Write Some Real Snail-Mail Letters
Why It Works
It takes much more time and effort to write and mail an actual piece of paper than it takes to send an email or write a post on social media. As a result, your elected officials pay much more attention to snail-mail letters than they do to emails or social media posts, making them a more effective way to make your point. You can do it on your own, or get a group of people together for a snail-mail party—even a handful of letters on a single issue can be remarkably impactful, especially if they include personal stories.
How to Do It
These instructions assume you can find a couple folks to join you. If not, they still work if you’re just writing on your own.
Provide paper, pens, envelopes, and postage! You will each be writing three letters—one to your House representative and one to each of your two senators, so each letter writer will need three sheets of paper, three envelopes, three stamps, and one pen. You may also want to have a laptop and printer handy for anyone whose handwriting is truly illegible.
Print out sample talking points or letters. It’s very important for each person to use his/her own voice and make their letter personal, but it can be helpful to provide some talking points about the issues and to provide examples of a good letter to Congress. Here are some talking points you can print out:
Provide hard surfaces! When you’re writing a letter, you need something hard to lean on—tables, hardcover books, and the like are helpful.
Look up mailing addresses. Have a laptop set up with internet so that people can look up the mailing address for their members of Congress to address their envelopes. Here are the two pages you’ll need to look up your House representatives and senators.
Choose a designated mailer. Someone (maybe you as the host) will need to bring all the finished letters to a mailbox or post office to send them off.
Collect contact information. If you’re hosting a letter-writing party, it’s a good idea to get everyone’s email address and cell phone number for future events and coordination.
Share next steps. A letter-writing party can be a perfect place to whet people’s appetites for further engagement. Encourage your fellow letter writers to join NRDC All In by texting ALL IN to 21333. And finally, ask one person to consider hosting their own meetup to call Congress or write letters to the editor of their local paper. They can find instructions here. Be sure to share our instructions with them to help them get started.