Writing an Elected Official
  • Address your letter to the correct person and use the correct title.
    In general, this means the Representatives or Senators from your state. Occasionally you may have a specific need to communicate with a particular Committee member.
  • Don’t mass mail people. Be selective. Don't use the same letter to multiple people.
  • Be courteous; but do not flatter.
  • Introduce yourself briefly (1 sentence)
  • Identify yourself in either the closing or the From address block, using your full name, address, email and phone number (or at least your name and 1 contact method)
  • Be concise; stick to a single topic.
  • If it’s about a specific bill refer to the bill by name and number.
  • Make your letter short; one page maximum.
  • Be specific about how the issue affects you and others; don’t say “it's bad” say "Public libraries are crucial in that they allow all people access to information. Defunding libraries will hurt low income families and poorly funded school districts lacking school libraries.”
  • Be specific with respect to facts. Cite examples.
  • Be specific about requesting a course of action and exactly what you recommend as a course of action.
  • Don’t use curse words or other discourteous language. Don’t name-call.
  • Do not make demands or threats, not even a demand for a response.
  • Thank the person.

Templates and Model Letters

See this page for examples regarding addressing your Senator/Representative and how to format and write a letter.

How to write your Congress members, including a template.


Some guidelines about when to write and how to write an elected official.