Tutorial for “Advocate Legislation”

Tips

Constituent letters that advocate specific legislation are a powerful means of persuading politicians to vote a particular way. The letters should be direct, clear, and concise.

Steps

1. Indicate whether you are writing as a private citizen or as a representative of your organization. Identify the bill you are discussing by its official name and number or by its popular name if it has one. Clearly indicate from the beginning where you stand on the issue.

Sentences

  • I voted for you in the last election because I believed that you best represented my political convictions, but you now seem to be wavering on the bill to adjust some Social Security benefits.
  • The Kansas Pig Farmers Association has long been one of your most vocal supporters. Now, we need your help on the Doe Bill.
  • I am a tax payer and a voter and am active in Third Ward politics, and I would like to call your attention to a matter now before the city council.
  • The Springfield Neighborhood Association would like to voice its support for a light at the corner of Main and Center Streets.
  • I write on behalf of the 300 members of the Springfield Rifle Club who want to emphasize their support of the current legislation on gun control.
  • It is clear that our freeway will be a parking lot in the next decade if we don't act now to develop more options for rapid transit. Those of us in the suburbs consider it essential that the House pass the transit bill.

Phrases

  • a step in the right direction
  • aid the passage of this
  • am writing in support of
  • am very pleased about the introduction of
  • are in favor of
  • believe you are considering
  • believed that you
  • best represent the
  • facilitate implementation of
  • give serious consideration to
  • has been temporarily tabled
  • have long been one of your
  • help the legislation pass
  • most vocal supporters
  • move forward in the struggle to
  • need your help in order to
  • news reports indicate
  • of vital importance to
  • still believe that you
  • strongly urge you to
  • support will greatly benefit
  • understand that the bill
  • urge you to take action
  • voted for you in the last
  • would like to call your attention to
  • would like to voice our support for

2. Itemize the reasons why you believe the legislation should be passed.

Sentences

  • You campaigned on the idea that government should reduce spending in unnecessary areas and eliminate waste rather than raise taxes.
  • The Doe Bill is a reasonable alternative to the radical and destructive ecological provisions of the Springfield Bill.
  • The accident last month, which left two people dead, is only the latest in a long string of tragedies at that corner.
  • The zoning variance we requested will protect our neighborhood from the encroachment of high density housing and the crime problems that inevitably follow.
  • The legislation as currently written would permit all of us the right to continue with our favorite sports, but would help us control the irresponsible use of handguns.
  • Everyone knows that something must be done. Waiting any longer will only result in additional costs. We all must accept the obvious solution or live with an unbearable situation and exorbitant costs to correct it later.
  • This bill will make government more responsive to the voice of the people.

Phrases

  • agree completely that
  • both commendable and necessary
  • compassion for the underprivileged
  • control the irresponsible use of
  • has been shown over and over again
  • hope you will seriously consider
  • increased revenues derived by
  • increased levels of productivity
  • independent studies show that
  • is a reasonable alternative to
  • may effectively reduce
  • need to stop this devastation
  • protect one of our most valuable
  • situation is becoming untenable
  • time to act is now
  • vital to the economy of
  • was appalled to learn
  • will help us to fight the menace of
  • will protect our
  • would confirm our right to
  • would go a long way toward
  • would lessen our dependence on
  • would see a substantial reduction in
  • would help us in our efforts to
  • would support consumer rights

3. Point out problems and errors in the arguments against passage of the legislation.

Sentences

  • In recent weeks we have heard the strident voices of eco-terrorists speaking out against the Doe Bill, but the proposed legislation will adequately address legitimate pollution concerns without destroying the Kansas pork industry.
  • When human lives are involved, the cost of installing a new light seems insignificant.
  • Those who argue that our city should make provisions for people of all income levels are apparently unaware of the balance which currently exists.
  • Those who claim that it would limit the use of our rifle range have not read the legislation. Let's not be deterred by uninformed fears.
  • Those who argue that citizens would not use the new system are ignoring the experience of every other city that has instituted such a plan.

Phrases

  • although it is true that
  • although superficially compelling, the argument that
  • are ignoring the evidence
  • are apparently unaware that
  • are the concerns of the narrow-minded
  • avoid being swayed by the views of
  • cannot let ourselves be deterred by
  • don't understand how anyone can honestly
  • emotional arguments that obscure the facts
  • great deal of emotional rhetoric
  • have not done their homework
  • have not taken the trouble to
  • have simply misunderstood
  • ignoring the importance of balance
  • in spite of statements to the contrary
  • in spite of the claims that
  • short-sighted attempts to
  • strident voices speak out against
  • those who claim that
  • those who argue that
  • voices of the uninformed
  • what price can we place upon

4. Express appreciation for the legislator's service, and make a final heightened appeal for the bill's passage.

Sentences

  • We appreciate your attention to matters which have a direct bearing on Iowa agriculture and industry.
  • I appreciate all of your good work, and I hope you will do everything you can to move this important legislation forward.
  • We think you are doing a good job in the Senate and wish you luck in the upcoming elections. Passage of laws like those in the Doe Bill will demonstrate that you care about the Kansas beef industry. What is good for business is good for America.
  • I voted for you because you seemed to best represent my interests and attitudes. I am with you as long as you are with me.
  • Thank you for being a voice of reason among all the strident voices of fear we have been hearing.
  • We appreciate your courage in pursuing what you know to be best for our city in spite of intense opposition.

Phrases

  • a voice of reason
  • am sure you will agree
  • applaud your courage in
  • appreciate all you do
  • appreciate your efforts
  • appreciate your attention to
  • be assured of our support
  • both commendable and necessary
  • can count on our continuing support
  • hope we can count on your support
  • hope that you will question sharply
  • how we can help
  • if we can be of any assistance
  • matter has a direct bearing on
  • please let me know
  • please don't disappoint us
  • share your position on
  • thank you for
  • this issue merits your
  • urge you once again to
  • will be happy to
  • will support you in
  • would like to hear from you
  • your vote is important to us
  • your time and attention

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