers. The more personalized it is, the more your opinion will be taken into account. A handwritten letter has more weight than a typed letter, which has more weight than an email. The longer it takes you to write the letter, the more value it has to your representative.

A Carrier Pidgeon.

Did you know?

Each letter sent to an elected official is counted and informs their understanding about the priorities of the people they represent. No matter how a message comes in—by phone, e-mail, fax, or carrier pigeon—it is entered into a program known as a constituent-management system, and counted.

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Step 1

Identify the Recipient

Use our action guide to find priority issues and contact information, or use a tool to search for your representatives.

Step 2

Write your Letter

Write your letter using the guidelines below. If you’re writing about an issue from our action guide, start with the suggested scripts that we’ve written, or craft your letter in your own words using the talking points that we’ve provided. Take the time to write a constructive, fact based letter using your best handwriting. Do your best to keep your letter to one page.

Guidelines for Writing an Effective Letter

Be Direct

State your subject clearly in the subject line or first sentence of the letter. Focus on only one issue for each letter you send.

Be Factual

Stick to the facts more than emotion, but personalize your letter. Explain how the issue affects your life. Stay away from personal attacks, threats or demands.

Be Informative

Identify yourself as a constituent. State your views support them with facts. When appropriate, cite the bill number of relevant legislation.

Be Constructive

Be positive and recommend how you want the individual to address issues. Find common ground and mention previous positive actions the individual has taken in the past.

Be Inquiring

Ask for the recipient’s point of view and how they plan to act. Expect an answer to a letter, though it may be a form response. Replies vary by the office.

Be Appreciative

Remember to thank individuals for their attention. Follow the issue and thank them later if they act on the issue.

Step 3

Tell us about your letter!

Let us know who your wrote to, and what your letter was about and we’ll send you a special sticker to thank you for speaking out!

Learn from your letters and pay attention to what gets the best response. Becoming an effective voice for endangered killer whales requires practice and reflection.