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Mar 27 2012

Speak Up!: How to write to an elected official

By Marty Magaan

The freedom to have a say in our government does not stop at just voting every few years. Even after the ballots are cast and the polls are closed, your voice can still influence the policies that directly affect your community. One way to do this is by simply writing to an elected official. Here's how:

1. Choose an issue that you wish to address, and make sure you are well-informed on the subject.
2. Find out who the policymakers are in your area. You are more likely to get the attention of a local officeholder who deals with issues in your immediate area. You can find out who your elected officials are and how to contact them by entering your ZIP code at http://congress.org/.
3. Decide which of your elected officials would be best to contact based on the subject you wish to write about.
4. Keep your letter clean and to the point. Make sure that it follows correct format and that it addresses the elected official by his or her proper title.

Remember that the policymakers that we put in office are there to represent us and serve our common interests. When you have an informed opinion on an issue, feel free to let them know your thoughts. It is their job to listen to our concerns, and it is your job to voice yours.

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Register to vote today!

New York: http://www.elections.ny.gov/VotingRegister.html
New Jersey: http://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/voter-registration-application.html
Connecticut: http://www.sots.ct.gov/sots/cwp/view.asp?a=3179&q=489908

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