Tonight I created a new page called “Write a Letter and Take Action“. I was inspired to do this when I saw so many organizations with form emails you can pop your name on and send. I was inspired to prevent spam and, upon further research, I learned that it is more effective to mail a REAL PAPER LETTER or ORIGINAL EMAIL than the form type because they can be considered as spam and over looked. It’s better to show passion in the issues we care about and take the time to sit down and write a proper letter.
However letter writing is hard and sometimes scary and who knows where to start or what to write or, if you get that far, who to send it to? So I have made a large guide helping you and have also included links to websites with examples and have also included a large list of contact information for politicians in both Canada and the United States. Hopefully this will inspire you to write to your politician about something like sustainable energy, or reducing the carbon footprint, or boycotting or regulating the fishing of bluefin tuna. I’m trying to make this easy for you because I actually want you to do this. But I don’t want to tell you what you should write about because you should have your own opinions and care about your own things, not what the tube or internet tells you to care about. However I want you to do it right so I made a page about it for you so you have all the tools you need to be successful in conveying your message and need for your politician to take action.
So here is an excerpt from my page, the rest is on the page itself, including the contact information.
“Write a Letter and Take Action!
If you feel strongly about something, do the “write” (haha just kidding) or right thing and write a letter to your MLA, Government Official, Prime Minister or President! Some things you might want heard by them are things about the environment such as sustainable energy or preventing overfishing of bluefin tuna, or promotion of solar panels or wind mills…
I am researching for you writing tips, letter samples, contact information so that you can be prepared when you take action. Some information will be copied and sourced from other websites and some will be from me. This page is intended to be a collection of things so that you can properly get your voice heard so you are taken seriously. If we all send letters that don’t have proper writing, grammar or information, then maybe our voices won’t be as effective.
By the way… WRITING LETTERS MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Sustainable Energy Topic Ideas (because I found this):
The BC (British Columbia) Sustainable Energy Organization has a good resource page on writing a letter on sustainable energy. I will post some of their stuff, and if you are interested in sustainable energy and Canadian, you can go to the page for more information and specifics, but if your not then you can use the ones that generally apply to all countries and then make it specific to your needs. Since not everyone is Canadian, I will also find contact information for Americans, but those who are international will have to find the contact info to your own governments.
Things about sustainable energy that you may want to talk about or list in your letter that you want:
- “Strong goals for climate action and greenhouse gas reduction;
- Strong energy conservation goals;
- A strong commitment to produce more power from green, sustainable sources of electricity;
- Smart metering, differential rates
- A Public Benefit Fund on hydro bills to finance efficiency upgrades and/or renewable energy;
- A Standard Offer Contract for small wind, solar, tidal energy, etc. (as in Ontario and Germany);
- Strong support for solar hot water;
- A rejection of polluting coal-fired power plants
- A commitment to include the cost of greenhouse gases in all power contracts;
- More support for sustainable biodiesel.” (BCSEA)
How to Write to a Politician – Letter Writing Tips:
Again, when we write to our politicians, we want our message to be clear to them so they understand our needs and expectations. So you know, meeting and discussing with politicians in person or writing them a letter is the most effective way of having your voice heard. You can send letters and re-address it to both your smaller, local politicians so they can take your voice to the big boss, as well as write to your Prime Minister or President directly. Sending them to as many as you can will make a difference. Also, perhaps you may be inspired to write to corporations and explain to them how they are causing destruction in our world- of course in a polite way, perhaps presenting facts so your not attacking them and they blow you off. It’s better to have a kind approach in my opinion, I promote peacefulness. Attacking causes the other to become defensive.
“A handwritten, or typed and signed letter, is the most effective means of communication (other than a face to face meeting). It is far more effective than photocopied form letters, postcard campaigns or emails. Some politicians regard handwritten letters more highly than typewritten letters (some of these are technologically illiterate, and some find it convenient to claim the sender probably just cut and pasted what someone else said without thinking about the issue themself).” (Electronic Frontiers, https://www.efa.org.au/Campaigns/lobby.html)
In your writing…
- “Be brief, factual and polite
- Be clear about the purpose of your letter: make a clear ask; or tell them you support (or oppose) something
- Use the correct form of address:
- The Honourable Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia: “Dear Premier Campbell”
- The Honourable Barry Penner, Minister of the Environment: “Dear Minister Penner”
- The Honourable Carole James, M.P.: “Dear Ms. James”
- The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada: Dear Prime Minister Harper””(BCSEA)
I don’t have a copy/paste letter system here because 1) I don’t know how to do it, and 2) it is more effective if we have original material. They don’t look at it as spam and regard it as something you genuinely care about because you took the time to write the letter.
Make sure you state your topic clearly and then focus on three major points or big ideas, and fill each paragraph (each paragraph is about one of your big ideas) with all the juicy facts about the cause or issue you are writing to them.
ASK THEM TO HAVE A REPRESENTATIVE TAKE CONCRETE ACTION! If you don’t ask, they won’t do and this letter will be a letter to give them facts about a random topic… The reason you are writing is to get them to take action so make sure you ask them to take action because they haven’t developed the ability to read minds yet. They’re politicians.
Ask for a response letter! If they write back you know they read it, even if it is a form letter.
Personalize your letter! Relate it to something in your life such as your family, someone you know or about how you personally are taking action in your own life or home and you would like to see the government taking on some of these characteristics or aspects to inspire other citizens to lead a sustainable life, as well to ensure we have a future. Remember, lots of politicians will be dead before the bad habits catch up so maybe they don’t care. You need to make them care.
Be polite. Again, like I said, no one likes an attack and they will be defensive. I know I would be. Wouldn’t you?
Don’t accuse them… Maybe they didn’t know. Remember, you want them to side with you, so play the game, be nice, be positive, educate and share knowledge… It will be more inviting for them to make a difference and take action. Which is our goal.
THANK THEM! Thank them for their time that they spent reading your letter! It really is nice that they did so! SO thank them in advanced for being so awesome and that they are so lovely to show care in what you are so deeply passionate about! Use happy words. I love happy words.
A giant list of TIPS FOR WRITING LETTERS TO POLITICIANS is at this Australian website. Click here to check it out, it’s extremely detailed and informative! You may like it.”
See the rest by clicking here.