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Top Ten Tips for Writing Your Member of Congress

  1. Be polite. Communicate with members of Congress clearly, concisely and with respect. Even if you are angry, frustrated or disappointed, be sure to use a polite tone and appropriate language.
  2. Be clear about who you are and why you are writing. In the opening sentence, make your request clear and identify yourself as a registered voter, constituent and someone who has been touched by eczema.
  3. Be concise and informed. Try to keep your letter to a single page. If you are requesting that the policymaker co-sponsor a particular measure or are writing to express disappointment at a particular vote, check the list of co-sponsors and the vote record first at to ensure that your information is accurate.
  4. Personalize your message. Tell your own story and explain its relevance to the issue at hand. If you are using a template letter, please take a few moments to personalize it with your own experience.
  5. Be honest, accurate and clear. If you are including statistics or other scientific information, be sure to verify your sources. It is best to avoid drawn out questions, jargon, acronyms and abbreviations.
  6. Be modest in your request. Although you may wish to address multiple issues, it is best to focus on only one or two issues that are of top priority to you.
  7. Be of assistance and serve as a resource. Policymakers and their staffers are overworked and overwhelmed, so offer them your assistance; they will appreciate your input and help.
  8. Express appreciation. At the close of your correspondence, be sure to acknowledge and thank the member for his or her attention to your concerns.
  9. Ask for a response. Politely, make clear at the close of your correspondence that you are requesting a written response regarding the policymaker’s views on the issue or legislation you addressed.
  10. Be sure to follow up. If you do not receive a response in a timely fashion (in excess of a month for most offices, a little bit longer for senators from large states like California and Texas), be sure to follow up.