How to Write a Letter to a Government Agency or Figure

Activism is so hot right now.

Have you ever felt passionate about an issue, but you don’t know what you can do to make things change? If you have no time to start an organization for change and no desire to run for office, you can at least write a letter to the proper government officials to have your voice heard. These letters do get read, and enough impassioned citizens can change the course of an official’s decision-making. 

The first step is to have a stance and to understand the facts. Look up recent articles about the latest events and decisions having to do with your issue. If you are writing to a particular person, make sure you know what he or she has said recently in meetings and interviews, lest your information be outdated.

Once you have your facts straight, you can draft your letter. Make sure that you have a strong tone, but not an offensive one. Your letter could potentially be spread around the offices of the agency and rude or angry comments you make can come back to bite you in the booty. It’s best to be the bigger person and kill them with your intelligence and tact rather than mean comments and profanity.

Find out who to send the letter to. Public officials and agencies will have their contact information online, so this should only take a google search to figure out. Then, find out who their coworkers and superiors are. Include them on your email or mailed letter as well, sending a copy as a carbon copy. Knowing that her colleagues have read your letter as well will make her more accountable for her actions.

Make sure you have a friend or family member who knows about the issue at hand to read your letter and help you edit. They may have some information that will help you with your argument. Once you’re ready with the final draft, send it out. Your edits and calm language should allow you to be comfortable with posting this online without hurting your reputation, so share it online or email your friends so that they can use your letter as a template to draft their own. Having an easy template to use will make it easier for others to follow suit.

Change the world, one step at a time. You go girl. Good luck!

Click here to see an example of a letter that I wrote to a New Orleans City Councilmember regarding unfair pay to our city firefighters.

P.S.Oh, hey there! Thanks for reading my post. If you’re reading this close to the publishing date, feel free to mail your own letter to Ms. Head and the New Orleans City Council and Mayor Landrieu to show your support for our firefighters. Thanks friend-o!

- Summer