Legislative Info

Legislative Contact Tips

Tips for writing an e-mail/letter to a state legislator:

  1. Be brief and never write more than one page; discuss only one issue in each letter.
  2. Identify a bill by number and title if possible.
  3. Make your letter informative, providing facts and information supporting your position.
  4. Offer to be of assistance (e.g. testifying if there is a hearing regarding the issue)
  5. Be polite and reasonable. Don't lose your temper, even on paper/e-mail. Tell your legislator what you think and why, but be polite.
  6. Finally thank them and ask for a reply if desired.
  7. Address legislators with the respect of their title (see sample letter for example).
  8. State your position — Explain how a bill would affect you, your family, your employment, or even your state or community. 
  9. Also write your legislator when he/she does something of which you approve. Legislators hear mostly from constituents who are against something; this gives them a one-sided picture of their constituency. A note of appreciation will make your legislator remember you favorably the next time you write.
  10. Follow-up as you track the bill and the changes being made to make sure things that are positive in the bill are not being taken out, or things you perceive to be negative being added to the bill. 

What NOT to do when writing an e-mail/letter to a state legislator:

  1. Do not write or call state legislators while you are working on state time. Use your personal e-mail address or phone number outside of work and your state office. You may contact them on your lunch as long as you are not using state property.
  2. Don't use form letters/emails or post cards. Use your own words. Legislators would rather have a short original letter/e-mail than a form that has been provided to individuals.
  3. Don't threaten, insult or attack legislators. That is not a way to earn their support for the issue at hand or future issues you are concerned about.

Tips adapted from the Minnesota State Legislator and Illinois Association of Defense Trial Council