Corresponding With Your Elected Representatives
As Americans we are blessed with the freedoms and rights that come from our representative democracy. Our elected officials are expected to be representatives of the people, the public in whose interest they are to serve. To this end, it is essential that they receive feedback from their constituency.
Use your own personal stationery or personal email account. Business stationary or business emails should only be used if you're representing that company’s position. A hand written letter is always welcome provided your writing is legible.
You should refer to a legislator as "The Honorable" on both the envelope and inside address. For the salutation, "Dear Senator" or "Dear Representative" is appropriate.
Remember to provide your return address on both the envelope and letter; it is also acceptable to give your phone number, though most responses are written. If you have an e-mail address, you may want to include it too.
It's best to limit your letter to one subject and if at all possible one page. If your letter deals with a specific bill, try to include its number in your letter.
Be polite! It's fine to express disapproval, but do so in a respectful manner, never insulting or abusive.
Remember to write thank you letters when you get a response, it's a simple courtesy that will set your letters apart from others.
Above all, stay informed! Your thoughts matter and our elected officials need your opinions in order to make important decisions on your behalf.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald have petitioned the administrative judge of Allegheny County Courts to remove the receiver appointed by the court to oversee the August Wilson Center bankruptcy. The mayor and the county executive charge that receiver Judith Fitzgerald has "not maintained the public interest of preserving the center as a public asset" and favor a bid to make the center a commercial enterprise.
Do you think campaigning on the economy is a losing strategy for Democratic candidates?