Letter Writing Techniques

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Personal letters are the basic tool for contacting legislators at critical stages of the legislative process. Letters are used to directly express your views on a given issue. Emails and faxes are particularly useful when timing becomes crucial on the action of a bill. When writing to a lawmaker about a legislative issue, the following guidelines will make your letters more effective.

Writing Tips

  • Be brief—Limit your letter to a discussion of one bill.
  • Be specific—Identify the subject clearly and always use the bill number and author.
  • Be direct—Explain how the issue affects your organization, employees, patients and the community.
  • Take a position—Ask for your legislator’s support or opposition.
  • Consider timing—It is imperative that you convey your position on a bill before a committee or floor vote. Use faxes, e-mail or telegrams, if necessary.
  • Be distinct—Avoid copying background papers or form letters verbatim.

Send copies of your correspondence to HASC so that staff can convey members’ vital interests in a particular bill to CHA lobbyists.


  • When responding to an Alert or writing a letter to oppose a legislator’s position on a given issue, thank the legislator for addressing the problem or issue, then cite your differences and reasons for disagreement.
  • Keep all communications friendly and respectful.
  • Use letterhead and personal stationery.
  • Check for misspelled names.
  • Ask for written replies and statements of legislators’ position.
  • Give feedback to HASC or CHA staff listed as the contact person on the Alert.
  • After a favorable vote, write a brief note to your legislators thanking them for support.