A month and a handful of days later, it feels like years have passed since the election. As we rallied to get out the vote ’20, many of you share that you are concerned about the rights of everyone LGBTQ in the years to come. We are, too.
We often talk about the importance of accountability. For our elected and appointed officials, we can’t let them forget what was promised to their communities while on the campaign trail. We’ll get to that part soon, but today, it’s about sending gratitude.
So, how do you get started? What does it take to write a good letter, and how do you make sure that it gets noticed by the recipient? We’ve pulled together a quick how-to guide that will help dust off your letter writing skills.
Make a list.
A good start is getting lists of the elected and appointed officials in your area and jotting down the ones that you either know first hand, voted for, or support their work. This is also a good way to familiarize yourself with people who aren’t always top of mind, such as park boards or school board members.
If you are in Minnesota, the Secretary of State has a helpful guide to find the mailing and email addresses of these folks. If you aren’t sure of the person’s position or background and a specific topic, be sure to read their websites. Most elected officials have a section on their site that states their positions on issues, race, human rights, and everyone’s rights of everyone LGTBQ are typically included here.
You can also track the legislation through Causes, which shows pending legislation and helps you follow all of the information easily and quickly. You can also check out the Minnesota House and Congress as well as National websites for bills to be introduced. If you are interested in politics, human rights, or even curious about how the process works, reading about the bills coming around the corner that your congresspeople and senators will vote on is a great place to start!
Email or Snail Mail?
Skip sending a thank you note to their Facebook or Twitter, as those platforms can attract trolls, and many officials and staffers don’t pay much attention to them. It’s better to write a letter to their office or email as those are checked in a more structured way.
- Be direct. Start the note with a statement of congrats if they recently won, or directly stating your thankfulness for their support on an issue you care about.
- Express that you anticipate their support in the future, too. This is an excellent time to encourage them to stay committed to this cause.
- If relevant, let them know about upcoming events or bills that you hope they will support. It’s best to keep the topic focused, so if there isn’t anything coming around the corner related to the letter’s context, save it for the next time you contact them.
- If there are services or support you can offer, and appropriate, let them know you can volunteer or whatever you can do to help them stay the course. It shows you are as committed as they are.
Over the years, I have followed your political career and I am thankful for your continued dedication to LGBTQ equity. Your leadership is valued, needed, and respected!
Our community faces incredible challenges, and we hope you will continue to stay involved with issues that impact us. More than ever, we need people like you!
I’m willing to volunteer or help in any way that I can, and again, thank you for your commitment.
Congrats on your new office! We’re glad you’re here, thankful for your commitment to the LGBTQ community. We need your voice, your leadership, and your representation more than ever.
I am confident that you will be able to encourage changes that make equity possible for LGBTQ people and that you can help create pathways for people of all backgrounds and races to find fairness in our laws and policies. Again, we need you and we are thankful for your influence.
All the best to you and your family over the holidays!
As you see, these letters certainly don’t need to be too long and can be done in just a few minutes while you sip your morning coffee. Simple acts of kindness and gratitude certainly go a long way, and we encourage you to spread a little positive advocacy for the LGBTQ community.