How to fight BSL & make your voice heard

Pits in the news and info on Breed Specific Legislation.

Postby cheekymunkee » November 4th, 2006, 2:39 pm

Make Your Contact Count
How to Write, Meet, and Call Government Officials with Maximum Effect

PDF version

Writing a Letter to a Government Official

Writing a letter can be an effective way of making your voice heard in your town, county, state or in Washington, D.C. To give your correspondence the most impact:

* Address only one issue in each letter.

* Be brief. Try to keep your letter to one page.

* Be courteous, but make your point and don’t be too apologetic about it. If you’re angry or feel strongly, you can let that show, but be polite.

* State your specific purpose or position in the first paragraph of the letter.

* Refer to specific legislation by number and title.

* Mention whether you are a constituent, or identify another connection with the recipient’s district.

* State why you support or oppose a particular measure. Don’t concede the other side’s points, even if you agree with some.

* Personalize your letter. If you must use a form letter, type or write it over yourself.

* Before sending an e-mail letter in response to a legislative issue, call the legislator’s office and ask his or her staff if e-mail from constituents is given any credence by that particular legislator. Use normal rules of etiquette for sending e-mail.

* Your letter may be read by an office staff member, who will report to the legislator the volume of correspondence and its general content. These people may deal with many issues, and huge amounts of correspondence. It is important for your letter to be concise and clear.

To a Federal Senator:
The Honorable (name)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator_____________:
To a Federal Representative:
The Honorable (name)
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman or Congresswoman___________:
To a State Senator or a State Representative:
The Honorable (name)
(state capital address)
Dear Senator_____________:
Dear Assemblyman or Assemblywoman __________:OR
Dear Representative___________: OR
Dear Delegate____________:
(depending on the title used in that state)

Meeting with a Government Official

Meetings with legislators can be a very productive way of communicating, although some may be able to meet personally with only a tiny fraction of their constituents. To give your meeting the maximum effect:

* Schedule an appointment in advance.

* Plan, time and rehearse your comments prior to the meeting.

* Be on time. The government official may be late, but you shouldn’t be.

* Be prepared to wait. Legislators’ schedules are often very hectic.

* Appoint a spokesperson who will do the talking for the group beforehand if you go with a small group.

* Get to the main purpose of your visit in the first five minutes.

* Other group members may add comments, but they should only be to reinforce or elaborate on your main point.

* Expect the meeting to be brief. If the legislator wants to keep talking, that’s a bonus.

* Answer any questions accurately and briefly. If you don’t know the answer, say so and offer to follow up.

* End by asking the government official to do what you want him or her to do, such as, “Will you vote for Senate Bill 150?â€
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » November 4th, 2006, 7:09 pm

Great info!
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies.""
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Postby Sierra » August 3rd, 2007, 4:14 pm

Thank you for all of this useful information. It helped me a lot. I just used it to write a letter to my Congressman about BSL. :)
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