TIPS ON WRITING A LETTER TO A LEGISLATOR
Always be sure you are contacting the proper person. Don’t start a letter by saying that you live in someone’s district unless you are sure that you do.
Keep your letters personal, but be concise. Tell your story as plainly as possible. Get your point across fully, but remember there are many pieces of mail received every day. A short personal story will be much better remembered than a long-winded tale.
Always be clear about what you want. Ask someone to vote yes or no on a particular bill, rather than just saying the bill matters to you. If there is not a specific bill you are concerned about, but you want support for a specific issue, be as clear as possible about your position on the subject.
Never lie about whether or not you voted. Legislators can check this information and lying will undermine your efforts to be taken seriously.
Following these tips will get you started in writing letters that are memorable and effective. Do not worry about sounding professional. Remember, elected officials work for members of the public, so they need to hear from all of us!
Here are some helpful links regarding legislation:
Library of Congress
This site can be used to track federal legislation. Printable versions of bills are also available.
PA General Assembly
This site can be used to track Pennsylvania state legislation.
PA Power Port
This is the site for the state of Pennsylvania. You can use this site to find your state and federal legislators by clicking on the “Contact Your Legislators” link and following the prompts.
Polling Places in Allegheny County