Writing Effective Letters to State Legislators

Writing to your state legislators is an efficient and effective way of letting them know what you think about issues or bills. It can even be fun!

Below you will find a sample letter to a legislator. Use it as a guideline, but remember that a personal letter - one that tells your representative or senator how you feel about a particular issue - has great impact. An elected official usually counts one personal letter from a constituent as representative of many other voters!

Letter Writing Tips

Sample Letter

  1. Include your name, address, and date your letter....

    Ms. Jane Q. Public
    1 Main Street Anywhere, IA 55555

    January 1, 1998

  2. Address the letter properly....

    The Honorable ______________________________.
    Iowa State Capitol
    Des Moines, IA 50319

    Re: House/Senate File #____________

    Dear Representative/Senator __________________:

  3. Identify yourself....

    I am a registered voter in your district. I am writing to you about House/Senate File #____________, which would ... (short synopsis of the bill).

  4. State your position....

    I am strongly opposed to/in favor of this bill and ask you to vote against/for House/Senate File #_______________.

  5. State your interest....

    If the bill passes/is defeated, it will affect me (or someone I know) by ... (short synopsis of the impact).

  6. Ask for a response....

    Please let me know your position on House/Senate File #________.
    Thank you for your time and consideration.

  7. Sign your name....


    Jane Public

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Find Your Legislative Districts

Iowa District MapUse Project Vote Smart's database to find your districts and legislators based on your ZIP code. Include the Plus 4 for more accurate results.

How to Lobby

US CapitolAs citizens and voters it's our job to hold our elected officials accountable. To be accountable, they must understand how we feel about the issues that affect our lives and that we care about deeply. By getting involved in the political process, we can work to ensure accountability. ICAN provides the following Lobbying Tools so that ordinary citizens can get active and build accountability from the grassroots up.

Register To Vote

Register to Vote

All Iowa phonebooks contain a voter registration form or you can get one at many state offices.

To register in person, visit your county auditor's office.

You may fill out online, then print and mail, this registration form on the Iowa Secretary of State's website. Completed voter registration forms should be returned to the county auditor's office in the county where you live.