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Writing a Letter to a Legislator/Politician

When writing a letter to a legislator or politician, you must have the correct address. Here are some examples when sending to a national representative or senator.

For Your Senator: For Your House Representative:

The Honorable (full name) The Honorable (full name)
(Rm. Number) (Name) Senate Office Building (Rm. Number) (Name) House Office Building
United States Senate United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510 Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Senator (last name): Dear Representative (last name):

 

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 policy.

The best letters are courteous, to the point, and include specific supporting examples.

 

From: http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/letterscongress.htm

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Advocacy in Politics

 

Advocacy is part of your role as a professional nurse. AORN has created an excellent Advocacy handbook that can be accessed by AORN members on the Governmental Affairs section of the AORN website at https://www.aorn.org/government-affairs/advocacy-tools. Here are some of the general tips of advocacy taken from this handbook:

 

 Be respectful. Address the legislator by their title (Senator, Representative, Assemblyman, etc.) and avoid becoming visibly or verbally upset.

 

 Create a buffer. Focus on the issue and not the politics. Do not feel as if you cannot communicate with a legislator because he or she holds a different political party affiliation.

 

 Be concise. Keep conversations short and simple. Stick to key messages provided to you by AORN or your state nurses association.

 

 Use everyday language. Avoid professional jargon.

 

 Use personal stories. Connect key messages and important facts with a short personal story about the issue at hand. Stories are what legislators will remember.

 

 Do not forget the ask. 添our ask is what action you want the legislator to take. Are you asking them to support, oppose, or amend a bill? Do you want them to place a bill on the calendar? Do you want them to connect you with someone else? This is the most important part of communication with legislators, but it is often forgotten.

 

 Repeat, Repeat, Repeat. Reinforce the key messages, facts, and 土our ask by mentioning them several times.

 

 Thank the staff and elected official.