Advocate Legislation • Example Letters, Plus Guides and Samples
Constituent letters that advocate specific legislation are a powerful means of persuading politicians to vote a particular way. The letters should be direct, clear, and concise.
How to write this government letter:
- Indicate whether you are writing as a private citizen or as a representative of your organization. Identify the bill you are discussing by its official name and number or by its popular name if it has one. Clearly indicate from the beginning where you stand on the issue.
- Itemize the reasons why you believe the legislation should be passed.
- Point out problems and errors in the arguments against passage of the legislation.
- Express appreciation for the legislator's service, and make a final heightened appeal for the bill's passage.
Example Letter #1
As a long-term resident of (Name of City or State), I am writing today to express my sincere hope that you will act on behalf of the best interests of your constituents by arguing and, ultimately, voting in favor of the (Name of Legislation) legislation currently under debate.
I and most of my fellow residents have appreciated the integrity and conviction of your positions in the past, and so we are confident that you will act courageously and clearly to represent the dominant perspective of your constituents at this important moment and into the future.
Example Letter #2
I am writing in support of the Uniform Tax Bill. I am a small business owner supporting five full-time employees and my own family of six. I am also a member of the middle class, which bears the largest share of the tax burden, and I am not opposed to paying my fair share. I have carefully studied the Uniform Tax Bill and I believe it would equalize the burden. The argument that those with the highest incomes would not pay their fair share simply does not hold up with this legislation. I request that you use your considerable influence in support of this Bill. Many of us are generating support at the local level. Best wishes for success--for us all.
Example Letter #3
As a member of the Life Underwriters Association, I have written you many times about issues that affect my business. Though you have not always voted the way I wanted, you have always responded to me. I ask you now to support the Doe Bill that is before Congress. This bill will increase the financial security of millions of Americans. It will do more to increase the savings rate in America than anything done in the last 50 years. Ultimately, the increased savings will lead to higher tax revenues in spite of what the opposition would have us believe. I appreciate your time and effort and strongly urge you to support this important legislation.
Example Letter #4
I am writing as a private citizen and outdoors person to urge you to vote for the Doe Bill coming before Congress this fall. This bill will increase the scant enforcement of laws regulating timber sales on public land in the upland areas of our state. In addition, it makes the timber companies more accountable to the people for the damaging methods of harvest they employ in sensitive areas. I have seen illegal clear-cuts, and I have seen slash burns destroy thousands of acres of wilderness, with no restitution made to the ultimate losers, the public. Big Timber may have the money now to fight this legislation, but with the support of forward-thinking public servants like you, we can work toward balanced, long-term solutions to our land use issues.
Example Letter #5
I am writing to express my strong support for the proposed Senate bill which would give a tax break to students who are pursuing postsecondary school training. As a small business owner I know how important education is to prepare young people for the rapidly changing world around them. And, as a parent of three, I know how expensive supporting children in college is, especially if more than one is enrolled at the same time. I believe we can make no better investment in America's future than to help our young people get the education they will need to succeed in the 21st century. Please vote in favor of this bill.
Example Letter #6
My business is located in your district and I have been one of your supporters throughout your term in office. I strongly encourage you to support House Bill 221, The Venture Capital Enhancement Act sponsored by Representative Davenport. Those of us in the high tech businesses understand how vital venture capital is to the growth of industry. Without it, we could not have enjoyed the advances in communication and medicine that we seen in the past decade.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 Indicate whether you are writing as a private citizen or as a representative of your organization. Identify the bill you are discussing by its official name and number or by its popular name if it has one. Clearly indicate from the beginning where you stand on the issue.
Sample Sentences for Step 1
- I voted for you in the last election because I believed that you best represented my political convictions, but you now seem to be wavering on the bill to adjust some Social Security benefits.
- The Kansas Pig Farmers Association has long been one of your most vocal supporters. Now, we need your help on the Doe Bill.
- I am a tax payer and a voter and am active in Third Ward politics, and I would like to call your attention to a matter now before the city council.
- The Springfield Neighborhood Association would like to voice its support for a light at the corner of Main and Center Streets.
- I write on behalf of the 300 members of the Springfield Rifle Club who want to emphasize their support of the current legislation on gun control.
