Contacting Your Legislator with an E-mail

 

Much less formal than a letter, the e-mail is also the least effective method because it is the least labor intensive and requires the least effort by the sender. It can be hard to determine if the legislator ever opened or read your e-mail. However, when quite a few e-mails about an issue begin coming in to a legislator's office, they are noticed.  Many of the same suggestions for a letter apply to an e-mail.  

  • Individually written e-mails, rather than mass generated form e-mails, make a greater impression on your legislator.  Generally the fewer names in the To box, the more attention the e-mail will receive.
  • Include the title of the specific legislation, e.g. House Bill: HB_____, Senate Bill: SB_____, in the Subject line of the e-mail.
  • The first line in the body of the e-mail should be: Dear Senator or Dear Representative followed by the legislator's last name.
  • Be specific. State your purpose for e-mailing in the first paragraph of the e-mail. 
  • If your e-mail pertains to a specific piece of legislation, be sure to identify it again by it's full name and number, e.g. House Bill: HB_____, Senate Bill: SB_____.
  • State your position. Explain why you support or oppose this particular issue. Keep in mind that local examples concerning the impact of this legislation are very powerful. Be courteous and to the point, keeping your e-mail focused on the issue at hand.
  • Ask for a response. Indicate to your legislator that you would appreciate a reply that includes his/her position on the issue. 
  • Limit your e-mail to three or four short paragraphs.  The longer the e-mail, the less likely it will be read.
  • "Thank you," is a proper way to conclude your e-mail.
  • Complete the e-mail by including your name, address, and phone number at the bottom of the e-mail.

 

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