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Templates

Find templates to use as a foundation for your call, email or letter to your legislators regarding your opinions on health issues. Please note, these tips and templates exist solely as a base for a constituent’s own positions and opinions.

Telephone

Tips for talking with elected officials or their staff members

For many people, writing letters or emails is easier than talking on the phone. But, if you’re short on time, phone calls can be a good first contact to express your thoughts.

  • Think about your message ahead of time and keep notes handy to help you stay on track as your conversation flows; make sure your message is clear, simple and reasonable.
  • Respectfully ask the official (or staff member) their view on the subject.
  • Approach the topic at hand with points and suggestions that are solution-focused.
  • Have personal stories and examples in mind as applicable.
  • Thank them for their time and consider following up with a letter or email as appropriate.

Sample Phone Script - General

Good (MORNING OR AFTERNOON).

My name is (FIRST NAME LAST NAME) from (CITY) and I’m calling today to voice my (THOUGHTS) about (SUBJECT.)

As a (INTRODUCTION APPROPRIATE TO YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES SUCH AS: JOB TITLE AT MERCY MEDICAL CENTER IN CEDAR RAPIDS — OR — PATIENT IN CITY), I have seen the effects of (SUBJECT) firsthand.

I would like to know how (ELECTED OFFICIAL) stands on the issue.

Thank you for that insight. (AS APPROPRIATE, ENGAGE IN BRIEF, SOLUTION-FOCUSED CONVERSATION BY SHARING EXPERIENCES. INFORMATION FROM THE “QUICK FACTS” SECTION MAY ALSO BE HELPFUL.)

(IF YOU FEEL IT’S FITTING, CONCLUDE BY OFFERING MORE INFORMATION IN WRITING) I’d like to offer more information in writing to help (ELECTED OFFICIAL) understand the impact of (SUBJECT.) I will send it soon.

Thank you again for your time today.

Email

Email Tips

  • Keep your message clear, brief, respectful and to the point.
  • Use an active voice, backed by personal/professional experience and legitimate sources of information such as the IHA website.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for action, including a written response to your note.
  • Make sure your signature block includes your first and last name, email, full address and telephone.
  • If you receive a response, remember to follow up by thanking the official.
  • If you have questions about their stance, respond with thoughtful questions about their position.
  • If you are emailing an elected official in response to a telephone conversation with a staffer, remember to copy that staffer on the email.
  • Finally, encourage others who have important perspectives to email their elected officials, too.

Sample Email Template - General

Dear (ELECTED OFFICIAL),

I write to you today as a constituent with genuine (THOUGHT) regarding (SUBJECT.)

Through my interactions as a (INTRODUCTION APPROPRIATE TO YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES SUCH AS: JOB TITLE AT MERCY MEDICAL CENTER IN CEDAR RAPIDS — OR — PATIENT IN CITY), I see the impact of this (SITUATION) and would like to share with you how this (ADJECTIVE) issue affects our community.

(SHARE ONE OR TWO BRIEF YET POWERFUL EXPERIENCES YOU’VE ENCOUNTERED PERSONALLY AND/OR PROFESSIONALLY THAT DEMONSTRATE A NEED FOR URGENT ATTENTION. INFORMATION FROM THE “QUICK FACTS” SECTION MAY ALSO BE HELPFUL DEPENDING UPON TOPIC.)

I would like to know, (ELECTED OFFICIAL), how you stand on the subject of (TOPIC). I welcome a written response.

Sincerely,

(FIRST NAME LAST NAME)
(EMAIL)
(ADDRESS)
(PHONE NUMBER)

Letter

Letter Tips

  • A letter, much like an email, should be kept succinct; limit yourself to one page.
  • If you don’t have access to a computer and printer, a legibly handwritten letter is fine.
  • Use an active voice, backed by personal/professional experience and legitimate sources of information such as the IHA website.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for action, including a written response to your note.
  • Make sure your signature block includes first and last name, full address and telephone.
  • If you are writing in response to a telephone call with a staffer, remember to copy that staffer on the letter as well.
  • You should also consider keeping a copy of your letter for reference.
  • If you receive a response, remember to follow up by thanking the official.
  • If you have questions about their stance, respond with thoughtful questions about their position.
  • Finally, encourage others who have important perspectives to write their elected officials, too.

Sample Letter Template - General

(ELECTED OFFICIAL)
(THEIR ADDRESS -- available at www.legis.iowa.gov)

(DATE)

Dear (ELECTED OFFICIAL),

I write to you today as a constituent with genuine (THOUGHT) regarding (TOPIC).

Through my interactions as a (INTRODUCTION APPROPRIATE TO YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES SUCH AS: JOB TITLE AT MERCY MEDICAL CENTER IN CEDAR RAPIDS — OR — PATIENT IN CITY), I see the impact of this (ISSUE) and would like to share with you how this (ADJECTIVE) issue affects our community.

(SHARE ONE OR TWO BRIEF YET POWERFUL EXPERIENCES YOU’VE ENCOUNTERED PERSONALLY AND/OR PROFESSIONALLY THAT DEMONSTRATE A NEED FOR URGENT ATTENTION. INFORMATION FROM THE “QUICK FACTS” SECTION MAY ALSO BE HELPFUL DEPENDING UPON TOPIC.)

I would like to know, (ELECTED OFFICIAL), how you stand on the subject of (TOPIC). I welcome a written response.

Sincerely,

(FIRST NAME LAST NAME)
(ADDRESS)
(PHONE NUMBER)