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How To Write Your Legislator PDF Print E-mail


TIPS ON WRITING YOUR LEGISLATOR

Ray Holman, Legislative Liaison

Legislators are making decisions every day which affect state employees and their families decisions on inflation, taxes, education, fair wages, consumer and environmental protection; department budgets, privatization efforts and work rules for state employees.

Legislators are hearing from the Chamber of Commerce, bankers, corporations and other special interest groups who don’t have your best interest in mind.

Legislators respond much better to workers’ concerns when they know that you care about their voting records all the time, not just during election year. The best way to let them know you care is by writing. You elected them, so you should tell them what you think. Send them a message. Then the next time they vote, they can’t say they didn’t hear from the workers.

The following tips can help you write more effective letters to your legislators.

1. Address it properly.

Your legislators can be contacted at the following address:

STATE SENATOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE
The Honorable (full name) State Senator /State Representative
State Capitol
PO Box 30036/ PO Box 30014
Lansing, Michigan 48909-7536 Lansing, Michigan 48909-7514

Dear Senator (last name)/Dear Representative (last name)

 

2. Identify yourself.

Make sure you mention you’re a Local 6000 Member and include your name and address on the letter. A letter cannot be answered if there is no return address or the signature is not legible.

3. Be specific.

When writing about legislation, use the bill number or the title if you know them. If not, briefly describe the issue that concerns you.

4. Be timely.

Write to your legislator while there is still time to take effective action. A letter that arrives after a vote has already been cast will not do any good.

5. Explain your position.

One thoughtful, factual, and well-reasoned letter carries more weight than 100 form letters or printed postcards. As a worker, say in your own words how the bill or amendment will affect you. Don’t forget that a bill can change as it moves through the legislative process. So urge your legislator to oppose crippling amendments or support strengthening ones.

6. Be brief.

Write about one bill or issue at a time. Don’t drag on or write a laundry list of legislative problems. A one page letter will surely be read and is always the most effective.

7. Ask for a response.

Urge your legislator to take a specific action, support or oppose a bill, cosponsor an amendment or whatever action you would like taken. Request a reply to your letter. This information will be helpful to the efforts of the Local 6000. If possible, please send Local 6000 a copy of your letter along with any response received from your legislature.

Once you’ve taken the time to write a letter-don’t forget to mail it right away. Remember, the timeliness of your communication is as important as what you’ve written.

 

 
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