SLIDE INTO THAT MAILBOX
Old fashioned mail still gets delivered (and read!)
Don’t be afraid to go old school and send your local, state, or federal representative(s) a letter. Someone WILL read it! In fact, it’s more likely that a paper letter to an official will be read than an email. Your letter’s format should be formal, but write in your own voice because your representatives appreciate hearing genuine feedback from the individuals they work to serve.
When writing your letter, follow the same guidelines as you would for a phone call: keep it concise, state your name and neighborhood, and explain why the issue matters to you and deserves attention from the representative. Websites like Countable, iCitizen, and California Legislative Information make background research, like finding existing or proposed bills relevant to the issue, simple and quick.
Here’s a sample address to begin your letter:
The Honorable _________ (full name, i.e. Paul Koretz)
______________________(Legislative body, i.e. Los Angeles City Council)
Dear Representative ________ (last name),
My name is John Smith. I live in Main Street neighborhood, and I’m writing to raise some of my concerns over the state’s funding package for higher education.
As you may know, the UC is currently discussing the possibility of implementing annual tuition hikes. State funding for the UC has fallen dramatically over the past decade: state funding per student today is about half of what it was in 2001, and since then tuition has nearly tripled. I find it ridiculous that students like me are held in the middle of a political battle that ultimately will hurt students the most. It’s frustrating that the state can’t seem to get its act together and I worry that this University will no longer be public when my kids are here. I call on the assemblyman to support Prop 13 reform and work on other legislation, such as securing middle class scholarships, that will provide more assistance to public higher education and students.
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter, and hope you will prioritize this issue when given the opportunity.
Here are a list of addresses for officials in the UCLA area:
Local - City Council
Councilman Paul Koretz
Address: 200 N. Spring Street, Room 440 Los Angeles, CA 90012
State - State Assemblymembers
Assemblymember Richard Bloom
Address: State Capitol, P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0050
Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas
Address: State Capitol, P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0054
State - State Senator
Senator Ben Allen
Address: State Capitol, Room 2054, Sacramento, CA 95814
Federal - Congressperson
Congressman Ted Lieu
Address: 236 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Q: Who will read my letter?
A: Your letter will likely be read by an office staffer, who will make note of the particular issue you raised.