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How do you change minds and influence things? Well, as I hope youre beginning to see, through a variety of techniques. You form groups, you plan events, you promote them, you issue press releases to get the press interested, you write guest opinions to reach the newspaper-reading public, and you try to get people to write letters to lawmakers advocating your position.
Many people may want to be a part of your cause and help it in some way, but if you just tell them to write a letter without any guidance, they probably won't do it. They may not feel that they've researched the issue fully, or they may not feel they have all the facts at hand to write a convincing letter. You can help them out by providing some of that information.
These sample letters may be as simple as a postcard or as the "pink slips" the University of Iowa Student Government created for us all to sign so they could take them to the Regents' meeting. The letter-writing tips and samples IÕll hand out should give you some ideas. If you want more, check out the website for a group that supports your favorite cause--they'll probably have a "take action" section with just this sort of thing.
Things you need to include in your sample letter:
*The Community page at the Iowa City Public Library has information on how to contact, local, state, or national officials. If your organization is trying to influence UI policy, you should be able to find addresses and such for any UI administrator via the UI website.
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by Laura Crossett, 1998-2010