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Contacting Your Legislators

Although many legislators still take correspondence through older methods, the easiest way to reach a lawmaker in this day in age is through e-mail.

Below are a few tips that can help you craft an effective message to your Senator or Representative.

  • Write in a formal style as if you were writing a letter. As opposed to many e-mails people send, e-mails to legislators should be grammatically correct with proper capitalization and punctuation.
  • In the subject line, identify the subject you are interested in by bill number, title or issue. At the beginning of the letter, restate the issue and logically state your position FOR or AGAINST.
  • Give them the local viewpoint. How the issue would affect your community, your industry, your home?
  • Ask your legislator to support/oppose the legislation.
  • Request written responses in which legislators state their position.
  • Be polite. Thank your legislators for considering your views.
  • Be brief. These e-mails should be as brief as possible while still providing solid evidence for your view.
  • Use your own words. Avoid slogans or phrases from newsletters or alerts. These letters get less attention.
  • Follow up. Promptly thank legislators who respond favorably. Express your disappointment and provide additional information or rationale if you receive a negative or vague response.
  • Don't become a "pen pal." Your letters may be ignored. Don't pretend to wield vast political influence. Don't overstate your case or exaggerate.

NOTE: Indiana's legislative process is a rapid one, therefore when contacted by IGN, members should react immediately for effective results.
Below is an actual e-mail sent by an IGN member encouraging a veto override. The following serves as a good template for writing your own legislator.

Dear Senator:

As an insurance professional and a tax payer, I wanted to personally thank you for voting for HEA 1274 and urge you to work to override the Governor's veto.

Our municipalities levy taxes in order to pay for public safety. Taxpayers involved in accidents are being charged twice for the same service. In addition, consumers need no incentives to flee the scene of an accident. These fees could provide additional incentive to flee, potentially resulting in delayed response to individuals who are injured in accidents.

I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on this specific issue. Thank you for your service to our great State.

Your Name