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After you have reviewed this site, or downloaded and read one or more of the booklets, please contact us and let us know what you think about it.

How to write to a legislator or government official

These guys work for YOU, so let them know what you think!

  1. Make sure CCHR STL has your current email address so we can keep you updated on legislative developments.
  2. Address your letter to “The Honorable John Doe” with a salutation of “Dear Senator [or Representative] Doe:”.
  3. Include your full mailing address with 9-digit zip code in a letterhead or along with your full name, phone and email address.
  4. Be polite, brief and specific on what you want them to do: “Please vote for ___”, “Please vote against ___”, “Please start an investigation into ___”, etc.
  5. When writing from “talking points” or suggestions from CCHR, use your own words and express your own thoughts.
  6. Include your own experiences and how the issue affects your family, life or work. If appropriate, mention your profession or job so they can see that people from various walks of life have the concern you are discussing.
  7. Your letters are individual, grassroots voter contacts, not representing or mentioning CCHR.
  8. Legislators tend to be impressed if you have actually read the bill and comment on specific wording. This is pretty easy for state bills; federal ones may be a bit more daunting. If you have time, go to the state website and search on the bill number to read the bill and see what is happening with it. In Missouri, go to the Joint Bill Tracking site at Note that HB=House Bill, SB=Senate Bill.
  9. Letters and emails are very useful. Phone calls are important as well. Personal visits are even better.
  10. Faxes are also a good method of contact for legislators. Faxes should be followed up with a phone call to the legislator’s office or a personal visit if possible.
  11. Make sure that your letters and emails don’t have a canned or form–letter look. You can still get them out in large volumes.
  12. In the subject line, let them know concisely what you want, for example: “No to mental health parity” or “Support HB 1234”.
  13. Enlighten and encourage your friends and family to communicate on CCHR issues as well by sending faxes, letters and emails, and introducing themselves and expressing their opinions at their legislator’s local town hall meetings. Email is a great way to alert lots of people all over the country quickly. It is generally polite to use Blind CC (carbon copy) for email addressee lists, so you are not giving your entire address book to everyone else.
  14. VITAL! RESPONSES: Any responses you get from legislators or their staff should be reported to CCHR. A copy of their letter or email is great, or a quick write-up of what was said on the phone. (There is no need to forward the automated responses that just say “Senator Jones got your email”.)

Together, we can make a big difference!