How to Write to Your Elected Officials
When writing an elected public official, please keep in mind these simple tips to make your letter more effective.
- Write only to the elected officials that serve you and the area you live
- Keep each letter simple and short - write about only one topic/issue per letter and keep the letter no longer than one page
- Be polite and courteous
- Clearly identify yourself and the issue/bill you are writing about
- Be specific and include examples to support your position
Below is a template you can follow when writing to your elected public officials:
The Honorable (Full Name)
Michigan House of Representatives (or) Michigan State Senate
P.O. Box 30014 (or) P.O. Box 30036 for Senators
Lansing, MI 48909
Dear Representative (or) Senator (Insert Last Name),
The first paragraph should include information about you and your topic. You should indicate your name, what city/township/village you live in and that you are a constituent of the Representative or Senator. Then specify what bill or issue you are concerned about. This paragraph should be no more than 3-4 sentences.
In the second paragraph, describe what the bill or issue is and why you support or oppose it. If you are discussing a specific bill, make sure to use the correct bill number. If you are using a personal experience to describe how a bill or issue affects you, make sure all of your details are relevant, concise and factual. Remember to always discuss how the bill affects constituents in the Representative’s or Senator’s district. The length of this paragraph may depend on the complexity of the bill or issue. Try to stay within the range of 5-8 sentences.
In this paragraph, state what action you would like the Representative or Senator to take (i.e. support or oppose the bill/issue you mentioned above). For action on specific bills, state the name and bill number and what position you would like the Representative or Senator to take. Your entire letter should be no more than one page. Last but not least, always remember to thank the Representative or Senator for his or her time! Be sure to include your phone number, as some legislators may call you directly to discuss the issue.