Corresponding With Your Elected Representatives
As Americans we are blessed with the freedoms and rights that come from our representative democracy. Our elected officials are expected to be representatives of the people, the public in whose interest they are to serve. To this end, it is essential that they receive feedback from their constituency.
Use your own personal stationery or personal email account. Business stationary or business emails should only be used if you're representing that company’s position. A hand written letter is always welcome provided your writing is legible.
You should refer to a legislator as "The Honorable" on both the envelope and inside address. For the salutation, "Dear Senator" or "Dear Representative" is appropriate.
Remember to provide your return address on both the envelope and letter; it is also acceptable to give your phone number, though most responses are written. If you have an e-mail address, you may want to include it too.
It's best to limit your letter to one subject and if at all possible one page. If your letter deals with a specific bill, try to include its number in your letter.
Be polite! It's fine to express disapproval, but do so in a respectful manner, never insulting or abusive.
Remember to write thank you letters when you get a response, it's a simple courtesy that will set your letters apart from others.
Above all, stay informed! Your thoughts matter and our elected officials need your opinions in order to make important decisions on your behalf.
Do you agree with Cyril Wecht, who says the Pittsburgh mayoral race has gotten so negative it's adversely affecting voters' ability to make a decision on who to support? <More Info>
Former Allegheny County Commissioner and Coroner Cyril Wecht says he's never seen a Pittsburgh mayoral campaign as negative as this one. He says the negativity is keeping voters from hearing about the issues so they can make a good decision on who to support.
Do you think the comparisons between Obama and Nixon are appropriate?