One of the most powerful ways of reaching out to your elected officials and getting involved in the advocacy process is by sending a personal, succinct (handwritten if your handwriting is legible) letter with your name and contact information letting them know that you are their constituent and that you voted for them. They will be more likely to read your letter and it will be far more memorable.
Here is the step-by-step process. It should not take more than an hour of your time. I would like EVERYONE, medical students and residents included, to contact their elected officials. We need to make sure that we have a seat at the table. You never know when you might need help at the State House.
- Look up your elected officials. Visit https://vote.sos.ri.gov and click on “Find Your Elected Officials”. Enter your address and you will see a list of your elected officials. You are looking for your “Senator in General Assembly” and “Representative in General Assembly”. You can write to the Governor and US Senators/Congressmen too if you want but I do not believe it will be as impactful.
- Find out more information about your elected officials. There are two options. You can google them. Or you can visit https://vote.sos.ri.gov and click “Representatives” or “Senators”. Find your senator or representative (scroll through the list on the right) and then click “Biography”. Take note of any committees that they serve on or lead.
- Craft the letter. I typically follow the format below. No more than one page. (My letters were probably too long.) Remember to be professional and positive. We do not want to denigrate other groups.
- Mail the letter to the address above (82 Smith Street)
Please give this a try and let me know if you have any questions. If done properly the letter WILL reach your legislator. Senator Valverde was specifically looking for me last night at the RIMS New Legislator Reception because she received my letter.
Thanks very much!
The Honorable <name of your senator/representative>
<list the name of their committees and their positions on those committees>
82 Smith Street
Providence, RI 02903
Dear Senator/Representative <name>,
<Briefly talk about what you do>
<Give them your contact information (or business card) and volunteer your assistance if they need anything>
<your name and titles, if any>