Writing a Letter to Your Legislator
Early Childhood Advocacy Toolkit
Send a clear message to your legislator!
Writing a letter to your legislator is a quick and easy way to make your voice heard and share your views on upcoming policy and budget decisions. Your letter will not only allow you to share your opinions on current policies and investments but will provide you the opportunity to articulate a strong case that supports your opinions, share your involvement in the early education system, and share additional resources that support your ask.
Writing an Effective Letter to Your Legislator
1. Identify your legislator.
Check out the Ohio General Assembly's "Find My Legislator" tool to look up who represents the districts in which you live and work. Simply type in your address and the site will share the contact information for your state Senator and Representative.
2. Use a proper heading and salutation.
You should precede your legislator's name with "The Honorable" in the heading of your letter and "Senator" or "Representative" in the letter's greeting. For example:
The Honorable Jane Smith
Ohio House of Representatives
77 S. High St.
Columbus, OH 43215
Dear Representative Smith:
3. Introduce yourself
Start by sharing that you are a constituent, you are passionate about ensuring Ohio's most at-risk kids have access to quality early education and healthcare, and what your role is (e.g. I am a parent, teacher, physician, home visitor, home-based child care provider, business leader etc.).
4. State your ask up front.
You don't need to go into details about what you're asking for right away, but it's important to be clear from the beginning that you are writing to ask that your legislator supports investments and policies that improve the access and quality of early learning and healthcare for Ohio's most at-risk kids.
5. Build a strong case for quality early learning.
Ohio faces many, varied challenges that legislators will be asked to address in the upcoming budget process. Be sure to articulate a clear argument for why investments in quality early learning are worth prioritizing. Include any specific challenges you have faced, as well as those facing our system as a whole. Need a place to start? Check out our resources.
6. Offer clear, measurable action steps to support your ask.
Now that you have made a strong case for investing in early learning and healthy development, it's time to share how your legislator can support increased access and quality within our system. Don't know what your "ask" should be? Contact us for more information.
7. Thank your legislator and offer additional resources.
Wrap up your letter by thanking your legislator and offering share any additional information they need in this area. You can also reference resources you've sent along with your letter or offer to host a site visit at your program.
Keep the tone of your letter professional and informative throughout
Be clear and concise in your writing--stick to 2-3 main points
Have a friend or colleague proofread your letter before sending
Include your logo (if applicable) and contact information
Have additional questions about writing a letter to your legislator? Contact us.
You're on a roll... don't stop now. Check out some additional ways you can advocate for Ohio's youngest learners: