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Friday, February 8, 2013

How to Write to Your Legislator about Adoptee Rights

by Lynn Grubb

With the new bill for Ohio projected to come out this week, I wanted to do a post on effective communication with your legislature. The summary below was taken from ncra.org:

Writing Effective Letters to Your Legislators:

In the age of the Internet, e-mail and faxes, some have deemed the impact of letters obsolete. However, government representatives are growing increasingly responsive and reliant on feedback and suggestions from their constituents. The most direct way of impacting a legislator is through a letter writing campaign. The more letters a legislator receives, the more important the issue becomes.

Even with noncontroversial issues, it is important to write letters because if there is no evident public consensus, they are likely to rely on the letters they did receive as the consensus. Letters also visually show who and how many people the legislation will effect. However, a poorly written and presented letter will make little, if any, impact at all.

It is important to identify yourself as a member or an officer of your association so the legislator identifies your association as a player in this issue. Another category some writers may fit into is that of a small business person. Research the legislator's background to find out their stance on small businesses and associations. The research can determine the best way to approach the legislator that would have the best impact.

However, writing multiple letters as one person with various titles is not a good idea. The office tabulates the letters by name, not title, so your letters would simply show up as multiple letters from the same person. (Federal legislators biographies and addresses can be obtained on the World Wide Web at www.house.gov or www.senate.gov depending on their position.)