Photo of middle school members of School Girls Unite writing letters.

How to Make Your Letter to Lawmakers Stand Out!

Eighth grader Julia M. led an action-based workshop at the School Girls Unite Howard County Summit in Maryland that attracted nearly 100 middle and high school SGU students. Based on her prior experience lobbying Congress, Julia maps out the reasons to write your Members of Congress and tips on how to make your letter make an impact!

As a long-time member of the Global Campaign for Education-US, School Girls Unite hopes you will write both your U.S. Senators to ask them to push for final passage on the bipartisan Senate Bill bill 623, Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development (READ) Act. To get their names and addresses of your two U.S. Senators lawmakers, click here.

Julia’s Writing a Letter to a Senator or Representative How-To Guide

Who do we write our letters to?

We are writing letters to Representatives and Senators in US Congress. Their jobs are to represent their constituents, people in their district or state as well as the issues and concerns they have. The people who represent our community in congress are Senator Ben Cardin, Senator Chris Van Hollen, Representative Elijah Cummings, and Representative John Sarbanes. Out of those congressmen, Cardin has the most power, as he is the most senior Democrat and is part of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Why are we writing letters to them?

It is a direct way to get a your point across and it stands out from the thousands of emails that congress offices get everyday. A letter represents about 10 other people besides the person writing it.

What should I write in the letter?

It doesn’t have to be that long, 3 sentences is a perfect length. An introduction to School Girls Unite/Global Equality Now is a great idea, it represents the whole group. it should sound like you are asking for something. We want it to be a very direct message, including relevant public issues is a great idea. The House of Representatives just passed bill H.R. 601 called the Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development (READ) Act on January 24, 2017.

Here are some examples:

-Option 1: Write to Rep. Elijah Cummings – I am a student at …. very concerned about girls rights worldwide. I thank you for supporting House of Representatives bill H.R. 601 called the Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development (READ) Act. We hope this legislation will also pass the U.S. Senate soon.

– Option 2: Write to Senator Ben Cardin – I am a student at…and very concerned about girls rights worldwide. We hope the READ ACT that passed the House of Representatives on January 24 will also pass the U.S. Senate which is bill S. 623.

More Message Ideas

  • I ask you to support making education for every girl a top United States foreign assistance goal.
  • I am very lucky with my education, everyone in the world should have this opportunity.
  • We are really concerned about_____.
  • I really hope you will make______ a top priority.

Letter-Writing Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Handwritten letters are the best, it keeps it real and personal.
  • Pictures and Illustrations are great to add to your letter to show your ideas
  • Make sure you include your full name and address with your zip code. They will write back.
  • Including your school and grade level is also helpful.

Where should I send the letter?

Ben Cardin Mailing Address:

509 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Chris Van Hollen Mailing Address:

B40C Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington DC 20510

Elijah Cummings Mailing Address:

2163 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

John Sarbanes Mailing Address:

2444 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Your Voice Counts!

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