Write your elected officials

Another effective way to communicate your concerns with your elected official is by writing a letter. Phone calls are the quickest method of communication, but unless your elected official is available to speak with you, your concerns will be relayed to him or her through a staff member. In this way, neither your message nor your personal touch reaches your legislator directly.

Writing a letter is simple and is, in fact, the most popular method of reaching a member of Congress or state legislator. When drafting a letter, please bear in mind these few basic suggestions:

Be Direct: State the purpose of writing your legislator in the first paragraph of the letter.

Be Accurate: If your letter concerns a specific piece of legislation, identify it as such, e.g., House bill: H.R. (number), Senate bill: S. (number). The Library of Congress provides a website that will assist you in researching a House or Senate bill number. Please visit the Library of Congress at http://thomas.loc.gov/[c1] .

Be Concise: Keep the letter to one page or less, if possible.

Be Efficient: E-mailing or faxing your letter, as opposed to mailing it, is highly recommended. Mail typically takes four to six weeks to reach your legislator's desk. Legislators' fax numbers, e-mail addresses (if available) and other write your legislator tools can be obtained by using the Your Elected Officials page on this website.

Addressing Letters:

You can direct correspondence to your U.S. Senator as follows:

The Honorable (Full Name)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator (Last Name)

You can direct correspondence to your U.S. Representative as follows:

The Honorable (Full Name)
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative (Last Name)

Addressing a State Representative:

Senator, Representative, Delegate,
Assemblyman, or Assemblywoman


Envelope, official:

The Honorable
(Full name)
(Name of state legislature)

Forms of Address for Government Officials


Letter Greeting

President of the United States

Dear Mr. (or Madam) President

Vice President

Dear Mr. (or Madam) Vice President

Cabinet members

Dear Mr. (or Madam) Secretary

United States Senator

Dear Senator Jones

Speaker of the House

Dear Mr. (or Madam) Speaker

United States Representative

Dear Representative Jones


Dear Governor Jones

State Legislators

State House: Dear Representative, Delegate, or Assemblyman*
State Senate: Dear Senator


Dear Judge Jones


Dear Mayor Jones

*Certain states have a House of Delegates, House of Representatives, or House of Assembly Members. Address your letter accordingly.