I’m a member of a variety of organizations — American Cancer Society, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and even AARP (trust me, that was a difficult pill to swallow). Every now and then they will send a request to contact my local and DC representatives regarding an upcoming bill. I always contact my representatives using the form letter.
“WHAT? A form letter?! That’s so impersonal!?”
On the contrary — a form letter is the easiest way for you to dip your toe in the advocacy pool. While somewhat impersonal, the form letter gets right to the point of the matter and you can usually edit to make it more personal for you, the constituent. Plus, if writing isn’t your cup of tea, the hard part has been done for you. Before clicking Send, make sure that what has been written does align with your beliefs on the issue. You don’t want to blindly agree just because it’s from an organization that you support … that’s not passion, it’s apathy.
You might not realize the “power of the constituent” — you, the voter. The voter in their district. The voter who helps determine whether they stay in Topeka (or your state capitol if you’re not in KS) or DC, or move back home permanently (by casting your vote on election day). You matter. Your voice matters. The form letter helps your voice to be heard. Adding the words “your constituent” to the correspondence goes a long way. Folks in office (usually) pay more attention when they hear from a constituent.
So, when you’re a part of an organization and a request comes in to contact your representatives, take advantage and send that form letter!