- It is clear that our freeway will be a parking lot in the next decade if we don't act now to develop more options for rapid transit. Those of us in the suburbs consider it essential that the House pass the transit bill.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
- a step in the right direction
- aid the passage of this
- am writing in support of
- am very pleased about the introduction of
- are in favor of
- believe you are considering
- believed that you
- best represent the
- facilitate implementation of
- give serious consideration to
- has been temporarily tabled
- have long been one of your
- help the legislation pass
- most vocal supporters
- move forward in the struggle to
- need your help in order to
- news reports indicate
- of vital importance to
- still believe that you
- strongly urge you to
- support will greatly benefit
- understand that the bill
- urge you to take action
- voted for you in the last
- would like to call your attention to
- would like to voice our support for
2 Itemize the reasons why you believe the legislation should be passed.
Sample Sentences for Step 2
- You campaigned on the idea that government should reduce spending in unnecessary areas and eliminate waste rather than raise taxes.
- The Doe Bill is a reasonable alternative to the radical and destructive ecological provisions of the Springfield Bill.
- The accident last month, which left two people dead, is only the latest in a long string of tragedies at that corner.
- The zoning variance we requested will protect our neighborhood from the encroachment of high density housing and the crime problems that inevitably follow.
- The legislation as currently written would permit all of us the right to continue with our favorite sports, but would help us control the irresponsible use of handguns.
- Everyone knows that something must be done. Waiting any longer will only result in additional costs. We all must accept the obvious solution or live with an unbearable situation and exorbitant costs to correct it later.
- This bill will make government more responsive to the voice of the people.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
- agree completely that
- both commendable and necessary
- compassion for the underprivileged
- control the irresponsible use of
- has been shown over and over again
- hope you will seriously consider
- increased revenues derived by
- increased levels of productivity
- independent studies show that
- is a reasonable alternative to
- may effectively reduce
- need to stop this devastation
- protect one of our most valuable
- situation is becoming untenable
- time to act is now
- vital to the economy of
- was appalled to learn
- will help us to fight the menace of
- will protect our
- would confirm our right to
- would go a long way toward
- would lessen our dependence on
- would see a substantial reduction in
- would help us in our efforts to
- would support consumer rights
3 Point out problems and errors in the arguments against passage of the legislation.
Sample Sentences for Step 3
- In recent weeks we have heard the strident voices of eco-terrorists speaking out against the Doe Bill, but the proposed legislation will adequately address legitimate pollution concerns without destroying the Kansas pork industry.
- When human lives are involved, the cost of installing a new light seems insignificant.
- Those who argue that our city should make provisions for people of all income levels are apparently unaware of the balance which currently exists.
- Those who claim that it would limit the use of our rifle range have not read the legislation. Let's not be deterred by uninformed fears.
- Those who argue that citizens would not use the new system are ignoring the experience of every other city that has instituted such a plan.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
- although it is true that
- although superficially compelling, the argument that
- are ignoring the evidence
- are apparently unaware that
- are the concerns of the narrow-minded
- avoid being swayed by the views of
- cannot let ourselves be deterred by
- don't understand how anyone can honestly
- emotional arguments that obscure the facts
- great deal of emotional rhetoric
- have not done their homework
- have not taken the trouble to
- have simply misunderstood
- ignoring the importance of balance
- in spite of statements to the contrary
- in spite of the claims that
- short-sighted attempts to
- strident voices speak out against
- those who claim that
- those who argue that
- voices of the uninformed
- what price can we place upon
4 Express appreciation for the legislator's service, and make a final heightened appeal for the bill's passage.
Sample Sentences for Step 4
- We appreciate your attention to matters which have a direct bearing on Iowa agriculture and industry.
- I appreciate all of your good work, and I hope you will do everything you can to move this important legislation forward.
- We think you are doing a good job in the Senate and wish you luck in the upcoming elections. Passage of laws like those in the Doe Bill will demonstrate that you care about the Kansas beef industry. What is good for business is good for America.
- I voted for you because you seemed to best represent my interests and attitudes. I am with you as long as you are with me.
- Thank you for being a voice of reason among all the strident voices of fear we have been hearing.
- We appreciate your courage in pursuing what you know to be best for our city in spite of intense opposition.
Sample Phrases for Step 4
- a voice of reason
- am sure you will agree
- applaud your courage in
- appreciate all you do
- appreciate your efforts
- appreciate your attention to
- be assured of our support
- both commendable and necessary
- can count on our continuing support
- hope we can count on your support
- hope that you will question sharply
- how we can help
- if we can be of any assistance
- matter has a direct bearing on
- please let me know
- please don't disappoint us
- share your position on
- thank you for
- this issue merits your
- urge you once again to
- will be happy to
- will support you in
- would like to hear from you
- your vote is important to us
- your time and attention