HOW TO HELP
Contacting state legislators through letters and e-mails.
When reaching out to your state legislators through letters and e-mails, please follow these guidelines:
- Be specific: Identify bills or issues specifically. If bill numbers are unknown, attempts should be made to find them. If they cannot be found, bills should be referenced by their title.
Be brief: If written communications are brief, they will likely be read. Single pages are preferable; any detailed information can be attached to the letter.
- Be direct: The rationale behind your positions on bills or issues should be stated in a forthright manner. Personal examples from your own experiences may help make the point. You should ask for specific actions to be taken by the legislators.
- Identify yourself: Include your address so they know you are a constituent.
- Be constructive: If you have specific expert knowledge on bills, it should be shared. Remember, industry members often have much more knowledge regarding issues than the legislators do.
- Be timely: Be sure to give the legislator enough notice so they have plenty of time to review and take action on specific bills.
- Be complimentary: If your legislator has supported your positions, follow-up letters of appreciation are very valuable. Remember a note of thanks to the staff people who helped arrange or participated in meetings.
- Don't threaten: Diplomacy is always best.
- Don't use "canned" material if possible: Associations may send information to assist in preparing letters to legislators but this information should be conveyed to the legislators in your own words. Personal letters are always better than form letters or post cards.
- Be neat: Handwritten letters should be legible.
Letters should be addressed in the following manner.
- For State Representatives:
The Honorable ___________________________
Ohio House of Representatives
77 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43266-0603
Dear State Representative ____________________________:
- For State Senators:
The Honorable _____________________________
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Dear State Senator ____________________________: