Writing is a very effective way to pressure your representative about an issue. One letter can represent 100 votes to a politician.
Hand written letters are a powerful way to communicate with politicians.
Letter writing is a great way to have your say. It shows a politician that you are serious about an issue and allows you to outline your key ideas without pressure.
Writing a letter often guarantees a response (even if it's not the answer you wanted!).
Politicians you may want to write to include:
- Your local Member of Parliament (MP)
- The minister responsible for the issue (for example, Minister for the Environment)
- Your local council representatives (at city, regional or district councils)
What to include in the letter
- Provide evidence of local support for your issue (like a signed petition)
- Include relevant newspaper clippings or a briefing paper on the issue
- Ask your representative to take action or request a meeting with them
- Ask for a response to your letter
Tips for effective letter writing
- Present a clear and reasonable argument
- Put the date and address of the person you're writing to on the top left hand side of the page
- Keep to one issue per letter
- Do your homework on the issue - you don't want to be caught out with the wrong information
- Keep it short and simple (maximum 400 words)
- Use short sentences - bullet points can make your views easier to summarise
- Define the problem and offer solutions
- Call for action
- Ask questions that require specific answers
- Check your spelling and grammar before posting the letter
- Always sign the letter and print your name and address below your signature
- Keep all your letters and responses for reference
- If you do not receive a response, follow up with a phone call
- If their response does not address the issue or answer your question, write again and ask them to clarify their response - don't let them ignore the problem!