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Writing your Senator or Congressman

Discussion in 'Activism Discussion and Planning' started by Jimineer, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Jimineer

    Jimineer New Member

    Mar 16, 2010
    A few weeks ago I sent an e-mail to my reps. It was basically a form letter my company had put together regarding sequestration. All I had to do was select the right senator to send the e-mail to. Guess what?

    I got a response back via e-mail. And, it too was a form letter. Obviously they can't have enough people working for them to respond to everyone who contacts them. So I wonder if my senator even knows or cares what was in my e-mail? I suppose they could keep track of people who write in pro or con on a given issue.

    Still, I wonder if I can really have an impact.
  2. GhostlyKarliion

    GhostlyKarliion Member

    Dec 5, 2006
    The way I understand it their assistants/interns keep a running tally of for/against letters they receive and forward a cliff notes version of requests and suggestions to the PIQ.

    Most of them have form letters relating to a topic ready to shoot back to get you a reply. On rare occasion I have received an individualized response, mostly from local reps.

    Of course, IMBW and YMMV and all that good stuff.

    Sent from my ADR6400L using Tapatalk 2
  3. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Senior Member

    May 2, 2012
    The Texas Hill Country
    They have staff for these things, I'm pretty sure. I'm also pretty sure the staff keeps count. What your senator or congressman likely gets at his 0815 staff brief is this:

    Staffer: Sir, your comments on issue X are trending well... 62% favorable, 28% citical, 10% undecided... but sir, the minority is vocal.
    Rep: How vocal?
    Staffer: Well, sir, we got about the usual amount of hate mail, but 14% of that was NON-form letter. 7-8% is more usual... we don't usually get such a disproportionately INDEPENDENT response. Shiela in PR thinks you might need to walk your statement back a bit at the 1620 press brief...
  4. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN
    The answer is both YES and YES.

    They know the hot topic issues and they have responses already formulated. That doesn't mean they don't pay attention.
  5. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Elder

    Jun 5, 2006
    In a part of Utah that resembles Tattooine.
    I agree. They pay VERY close attention to your correspondence. I'm sure there is an intern or several whose primary job is to compile and categorize all opinions. I have had mixed responses, sometimes they are personalized enough to show they see a specific detail unique to my letter, sometimes they are off-center copies of form letters.

    I THINK, (and I have nothing other than my own experience to back this up,) that if you phrase your letter in a way as to be different than the others, and sometimes ask a question or two that the form responses won't cover, then it get's put in the 'other'stack where they make more of an effort to have it read and actioned personally. Whatever.
  6. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

    Apr 13, 2012
    If you write your letter in a text editor like notepad, then go to your Senator's portal at the senate website, you can drop it directly into the staff queue.

    It's correct that they sort and count based on "form letter" vs. "hand written" letters. (OK, computer written) And specific questions that aren't blathering rants usually get you personalized responses. I've even gotten a few that I think were personally approved for specific localized topics from my Representative.

    Ten minutes of your time gets us an outsized count in Washington's counting bin. One well written letter counts for at least 5 form letters.

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