Letter Writing Tips

 

Tips for writing an email or letter to your NY Assemblyperson and Senator asking them to support Assembly Bill A.617 (Sponsor: Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal) and Senate Bill S.485 (Sponsor: Senator Kenneth LaValle) (the bills are identical).

See a sample letter.

 

Find your NYS Senator’s contact info here: http://www.nysenate.gov/

Find your NYS Assemblymember’s contact info here: http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/
 

If you are sending a letter, use your own stationery/letterhead, especially if you are representing a business or organization. A neatly typed or legibly handwritten letter on your own stationery is best. 

 
Write your own thoughts and words. Form letters are not as impressive as an original letter in your own words. Please use our sample letter as a guideline for your own writing.
 
Be clear on your position. Be sure to clearly state your position on GMO labeling. Why are you in favor of it? It’s okay to demonstrate your knowledge of the problems with GMOs, but make sure you do so concisely. Remember: This bill is for the labeling of GMOs, giving us the right to know about their presence in our food supply, not to ban or restrict their use. Be direct and firm, but not hostile.

Identify yourself. If you have met the legislator before, personalize your letter by noting briefly when and where that occurred so they can place a face with your name. Make sure you also include your street address so your elected official knows you live in or near their district.

Address elected officials properly. (e.g. “The Honorable ________”).
 
Be concise. A one-page letter or short email is more likely to be read than a longer one. Make sure you stick to the issue at hand – GMO labeling. If you have a short personal story that relates to why you believe GMO foods should be labeled, please share it.

Mention the legislation. Make sure you cite the bill number and name and/or its legislative sponsor (see above).

Request a specific action. Be sure to state exactly what you want the elected official to do: sign on to co-sponsor the Assembly or Senate bill and to vote yes when it reaches the floor for debate.


Ask for a reply. Ask your legislator for a reply – they are required to reply to you. You can also ask that your legislator state his or her position on a certain issue in a reply. If you’re mailing your letter, include your street address in the body of your letter, not just on the envelope.

If you handwrite your letter, write legibly. Handwritten letters can be as persuasive if not more so than typed letters, but your handwriting must be legible.

If you type your letter, use spellcheck!


Give us feedback, please! Please send GMO Free NY an email at info@gmofreeny.net to let us know that you’ve sent a letter/email, to whom you sent it, and if you’ve received any reply. Include details about whether the legislator will co-sponsor and/or vote yes, etc.