Write a Letter to the Editor to thank your Member of Congress—or hold them accountable—for their score on NETWORK’s Voting Record!
NETWORK is inviting all of our members and supporters to write Letters to the Editor (LTEs) as a way to lift up our 2020 Voting Record and publicly recognize Members of Congress for their scores. LTEs are an amazingly powerful advocacy tool! They are among the most widely read sections of newspapers and are closely monitored by legislators to find out what voters are thinking and hearing. Whether your Member of Congress scored 100% or 0%, your LTE will educate readers about where their lawmaker stands on the important issues of our time, and let your Member of Congress know that you are watching!
Tips for Writing your LTE
- Check out preferred length, style and format by reading letters currently in the publication. Look for submission requirements in the publication. Most publications prefer letters to be 250 words or less. Be succinct.
- Limit your letter to one topic. Even though we are asking you to lift up the 2020 Voting Record, we also encourage you to elaborate on only one of the votes.
- Make sure you provide a local slant by including the impact of the issue on your local community. For example, if you are highlighting your Member of Congress’s vote on the CARES Act, be sure to briefly explain how this COVID relief bill improved the lives of the people living in your town.
- Please refrain from personal attacks on Members of Congress who scored poorly. You can still be firm and hold them accountable while maintaining a civil tone.
- The easiest way to quickly submit an LTE is via email. Many publications also allow you to submit letters directly through their websites. Include your name, organization (if applicable), address and telephone number. Newspapers will often only publish a letter if they are able to contact the signer to make sure she or he is the author.
Since its founding nearly 50 years ago, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice has published an annual Voting Record scoring Members of Congress for their votes related to NETWORK’s policy agenda. This year’s Voting Record demonstrates how elected officials voted in 2020 on policies related to COVID-19 relief, democracy, workers’ rights, impeachment, police reforms, and more. I would like to congratulate Representative Angie Craig for her score of 100%. I am especially grateful for her vote on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would prohibit chokeholds and establish a national database on police-community interactions. Like so many Minnesotans, I’m still reeling from the violent and unnecessary death of George Floyd. This legislation is a step in the right direction to achieve racial justice in our criminal justice system. I hope legislation like this becomes law this year and that the entire MN delegation can join Rep. Craig in support of Black lives.
–Jim Jones, Red Wing
2020 was the deadliest year in U.S. history, with more than 400,000 confirmed and probable deaths from COVID-19. Over 3,000 of those deaths have been in Oklahoma. Senators Inhofe and Lankford had the opportunity to prevent some of those deaths and care for Oklahomans during the pandemic by voting “yes” for the Families First American Coronavirus Response Act, but according to NETWORK Lobby’s 2020 Voting Record, they both voted “no,” despite many of their Republican colleagues’ support for the bill. Senators, people in Tulsa are hurting. Many, like my nephew, have lost their jobs and can’t feed their families. Even when they have been exposed to COVID, it’s difficult to get tested. Why wouldn’t you support a bill that expands nutritional assistance, provide free coronavirus testing, and increases Medicaid funding? I pray that this year you care for all Oklahomans who have been affected by this pandemic.
–Sr. Mary Murphy, Tulsa
Please send links or copies of your published LTEs to NETWORK at firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we can keep track of everyone’s efforts. Also, our Government Relations team will deliver them to you Member of Congress’s office!