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Ways to Lobby your Elected Official

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Contrary to what some may believe, elected legislative officials DO pay attention to letters from citizens and groups. However the way in which the letter is written has much effect on how seriously it will be taken. Sending the same “generic” message to every member of Congress may grab attention but rarely thoughtful consideration.

A well written strongly worded letter is usually the best way to get your point across as well as open a door for future communication. Elected officials welcome letters and are usually open to new perspectives and approaches to upcoming issues.

So whether you chose to use US Postal Service or email to send your letter, here are some tips that will help your letter stand out.

STEP 1 – Address the letter properly.
Know your legislator’s full name and title – correct spelling and title. If you are unsure, Google it.

STEP 2 – Use Your Own Words.
Avoid using a template or generic wording; a thoughtful and factual letter carries more weight than a copy paste template letter. Also include any applicable petitions, there are powers in numbers and large groups of individuals will show how important the issue is; just the footwork alone of getting signatures is a large sign of commitment.

STEP 3- Be Clear About the Topic of Your Letter
Identify the bill or your issue of concern by referring to the bills specific number or popular title.

STEP 4 – Give Reasons for Your Opinion
Explain how the issue would affect you, your family, community or profession. Concrete expert arguments for or against a bill can often influence an official’s opinion.

STEP 5 – Closing
Always close with a request for more information; this way no matter the issue there will be a response.

In addition to your signature at the end; be sure to include your name (clearly printed or typed) home address and phone number.

For more information contact OGA
916.278.6784 | asi-oga1@saclink.csus.edu

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