Handbook for Protests, Demonstrations & Focused Communications
Chapter 4
Electronic Activism
Write To Your Representatives
see also: Contacting Elected Officials
& How To Tips: Sample Letter

RadioTVNewspapers | Chat Rooms & NewsGroups | Representatives

The anthrax problem in Washington D.C. has provided a new opportunity.  In most cases, federal representatives are now accepting e-mail instead of mail.

Remember: You will be required to provide your name, address and phone number.  Responses will be by mail.

Your mail and email to your representatives is more like voting than actually communicating.  In most cases, the point of your message is recorded as a vote on one side or other of any given issue, and a "position response" or "faq" response is sent back to you in reply.

This is a very reasonable process.  Vote often. For each communication from a constituent, reps project it to represent the view of hundreds of people.  Identifying with a group and identifying a website may add to the credibility and weight of your communication to them. Write to the President, Senators and U.S. Representatives.

We've provided an example of what a letter to a federal representative should look like.  Always be courteous, state your position, pose a reasonable question as to their position, and request a response. Inform them that you are a registered voter.

But don't stop there.  State and local representatives are even more concerned with your views.  If they determine that their districts have a particular view on a particular issue, they'll be much more receptive to voicing that view.

Remember that elected officials are not your enemies, they are your friends. And they are, after all, mere mortals like you and I.  Most offiicials are people who do what they do because they honestly want to make a positive difference. To be someone who does some good.

The problem is the system - I'll gladly portray this as the trickle-down theory - or modernist domino theory of leadership - and these people go in fighting and get entrenched in a mire of  "good ole boy" politics and big business entitlement that is way beyond their ability to tame.

It's like an old west  town where the sheriff is the head of the mob.

see also: Contacting Elected Officials for email addresses, web sites and more