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Having an Impact
Do I need to include my address?
If you're writing your own MoC, definitely! Your return address within their district ensures they will pay attention to what youíve written. Plus you may get a written response. When writing others, I recommend signing it in whatever way will be most relevant to them. Concerned Citizen, Business Owner, Parent, Teacher, etc.
Can I use curse words?
It may feel cathartic to speak your mind, but staffers unanimously tell us that cards with disrespectful language donít get counted. And remember that anything that could be construed as a threat will be taken very seriously and referred to law enforcement. :(
Can I use cursive?
Yes, but keep in mind that staffers have a high volume of correspondence to process so they need to be able to do it quickly. If your card is not easily legible, it will be discarded.
How often should I write to my MoC's?
Whenever you have something important to tell them. But if you write frequently enough that you might become known as a constant correspondent, consider directing some of your interest to writing your state and local reps or other government officials.
Can I write the same card more than once?
Using the same wording on a card to each of your three MoCs is a great time saver. If you are referencing a particular bill, try to adjust your copy to reference the bill number relevant to the Chamber that your MoC serves in.
How does the information I write get conveyed to my MoC?
Staffers will quickly read each correspondence received by their office. Most MoCs use one of several approved constituent management software platforms and the staffer will categorize your comment and add it to the running tally of comments taking a similar position. If there's a story they find compelling your card may be saved out to be shown directly to the MoC.
Does all this input work for my local and state representatives too?
Definitely! Any elected official wants to keep their constituents happy so they can be re-elected. And since they have a smaller pool of constituents than a MoC, local and state officials will probably be even more interested in someone taking the time to contact them.
Does all this really make any difference?
Yes! Though any one card on its own is unlikely to matter, the aggregator of many many constituents who take the time to speak out definitely gets the attention of our elected representative. And it may leave you feeling more empowered and hopeful which is important too.
Is calling better than writing?
Calling is more immediate. So for issues coming up sooner than the 2+ weeks it might take for your card to be screened and logged, picking up the phone is definitely better. But written correspondence, especially when there's a compelling personal comment, or when aggregated with many other cards, is an effective way to get the attention of elected official.