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Writing to Elected Officials
June 30, 2022 by BoatUS Government Affairs Team

A personal letter has long been one of the most effective ways to address an issue with government officials. In the U.S. Congress, it is standard practice for all constituent letters to receive a reply and be passed on to the federal agency involved. State and local government offices likewise are charged with paying attention to letters they receive from citizens.

A personal letter has long been one of the most effective ways to address an issue with government officials. In the U.S. Congress, it is standard practice for all constituent letters to receive a reply and be passed on to the federal agency involved. State and local government offices likewise are charged with paying attention to letters they receive from citizens.

Hearing from boaters and boating groups not only brings your issue to their attention but is a good reminder that boating is a community to be recognized when decisions are being made.

First, determine the level of government that will solve your problem. Then get the name(s) of your elected officials.

How Do I Find My Representative?

Local (City and County councils/boards):

  • City Website
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Local Newspapers - which often publish local government guides

State and Federal Representatives:

Use this handy Find your elected officials lookup tool at the bottom of the page to select your official and view their listed contact information.

Contacting Elected Representatives

Postal mail to Federal officials can be quite slow. Many now prefer to hear from their constituents via e-mail and that has become the fastest method to reach a congressman or senator in Washington, DC. Or write to them at their home district office which may have fewer security measures.

  • Include a subject line stating the issue topic.
  • Keep your message short and stick to one point; do not send a "laundry list" of different issues in one letter.
  • Explain the issue in the first paragraph. All politics is local. Do some homework and make sure you have your facts right when describing the issue or problem.
  • Give a short history of your efforts in second paragraph.
  • State what you would like your representative to do in the last paragraph.
  • Thank your member for his/her help.
  • Include your name, address, telephone number and e-mail.
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