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1. Only write your own representatives. Your Members of Congress (MoCs) and your state and local reps care what you think. When a MoC receives correspondence from someone out of district, they either forward it to your own MoC or discard it.
2. Tell your story. Briefly describing how an issue affects you directly can have more impact than a general statement of belief. Your MoC may read your story aloud during testimony and use it to convince other MoCís of the importance of your point of view.
3. Focus on only one topic and ideally make a specific ďask.Ē Telling them to co-sponsor H.R. 1114 to keep social security solvent will garner more action than a general request to protect your benefits.
4. Be respectful. It may feel cathartic to speak your mind, but cards with disrespectful language donít get counted.
5. Support is as important as pressure. If your MoC is already doing what you want, your appreciation will add fuel to their efforts. And there are lots of other courageous people in government, in the media, and everywhere who would be buoyed and encouraged by an appreciative postcard!
6. Include your name and address. Your return address within their district ensures they will pay attention to what youíve written.
7. Make postcard activism enjoyable and routine. You could write your 3 MoCs every Sunday morning and focus on happier things the rest of the week. Or set up a weekly phone date with a buddy and chat by speakerphone while you write postcards together. Or just keep the card pack by where you read the newspaper and write as the inspiration strikes you.
8. Do what you can, when you can. You're part of a huge national uprising. Even though your efforts may seem small, when aggregated with the efforts of literally hundreds of thousands of others, it can and will lead to positive change.
A note about phone calling: Calling your MoCís office is another effective way to get your point across. And of course itís more immediate than postcarding. But in the era of busy signals and full voicemail boxes, postcarding is a tried and true way to make your voice heard.
For more info about effective activism in the current era, see FAQs and Resources.