How To Communicate With Your Elected Officials

Letters:

Whether you use email or snail mail, you can make a difference by contacting your elected officials! Because our representatives receive so many communications, keep your comments short, to the point and, of course, respectful. If you are emailing, put your opinion in the subject line – for instance, “I oppose LD 1066.”

An example:

Dear Senator Smith,

My name is Sally Doe, a resident of Falmouth, Maine.  I oppose LD 1066, An Act To Increase Access to Health Coverage and Qualify Maine for Federal Funding.

● In Maine, our medical welfare spending is out of control: We are $400 million over budget and still have $500 million in unpaid hospital debt. Meanwhile, the federal government had a $1.3 trillion deficit in 2012, borrowing 35 cents out of every dollar it spent. Our national debt is almost $17 trillion – on which we are paying about $220 billion in interest, $220 billion which could be put to much better use.  This problem isn’t going away and is going to have to be addressed, and soon, as this is unsustainable.

Even though the federal government is promising “three free years” on this program, there is nothing to stop them, as the Affordable Care Act morphs daily, from reducing or entirely eliminating any part of the subsidy. If you think healthcare is expensive now, just wait until it is free – and remember the words that strike fear into our over-taxed hearts: “I’m from the federal government and I’m here to help you.”

● As Margaret Thatcher so aptly put it, “The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.” And that’s where we find ourselves now. In a state where the highest income bracket is a mere $20,350, we are simply out of other people’s money. That’s money from every hardworking Maine taxpayer.

We are compassionate people and sometimes have to make very difficult choices. Leaders make tough decisions which are right, but not always popular. I urge you, as leaders, to do the right thing for the state of Maine and reject LD 1066.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sally Doe

123 Main Street, Falmouth, Maine  04105

sdoe@gmail.com

207.555.1212

Or your note could be as simple as:

Dear Senator Smith,

My name is Sally Doe, a resident of Falmouth, Maine.  I oppose LD 1066, An Act To Increase Access to Health Coverage and Qualify Maine for Federal Funding.

We are compassionate people, but our state is simply out of money and sometimes we have to make very difficult choices. Leaders make tough decisions which are right, but not always popular. I urge you, as leaders, to do the right thing for the state of Maine and reject LD 1066.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sally Doe

123 Main Street, Falmouth, Maine  04105

sdoe@gmail.com

207.555.1212

Written Testimony:

Another form of communication is testifying about a bill before a committee. Generally, the public testimony will provide a short period of time (usually about three minutes) in which you sign in and are called upon to give your opinion on a bill up for consideration. When testifying, write your speech down following the same rules as writing to your representative. Bring copies for everyone on the committee. If you cannot testify in person, you can email your thoughts, sending it to each committee member, and/or the committee clerk, who will ensure it reaches each member.