SAMPLE LETTER TO YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS
The sample letter below is provided to show the correct format for addressing your State Senator. It is
impossible to provide one letter that would meet the needs of all students; so, you will need to personalize
your letter to address your concerns or issues regarding legislation. Please use the left-hand column as a
guide for the format, but make the letter unique to your needs!
City, CA Zip Code
Elected Official’s Address
The Honorable [Insert Name]
Dear Elected Official [Insert Title and Last Name]:
My name is [Insert Your Name] and I reside at [Insert Your Address] in
[Insert Your City], California. I am a student attending [Insert Your
your name, address and
school to identify that you
are a constituent
I am writing you to ask that you help make ….
[Be specific with your suggestion, idea or request.
Why are you writing your writing about a specific Bill, include the Bill Number Elected Official?
for example, H. 5400 or. S. 2815]
If you are
I appreciate your help and ask that you please send me a response
letting me know if you are able to pass a Bill that would make our...
Ask for a response
Thank you for your time and considering my request.
Thank your Elected Official
for his/her time
[Insert Your Name]
Closing with your name
So, you're going to write your Congressman? Good idea. Make it a good letter.
By Robert Longley
People who think members of Congress pay little or no attention to constituent mail, are plain wrong.
Concise, well thought out personal letters are one of the most effective ways Americans have of
influencing law-makers. But, members of Congress get hundreds of letters and emails every day.
Whether you choose to use the Postal Service or email, here are some tips that will help your letter have
It's usually best to send letters to the representative from your local Congressional District or the
senators from your state. Your vote helps elect them -- or not -- and that fact alone carries a lot of
weight. It also helps personalize your letter. Sending the same "cookie-cutter" message to every
member of Congress may grab attention but rarely much consideration.
Keep it Simple
Your letter should address a single topic or issue. Typed, one-page letters are best. Many PACs (Political
Action Committees) recommend a three-paragraph letter structured like this:
1. Say why you are writing and who you are. List your "credentials." (If you want a response, you must
include your name and address, even when using email.)
2. Provide more detail. Be factual not emotional. Provide specific rather than general information
about how the topic affects you and others. If a certain bill is involved, cite the correct title or
number whenever possible.
3. Close by requesting the action you want taken: a vote for or against a bill, or change in general
The best letters are courteous, to the point, and include specific supporting examples.
Addressing Members of Congress
To Your Senator:
The Honorable (full name)
(Room #) (Name) Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
To Your Representative:
The Honorable (full name)
(Room #) (Name) House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
The above addresses should be used in email messages, as well as those sent through the Postal
Finding Their Addresses
U.S. Senators (web sites and mailing addresses)
Write Your U.S. Representative (A service of the House that will assist you by identifying your
Congressperson in the U.S. House of Representatives and providing contact information.
Contact Information - US Supreme Court
The Justices do not have email addresses, but they do read letters from citizens.
Here are some key things you should always and never do in writing to your elected representatives.
1. Be courteous and respectful without "gushing."
2. Clearly and simply state the purpose of your letter. If it's about a certain bill, identify it correctly.
If you need help in finding the number of a bill, use the Thomas Legislative Information System.
3. Say who you are. Anonymous letters go nowhere. Even in email, include your correct name,
address, phone number and email address. If you don't include at least your name and address,
you will not get a response.
4. State any professional credentials or personal experience you may have, especially those
pertaining to the subject of your letter.
5. Keep your letter short -- one page is best.
6. Use specific examples or evidence to support your position.
7. State what it is you want done or recommend a course of action.
8. Thank the member for taking the time to read your letter.
1. Use vulgarity, profanity, or threats. The first two are just plain rude and the third one can get
you a visit from the Secret Service. Simply stated, don't let your passion get in the way of making
2. Fail to include your name and address, even in email letters.
3. Demand a response.
Cite these legislation identifiers when writing to members of Congress:
House Bills: "H.R._____"
House Resolutions: "H.RES._____"
House Joint Resolutions: "H.J.RES._____"
Senate Bills: "S._____"
Senate Resolutions: "S.RES._____"
Senate Joint Resolutions: "S.J.RES._____"
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