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Contact Your Legislator

Fundamental “Do’s” of Writing Your Legislator

  • Specifically ask for support of your position.
  • Address your legislator properly.
  • Write legibly (handwritten letters are fine if they are readable).
  • Be brief, to the point and discuss only one issue in each letter. Try to identify a bill by number and title.
  • Know the facts. Do not try to influence anyone before you have a thorough understanding of the issue. If possible, give an example of how legislation will affect you personally.
  • Use your own words and your own stationery. If you are writing as an organization, use the organization’s stationery.
  • Include your address and sign your name legibly. If you have any family, business, or political connection in regard to an issue, explain it.
  • Ask the legislator to state his or her position in their reply.
  • Ask your legislator their communication preference (telephone, fax, letter, e-mail).
  • Write your legislator when they do something of which you approve. Often, legislators hear only from individuals and organizations who are against something. It is refreshing for a legislator to receive something positive instead of something negative all the time.

Fundamental “Don’ts” of Writing Your Legislator

  • Do not send a postcard.
  • Do not sign and send a form letter.
  • Do not begin on a righteous note (“As a citizen and a taxpayer” and/or “As a concerned citizen”). Legislators realize you pay taxes and you are a citizen.
  • Do not apologize tor writing and taking their time. If your letter is short and expresses an opinion, they are happy to give it consideration.
  • Do not be rude or threatening.
  • Do not send a copy of your letter to other legislators; write each one individually.

How to Address Letters

When writing to a Minnesota State Senator, State Representative or the Governor:

The Honorable John Doe
State Senator / State Representative / Governor
State House or State Senate, Room Number
St. Paul, MN 55155

When writing to a U.S. Representative or U.S. Senator:

The Honorable John Doe
U.S. House of Representatives or U.S. Senator
Address
Minnesota or Washington, D.C.