How to write to your representative
If you’ve never written to your politician before the following is some useful guidance and advice to help you shape your correspondence. Remember that the person your writing to probably has many demands for their time and attention so keeping it short and to the point not only allows you to break your demands into multiple letters over time, it makes it easier for them to engage with you.
Devise a specific plan
ActNow, an activist website, suggests zooming in on a specific proposal in your letter. Your “pitch” to your politician should be clear and succinct but supported with details validated from your research from sources from this website and others, you could use our model motion found here as a starting point. Here are examples of strong pitches:
- “I urge you to consider lobbying for access to Abdullah Ocalan for his legal team.”
- “I encourage you to demand that Turkey obey its own laws regarding treatment of prisoners.”
- “The Kurdish people support Abdullah Ocalan, 190 million signed a petition calling for his release, will you support them?”
Write your letter:
Opening: Your pitch should be in your first paragraph, if not your opening sentence. Introduce yourself and why you are qualified to speak on this issue.
Supporting paragraphs: Pick at least three strong reasons why your representative must listen to your proposal. You can explain each reason in a single paragraph, or present all three in one long one.
Last words: Restate your pitch and thank your politician for taking the time to read your letter. Leave contact information (email address, school name, etc.). Sign your letter!
Quick Writing Tips:
- Keep your letter short – definitely not more than a page.
- Use accurate facts, quotes from community members, and statistics – but don’t overuse them. (A few sprinkled in each paragraph is a good amount.)
- Provide real-life examples in your neighbourhood to illustrate your reasons.
- DON’T TYPE IN CAPITAL LETTERS IN THE HOPE OF CONVINCING YOUR READER. It’s not only hard to read – it’s unprofessional.
- Write in a respectful and positive tone.