Writing to Legislators
Legislators need to know the opinions of constituents to serve their districts effectively. To make your voice heard, you should contact your elected representatives by letter, e-mail or fax on key issues that affect you personally and/or professionally. Ideally, you should use a combination of all three ways of communicating, until you learn your legislator's preferred method of communication. Individualized letters or emails can be an effective way to communicate with legislators.
When writing a letter, use your own words using examples from your practice, your patients and your community. Identify yourself early in the letter, including the fact that you are a constituent and that you are writing on behalf of other individuals, if applicable. Give the reason for your letter and refer to the specific legislation in the first or second paragraph. Don’t use only the bill number; include a reference to the topic.
Explain how the issue in question directly affects you, your practice, your patients or your community. Use as many relevant facts as possible and back them up with sources, if available. Also try to be specific about the action you want your legislator to tale, whether it’s voting one way or another on legislation, expressing views on an issue, or sending you information. Also try to keep you letter short. Concentrate on only one issue in your letter. When writing to a member of Congress, send a copy of your letter to your legislator’s home district office. If possible, use either personal or business stationary that indicates your return address and telephone number.
The proper way to address a letter to a state legislator is as follows:
The Honorable John Doe
Ohio House of Representatives
77 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43266-0603
The Honorable Jane Smith
Senate Office Building
Columbus, OH 43215-4276
Dear Representative Doe (Senator Smith):