Advocacy

Do you want government officials or other people in positions of authority to take action on issues that matter to you? This will guide you as you write an advocacy letter.

 

Guidelines for writing advocacy letters:

  • State clearly what you would like your reader to do.
  • Explain briefly why you think he/she should do this. Help your reader understand the need for action on his/her part, but avoid giving so much detail that you bore or annoy him/her.
  • If the action you are requesting would require the reader to contact you, provide your telephone number, fax number, and/or e-mail address.

 

Format for your advocacy letter:

Letterhead
(or just type your name and address)

 
 

Date

Name of the Reader
Title of the Reader (if he/she has one)
Address of the Reader

Salutation:

1st Paragraph - State what you want the person to do for you.

2nd Paragraph - State the most important facts that support your cause. You want this paragraph to explain the most compelling reasons for action.

3rd Paragraph - Talk about how the reader can make a personal difference. This paragraph should not just be facts, and should engage the reader in a personal way. You can refer to your request again here.

4th Paragraph - Thank the reader for considering your request, and provide information on how you may be reached.

Closing

Your Signature

Your typed name
Your title (if you have one)

 

Sample Advocacy Letter


State Association of the Deaf
14420 W. Water Street
Baltimore, MD 34413

 
 

December 18, 1993

Honorable William Donald Schaefer
Governor of Maryland
State House, Room 216
Annapolis, MD 21401

Dear Governor Schaefer:

What you want the reader to do

The deaf and hard of hearing community of Maryland will hold a rally in support of the Video Caption Access Bill (VCAB) outside of the State Capitol in Annapolis, MD, on Thursday, January 27, 1994. We would be honored to have you take part in the short program at 11:30a.m. and the press conference at 12:15p.m.

Most important facts supporting your cause

The VCAB, sponsored by Delegate Martin G. Madden, would require any commercially produced video to be open or closed captioned before it can enter the rental or retail sales markets in Maryland. Since movie theatres are not accessible for the 385,000 deaf and hard of hearing residents of Maryland, deaf people generally must watch open or closed captioned videotapes instead. In spite of this, it has been documented that of the approximately 40,000 videos available for sale or rent, only 5,000 are captioned. Furthermore, every month 400 more videos are released, but only 60 of those have captions.

How your reader can make a personal difference

We have long admired your strong leadership and commitment to issues relative to the diverse needs of individuals with disabilities. Accordingly, we would be extremely grateful if you would join us on this special day to send a strong message to the Maryland legislators and the general public about the strong need for captioned videos.

Thanks, and contact information

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need additional information. I can be reached at work, (202) 651-5315 (Voice/TTY), or by fax at (202) 651-5463. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Sincerely,
Harvey Goodstein
Harvey Goodstein, Ph. D.
President

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