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How to Submit a
Letter to The Editor

 

The goals of this Letter to the Editor campaign are to spread the word about The People and our mission, to expand visibility, and to increase participation.

Many small local papers print all or most of the letters they get. They can easily be shared on social media, could influence those who make public policy, and also let others know that they aren’t alone in their frustration with polarization and wanting to fix the system.

Follow these guidelines to make your voice heard in a strong letter to the editor:

  • Locate your local papers: You are more likely to have your letter printed in a local neighborhood paper.  If you’re unsure where, you can use one of the following websites to locate local newspapers:  United States Newspaper Listing (Use the Map rather than using the zipcode tool)  |  50states.com
  • Follow the paper’s directions for letters: Instructions on how to submit a letter are on the paper’s website or newspaper on the editorial page. Be sure to adhere to the word limit, usually between 125-200 words. Include your name, address and phone number. Papers only print your name and city, but they will call you to verify you are the author prior to printing.
  • Make your letter your own: You can follow the pattern and information from a template, but adapt it to your own voice, experience, and insights. Editors will avoid printing letters that are already in print or obviously from a generalized form.
  • Write a draft and revise: Write a first draft as a document and plan to revise it for succinctness, clarity, and accuracy. When you are certain your letter is in its best form, you can copy and paste it to the website form or email. Do not send your letter as an attachment.
  • State the purpose of your letter: Your subject line and opening statement should grab the reader’s attention and clearly state the issue at hand. Let the reader know who you are, and how you’re active with The People. If you are responding to a letter or article that has previously been published, clearly identify it and briefly summarize the points you are reacting to.
  • Be objective: If applicable, use verifiable data to back up your argument. Don’t exaggerate claims or resort to name calling and incendiary language as these only cause readers to stop listening to you. An optimistic, welcoming tone will inspire far more people to action.
  • End with a call to action: Clearly state whom you want to act and what you want them to do. Tell readers how they may become more involved. End with a succinct statement of the result that can be achieved.
  • Contact info@thepeople.org, when your letter is printed. Send a link to the letter or a photo of the letter in a newspaper, the paper’s name and city, and the date the letter was published.
  • Share your letter: Post the link on social media and tag officials, other local opinion leaders, @ThePeopleOrg, and all your friends and family. If you want to share the letter with another paper, remember that each paper wants a unique letter, so you will want to adapt it to the new readership. If your letter doesn’t get published, 1-2 weeks is an appropriate time to wait before sharing it with another publication.

National Letter to The Editor Samples

Here are some sample letters to the editor that you can read through. You are welcome to use ideas and phrases from each to help you craft your own, unique letter.

Email Subject Line: Citizens succeed where lawmakers fail

I attended a recent ZOOM meeting where citizens came together from across the country to begin working to effect real change in America. Our goals are to bridge the political divide by coming together as Americans, listen to all points of view with respect and fairness, fix what’s broken in our political system, and effect real change — as our lawmakers keep failing to do.

It’s up to us, the people, to do this. The Founding Fathers gave us the power to govern ourselves, but it hasn’t worked that way for decades. So we have to do it ourselves.

I invite you to join us as we plan a nationwide convention where we will get specific on the reforms we want to see in our election and governing processes and create a roadmap for how to accomplish them nationwide. Find out more at ThePeople.org.

Jan Doe
123 Yes Street Great City, Great State, 00000
123-456-7890

Word count: 144
Email Subject Line: We need grassroots reform

Recently, I joined The People, a nonpartisan organization that cares about how broken our political and governing system is, how it drives divisions between us, and how it hasn’t been able to solve our country’s most pressing problems.

We've been counting on our elected officials to fix what is broken but this top-down process hasn’t worked. We have to come together and do it ourselves. The People is inviting Americans to do just that at a People’s National Convention. By coming together as co-creators — no matter who we voted for — we can create reforms to make our governments more responsive and accountable to everyday Americans.

We can be encouraged by the recent success of reforms that put voters first across the country. Efforts that have ended gerrymandering, adopted ranked-choice voting or approval voting, and trained ordinary citizens to run for office. We can have a government that represents us and responds to our needs, but to make it happen, we must overcome our partisan divide, organize ourselves, decide on the change we need, and build a community of trust.

I’m all in. I hope you will join in too. You can read more at ThePeople.org.

Jan Doe
123 Yes Street
Great City, Great State, 00000
123-456-7890

Word count: 198
Email Subject Line: We must cross party lines and work together

I volunteer with The People, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to the political will of all people in the United States. We are volunteers from all fifty states and Puerto Rico who represent the diverse spectrum of people in America.

Our jobs, educational level, religions, age, and even political leanings are varied, but we share an awareness that change is needed. We all suffer from a lack of effective government.

The People founder, Katie Fahey, led the battle to end gerrymandering in Michigan. We have expanded from that initial success to find other ways to make politicians accountable to the people. While our efforts are nationally focused, many of us stay active in state and local government. We achieve our goals by crossing party lines and working together for the best interests of our country.

We work for equal rights, justice, and honest politics in all parties.

Please check our website at ThePeople.org and join us as a volunteer or make a donation to our cause.

Jan Doe
123 Yes Street
Great City, Great State, 00000
123-456-7890

Word count: 166 words
Email Subject Line: Let your voice be heard

When political decisions are made, is your voice being heard? Maybe not. Politicians focus on getting reelected. Campaign advertising can be funded by anonymous donors who expect something in return if their candidate wins.

Lincoln’s dream was a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.” Who will restore that kind of government? We must look to ourselves.

The People is a nonpartisan grassroots movement dedicated to that very cause. The core values of the group focus on finding commonality by listening to every voice with civility. Diverse groups of everyday citizens volunteer to become leaders in their own states.

If this approach inspires you, I invite you to find out more at ThePeople.org.

Jan Doe
123 Yes Street
Great City, Great State, 00000
123-456-7890

Word count: 117 words

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