Letters to Officials

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Government Symbol 2Most people in power keep close track of letters written by the public. It's one of the ways they gauge public opinion. Although a U.S. senator, a CEO, or the head of a non-profit may not personally read your letter, he or she has assistants who read letters and tally opinions. Your letter will be read, and it probably will be answered.

Tell who you are. Give your name, address, and who you are. The people who read your letter want to know who you are, why you care, and how to reach you.

Focus on one issue. Don't try to fight crime, air pollution, and unemployment all in one letter.

Keep it short and simple. State your ideas in the first paragraph. Get your idea across in a page or less. People who read a lot of letters don't have much time.

Be polite. You can disagree, but never threaten or insult in a letter. Let your ideas do the talking.

Include supporting material. If you have any newspaper articles, letters to the editor, or other written material supporting your position, include it.