Advocacy Toolkit

Advocacy Tool Kit

Correspondence

A letter is a great way to introduce yourself, or to express an opinion on a specific issue or piece of legislation. This sample can be modified for email, or sent in paper form—both forms of communication are powerful.

Tips:

  • Be brief. Keep it to one page.
  • Quickly identify the primary subject of the correspondence and cover only one issue per letter.
  • Always be polite. Even if you disagree.
  • Always be sure to thank the legislator for his or her time.

 

Sample Letter

Month, Day, Year
The Honorable…
Oregon State Senate (or House)
State Capitol
900 Court St. SE, room number (find room number at www.oregonlegislature.gov)
Salem, OR 97301

Dear Rep. Smith,

I’m writing to introduce myself as a proud alum and supporter of the University of Oregon and of higher education. As a constituent, I am writing you to urge your continued support of the UO as you and other members of the Legislature continue to work on reinvesting in higher education.

I know you will be faced with tough questions in the weeks and months ahead with competing priorities and constituent needs. I am aware of the trade-offs in budget discussions and the impacts of taxes. However, I also want to see the UO continue to attract and retain the best faculty members, and to keep tuition affordable and quality high for the students and citizens of Oregon. Research conducted at UO attracts large numbers of federal research dollars, private gifts and grants. The UO helps bring new companies, new jobs and a strong financial boost that provides value for all citizens.

Thank you for working to find ways to reinvest in higher education and in our future. I look forward to working with you throughout the year.

Sincerely,

Your Name

Street Address
City, State


Phone Call

A phone call is an effective and convenient way to connect directly with a legislator.

Tips:

  • Be patient, polite and persistent.
  • Be prepared with specific information such as bill number, title, subject matter, and examples. Personal anecdotes help illustrate potential impacts of action or inaction.
  • Always listen actively and politely. We can learn how legislators are approaching specific issues.
  • If a legislator asks you questions you do not feel prepared to answer, you can always defer to UO Government and Community Relations.

Sample Script

Hi, I am Jane Doe, a constituent from the X District. I would like to speak to Rep. Smith.

I am calling to introduce myself as an advocate/District Duck from (neighborhood), and to state my support for the University of Oregon. As an alum, it is critical to me that you keep tuition affordable by reinvesting in higher education. My degree from the UO is the critical foundation in my professional career, and I would not be who I am without my higher education experience.

I am asking for your support, and I would like to hear your position on reinvesting in higher education.

Thank you for your time, Rep. Smith.


Thank You Correspondence

A thank you note is always a polite step to take after a visit, a phone call, or receiving an email response from a lawmaker.

While it’s a courtesy appreciated by legislators, a thank you note is also an effective way to re-state your message and establish a relationship with your elected officials.

Sample Thank You


Month, Day, Year
The Honorable…
Oregon State Senate (or House)
State Capitol
900 Court St. SE, room number (find room number at www.oregonlegislature.gov)
Salem, OR 97301

Dear Representative/Senator/Governor,

I appreciate your taking the time to [meet with me, take my call, respond to my letter/email], and for listening to my thoughts on higher education.

I realize that the state of Oregon is facing some difficult decisions, but I truly believe that any decision to cut support for higher education would be contrary to the long-term interests of our state.

Thank you,

Your Name