This information adapted from the Massacchusetts School Nurse Organization website.
Sample Letter for Communicating with Legislators
The following sample letter is intended to serve as a guide for nurses to keep politically active. Please feel free to keep it on your desk or by your telephone for quick reference when needed.
HOW TO WRITE A SAMPLE LETTER
Address the letter with proper titles:
- The Governor: “His Excellency Jay Nixon.”
- The Lieutenant Governor: “The Honorable Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder”.
- Your state senator, state representative, U.S. Senator or U.S. Congressman: “The Honorable.”
Salutations: “Dear Governor, Senator or Representative…”Address: State Capitol Jefferson City, Missouri
- Always identify yourself as a nurse and a constituent.
- Make reference to the bill or act you want them to support.
- Include brief reasons.
- If possible give examples.
- Ask for a response.
- When signing, include your complete name, title, organizational membership, address and telephone number. Remember that it can take just a few contacts from constituents to influence a vote in the legislature.
The HonorableRepresentative/Senator: (Name) Room (Room #) State Capitol Jefferson City, MO
Dear Representative or Senator: (Name)
I am one of over 1800 school nurses in Missouri who is concerned with the safety and health care of the children in Missouri. Children attending schools today are faced not only with the usual common infectious diseases; they face the threat of other major health problems not always well understood by teachers, parents, and the communities. Special needs children integrating into the classrooms of every town have significant health and nursing needs. The administration of medication and monitoring their effects, coupled with the needs of children from dysfunctional families, further complicate the picture of school health.
Please watch for upcoming legislation for expansion of Chapter 71, Section 3, M.G.L. or bill #. We urge you to support an act/or Bill # of providing a minimum of one school nurse for every public and non- public school building in the State.
Thank you for your attention to this important issue. Sincerely, Your name, RN (other credentials) Address and telephone number
Phone numbers – Check the website of the Representative or Senator
for a current telephone number.
- Hello, my name is:
- I live in (town):
- May I speak to the legislative staff person?
- I am a school nurse in (school town):
- I am urging Senator/Representative to vote for (Bill # or Act#)
HOW TO WRITE FOR TESTIMONY
- Name the title of Bill or Act.
- Introduce yourself.
- Use personal experience. Your expertise is valued. “I am a registered nurse. I have….years experience in….”
- State your purpose. Know your argument. Are you for or against?
- Support arguments with facts. Every fact should be related to the argument. Don’t go off on tangents or try to make too many separate arguments. Keep it simple. Have one central idea in mind.
- Give examples.
- Avoid quotes from someone else. They are just quotes. It does not really help to support your argument.
- Use short sentences. Avoid overly technical or “fancy” words.
- You should acknowledge the other side. Let the reader know you are aware of arguments on the other side. If you can rebut them, do so.