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How To Write Your First Letter

Step 1: Choose Your Issues

Make a list of up to 5 issues that affect you or that you care about. You are fine to have less than 5 topics but keeping within that limit allows you to provide adequate attention and advocacy for each issue in your first run of letters.

Step 2: Research Your Issues

A tested, well sourced knowledge base is the foundation to any good argument. You need to clear up any misconceptions you have on your issue as well as understand opposing arguments.

You need to be solid on your ideas and informed on the facts before you can represent them to others. Nothing will substitute for a good google search and deep dive into your topics of interest. Take a day for each of your issues and get a good understanding of your topic, and what you want done about it. Some things to know are:

  • What is the history of your issue?

  • Where did it begin and how?

  • Is anyone perpetuating the issue?

  • Who is being helped and harmed by the issue?

  • What solutions are there to your issue?

  • Is anyone addressing it in a way you see as adequate?

Step 3: Find the people who affect your issue

Now that you have your issues and the facts about what needs to be done, we endeavor to find those with the power to do something about it and contact them. Here is a link to get you started.

Begin with local officials, leaders and groups. They have a great impact on your life a you have the greatest access to them. Depending on your issue, the people whom you need to contact can vary. Come up with a strategy of who to communicate with in the chain of command to begin escalating your issue and allowing your message to be seen by the most powerful people who can do something about it.

While you will start local, you focus is to raise your issue as high as it can go. At the same time, by including local officials and engaging them, you allow for a groundswell of support for your topic to form and support you.

Step 4: Write your letters

Your goal here is to write 100 letters to officials in your governing bodies that possess some influence or control over your issue. If you have 5 issues, you can write 20 letters per issue. And since the letters are on the same subject, they can mirror one another heavily.

It is useful to tailor each letter to the official you are contacting in an effort to personalize the letter. You can do so by performing a cursory search about them and their stance on this issue. By speaking directly to them about the impact they have on your issue and what you want done about it, you help to color their thinking and rational on the subject matter. Or at the least, you put them on notice that you are aware of their stance and are dissatisfied.

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