How to Write to Public Officials

The following hints on how to write a member of Congress were suggested by congressional sources and the League of Women Voters.

  • Write to your own senators or representatives.  Letters sent to other members will end up on the desk of members from your state.
  • Write at the proper time, when a bill is being discussed in committee or on the floor.
  • Use your own words and your own stationery.  Avoid signing and sending a form on mimeographed letter.
  • Don’t be a pen pal.  Don’t try to instruct the representative or senator on every issue that comes up.
  • Whenever possible, identify all bills by their number.
  • If possible, include pertinent editorials from local papers.
  • Be constructive.  If a bill deals with a problem you admit exists but you believe the bill is wrong approach, tell what you think is the right approach.
  • If you have expert knowledge or wide experience in particular areas, share it with the member.  Don’t pretend to wield vast political influence.
  • Write to the member when  he does something of which you approve.  A note of appreciation will make him remember you more favorably the next time.
  • Feel free to write when you have a question or problem dealing with procedures of governmental departments.
  • Be brief, write legibly, and be sure to use the proper form of address.  Feminine forms of address should be substituted, when appropriate.

Correct Form for Letters to Public Officials

President

The President

The White House

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Very respectfully yours,

Vice President

The Vice President

Old Executive Office Bldg.

17th St. & Pennsylvania Av N W

Washington, D. C. 20510

Dear Mr. Vice President:

Sincerely yours,

Senator

Honorable____________

United State Senate

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator:

Sincerely yours,

Representative

Honorable_____________

House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Mr. ______________

Sincerely yours,

Member of the Cabinet

Honorable______________

The Secretary of____________

Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Mr. Secretary:

Sincerely yours,

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