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How Do I Write an Effective Advocacy Letter?

As an advocate, the most reliable skill set one must have is the communications skill set. Speaking and writing effectively is imperative if an advocate is to get his/her message across.

"Effectively," in this context, means being short and succinct with providing enough information to peak the lawmakers’ interest. This is especially relevant to writing to lawmakers.

Everyone has different writing styles and ways of communicating. When it comes to writing to your elected officials, the principles of clarity and brevity must be respected so that they chances of your message being understood and addressed are increased.

Lawmakers receive many pieces of mail, email, and faxes throughout the entire day. Therefore, some lawmakers may not read the entire communication that each person sends to them.

Therefore, it is imperative to keep you message short and to the point while incorporating points that should grab the readers$rsquo; attention. The sample letter below is an example of how to organize and write a letter to your respective lawmakers.
SAMPLE

John Doe
100 Main Street
Anywhere, Delaware Zip Code [Address establishes that you are a constituent.]
(302) 123 - 4567 [Additional contact information invites communication from your legislator’s office].

The Honorable Joe Lawmaker
    [Elected officials are always addressed as "The Honorable."]
200 Central Ave.
Everywhere, DE    Zip Code
Re: Hearing Aid Insurance Bill #____

Dear [Senator, Representative, State Senator Assemly(wo)man] Lawmaker:

[Lead with your request, including the specific bill number(s).] I am writing as a constituent to encourage you to support funding for (state title of bill) in General Assembly Bill No. ----/Senate Bill No. ----. This important appropriation to the Delaware Department of Health and Human Services would (state what bill would do and why).

I am [a deaf or hard of hearing person or a family member of a person with hearing loss, a professional who works with people with hearing loss etc.] and I want to share with you my story [or your experience, observations, concerns etc.] about the importance of (issue) example: Hearing Aid Insurance.. [Tell your story or provide other factual support for why the support is needed.]

Hearing Aid Insurance will benefit one of Delaware’s most vulnerable populations - Medicaid-eligible people with hearing loss - by ensuring they get the appropriate care they need. Presently, some Medicaid-eligible people with hearing loss, children with hearing loss and adults are not receiving the hearing aids they need in order to use the telephone, hear TV, radio and other information..

I ask you to support this important piece of legislation, which will make such a difference in the lives of constituents you serve.

I also would appreciate it if you would let me know of the action that you take on this matter. [Ask your legislator to inform you of his/her decision.]

Sincerely, [Keep your letter respectful.]
Your name
[Keep letter to one page.]


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