Sample letter to your legislator

As a voting constituent, a letter in the form of an email or mailed letter is an easy way for you to let lawmakers know your views on specific issues, encourage them to vote your way, and let them know you'll watch how they vote on a particular issue. The following tips will help ensure that your letter is taken seriously.

First a few tips on how to write a good letter.

Use correct salutation: Honorable Jane Doe
Wisconsin House of Representatives/Senate

Address the legislator personally:
Dear Sen./Rep. Doe,
If writing to a Committee Chairman or Speaker of the House, address them as "Ms. Chairman" or "Mr. Speaker."

Introduce yourself: Provide as many “identities” as possible to give your viewpoint more influence. (e.g, conservation group member, community or business leader, PTA, VFW, American Legion member, homemaker, and voting constituent).

Identify the issue: “I am writing about…"

Be concise: short letters are read and get results. Pick a few key points to address. Be brief, specific, and always be courteous. Ideally, letters shouldn’t exceed one page, and the purpose of your letter should be stated clearly in the first paragraph. If your letter pertains to specific legislation, identify it by bill number.

Discuss your personal situation: Tell your legislator how the legislation will affect you, your children, and other members of the district.

Ask for a reply: Ask them to write back, “Please tell me how you will vote on…” You'll want a hard copy of your legislators' positions on these issues for future reference and to document their positions.

A word of thanks: A word of appreciation is important.

Proofread your letter: Avoid typos.

Always put your contact information at the bottom of the letter!