Examples of effective emails

Example 1

Dear Representative Smith,

With your constituents clamoring for a variety of funding needs, it must be difficult to set priorities, particularly faced with the prospect of a shrinking state budget. But as a resident of Oregon, and your district, I’ve become increasingly concerned in recent years about slipping investment in our public schools, and the resulting erosion of services to our children. A recent survey of more than 10,000 Oregonians through Oregon Rising determined that our residents overwhelmingly support smaller class sizes, a more well-rounded education, elective offerings, career and technical education and STEM offerings in science, technology, engineering and math. As the state budget moves forward, please vote to increase funding in our K-12 schools. Today’s young people represent the Oregon of tomorrow, and for our state and our local economy to be successful we need to ensure that they are prepared for college and career. Our students are counting on you.

Sincerely, John Doe

Example 2

Dear Representative Smith,

My son John is a sixth-grader at Parker Middle School. He plays the clarinet and is on the robotics team. For years my husband and I have remained silent on the issue of education funding, even as we have watched John’s class sizes grow and lamented the shortened school year in the River School District. But now we have to speak up. Because under the proposed budget being considered in Salem there is a very real chance that our schools will eliminate electives such as music, or cut back, again, on our teaching staff. We need you to take a strong stand for John and all of Oregon’s young people, and vote to invest in their future.

Sincerely, John Doe

Example 3

Dear Representative Smith,

I’m writing to you because I’m concerned about the future of public education in Oregon, and in particular about our son Mark, who is a student in the Mountain School District. We moved here because of the quality of the schools, but over the last decade we have seen a slow erosion in electives, languages and the arts as schools have struggled to respond to budget cuts at the state level since 2008. Mark is going to college when he graduates in three years, but unless our schools are able to keep pace with those in other states he will already be at a disadvantage when he enrolls. I hope that you share my belief that the best investment our state can make is in our young people. Please find a way to increase investment in our K-12 public schools that Mark and other Oregonians can help make a better state for all of us.

Sincerely, John Doe

Example 4

Dear Representative Smith,

Our daughter Lydia is a sixth-grader at Smith Middle School in the Field School District. Like a lot of 11-year-olds she isn’t exactly sure what she wants to be when she grows up. One day she is going to be a geologist. The next day it’s a pop star. As you might guess, she enjoys studying science, and she is a member of the school choir. But over the last few years we have become increasingly concerned about the science/math offerings at her school, and the arts offerings. One of her science classes has 46 students. The choir has had to stop traveling out of the area to save money. With what we have read recently about the state budget, we are very concerned about the possibility of further cuts at our local school. We sincerely hope that you will vote to increase funding on public schools so that students such as our daughter Lydia are prepared for college and career.

Sincerely, John Doe

More Tips to Make Your Email Count

Make your letter unique, personalized and brief. It should talk about your life, your expertise or the district (legislative and school district). Clearly state you are a constituent and be sure to provide the street address where you live.

Stay on message. Your message is that local schools are being underfunded by the state and the result is an unacceptable educational experience for the child you are talking about. Forgo statewide statistics and talk about the impact on you or your child individually.

Stay focused on the message and make a specific request for an action. Make your request for an action twice – at the beginning of the letter and again at the end.