WRITE A LETTER

USE THE TOOLS BELOW TO BECOME A VOICE FOR PROGRESS
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WHY A LETTER?

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WHY A LETTER TO THE EDITOR?

BEING AN ADVOCATE IN YOUR COMMUNITY

A letter to the editor is a brief letter to a newspaper, with the broad intention of giving a voice to readers. To this day, “Letter to the Editor” sections remain amongst the most popular of newspaper content.

As Democrats, we can utilize opportunities like these to inform our friends and family about the issues here in Missouri that impact them MOST. We can call on neighbors, community leaders, and politicians to take action. And we can hold our elected officials accountable.

FIND A PAPER

HITTING THE RIGHT AUDIENCE

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FIND A PAPER

Your letter should be sent to a local newspaper or publication, whether it be your town’s paper or the metro’s paper.

In preparation of writing your letter, you should identify an appropriate publication to send the letter to, then find their rules and deadlines regarding letter submissions (e.g. emailed, faxed, delivered by mail, etc.). Click below to search for the local paper right for you!

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WHAT ABOUT TOPICS?

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WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT?

ISSUES WITH MEANINGFUL IMPACT

People aren’t turning to local newspapers for coverage on national politics or electoral speculation anymore – instead, local newspapers are becoming more prized for their investment in educating the public on capitol issues.

This gives you the perfect opportunity to talk about what Missouri’s Democrats are fighting for, from expanding Medicaid for the 300,000 hard working Missourians in need and fully funding our public schools, to reestablishing the integrity of our elections and ensuring equal protection for all Missourians.

Write about the issues that matter most to you.

QUICK TIPS

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TIPS FOR WRITING YOUR LETTER

QUICK FACTS, BEING RELEVANT, GETTING PUBLISHED

A letter to the editor represents a rare opportunity for the average citizen to engage their community, the press, and even elected officials.

But before we get started, let’s go over a few quick tips:

  • Keep it short and concise. Many publications have a standard word count limit (e.g. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch largely enforces a 200-250 word limit).
  • If possible, represent this issue’s personal impact on your life. This letter is about your experience. Readers will want to know how this issue really impacts people, in addition to the plain facts.
  • Have a call to action in mind as a conclusion for your letter.
  • Avoid national political issues without a strong local connection. While decisions on federal issues surely impact all of us, your letter will have the greatest impact discussing issues closer to home.
  • Avoid engaging in an technical policy debate. Keep the letter focused on how this issue impacts you, someone you know, and/or your community.
GET WRITING

GET WRITING!

Now that you’ve selected a publication and topic, you’re ready to get writing. Below, you’ll find some quick resources regarding topic information and a sample letter to the editor. Once you’ve finished, remember to check you’re selected publication’s procedures so you can submit it quickly. Best of luck!

RIGHT TO WORK (FOR LESS)
  • No one is better off under “Right to Work”. The average worker in states with “Right to Work” laws makes over $1,500 less than workers in states without. Workplace deaths are 54.4% higher than states without “Right to Work” laws on the books. People in right-to-work states are less likely to have vital health insurance coverage provided by their employers. And 12 of the 14 states with the worst pay gaps between men and women are “Right to Work” states.
  • This “Right to Work” legislation is not meant to protect Missouri workers. It is designed to protect the corporate interests of billionaires like the Koch brothers while silencing the voices and weakening the rights of workers.
  • “Right to Work” legislation will cut wages and benefits to workers just to protect the interests of out-of-state millionaires and corporations. Lawmakers pushing for this

MORE INFORMATION »

MEDICAID EXPANSION
  • Greater access to health care saves lives. Expanding Medicaid would provide 300,000 hard-working Missourians in coverage gap with the freedom to make better choices about their health care, such as regular doctor visits, protection from expensive costs of repeat visits during a pregnancy or injury, and access to real preventative care.
  • With Republican obstruction in Jefferson City, Missouri is passing up the chance to gain tens of thousands of new well-paying jobs, $9.9 billion in new wages, and $402 million in new state revenue in the next seven years.
  • Medicaid expansion enjoys support from a diverse Missouri coalition including Democrats, members of the business, healthcare, religious, minority and progressive communities, and an ever-growing list of Republican leaders – even former U.S. Senator Kit Bond.

MORE INFORMATION »

EQUAL PAY FOR MISSOURI WOMEN
  • Missouri’s working women are paid just 71 cents for every dollar a man is paid, for the same work.
  • This inequality isn’t just a few cents on the dollar – this kind of disparity can mean everything to women just trying to get by and provide for their families.
  • For the 40% of working women who are the primary or sole breadwinner for their family, the loss of a combined total of approximately $8 billion means that they and their families cannot be on equal footing with their male counterparts.  

MORE INFORMATION »

FULLY FUNDING MISSOURI SCHOOLS
  • Missouri public schools are underfunded by $400 million, which will lead to a lack of resources and an inability to effectively educate Missouri students.  
  • Promises from GOP leadership to increase funding have so far been largely ineffective, and meanwhile they continue to cut taxes and increase tax breaks for special interests and out-of-state corporations, diverting much-needed money from schools.
  • By asking our schools to do more with less, we are directly impacting our students’ ability to learn. Schools are forced to not offer basic learning supplies, enlarge class sizes and cut funding to extracurricular and elective activities, all so that GOP leaders can cut taxes and take more money from our schools.

MORE INFORMATION »

MAKING THE MINIMUM WAGE A LIVING WAGE
  • The current minimum wage does not allow workers to make enough money to support themselves or their families. Raising the minimum wage would make paying for health insurance, getting their children to college and simply having food on the table easier for minimum wage workers across the nation.
  • Raising the minimum wage would boost the economy by allowing lower-income workers the opportunity to spend their wages and potentially raise demand and job growth. It would also have little to no negative impact on employment, but improve employee turnover and productivity.
  • Minimum wage workers are no longer primarily teenagers making extra money: the average wage of minimum wage workers is 35, more than half are women and more than half are full time workers. In fact, on average they earn half of their family’s earnings. In other words, the average minimum wage worker is working hard to provide for their family on a wage that won’t allow them to do so.

MORE INFORMATION »

THE MISSOURI NONDISCRIMINATION ACT
  • Members of the LGBTQ community still do not have access to workers’ rights and do not have protection against discrimination in the workplace. This means that you, your colleagues, your friends or your family members are all vulnerable to discrimination without MONA.
  • MONA legislation will simply extend the Missouri Human Rights statute to cover sexual and gender identity discrimination. Twenty one states have already passed non-discrimination legislation, but Missouri can’t be left behind.  
  • LGBTQ workers are more likely to be unemployed due to hiring and employer discrimination, and when they do find work, they are not guaranteed access to the same basic benefits, like access to healthcare and retirement funds, as their co-workers.  

MORE INFORMATION »

VOTING RIGHTS AND VOTER ID SCHEMES
  • Unfair voter ID requirements restrict voting rights for 220,000 hard-working Missourians, including your neighbors, family and friends, according to the Missouri Secretary of State’s office. Young, elderly, poor and minority Missourians would be most vulnerable to these extreme restrictions.
  • These GOP voter ID schemes are not meant to protect against voter fraud, but rather to silence people who Republicans would prefer not to have their voice heard on election day. This is the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands Missourians for purely partisan aims, and the GOP has already been called out on it  nationwide as well as right here in Missouri. A 2006 Missouri Supreme Court ruling found that these requirements would place an unfair burden on voters’ rights, and yet the GOP continues with their scheme.
  • Women have had the right to vote for 90 short years. Black Americans have had their right to vote guaranteed for only 50 short years after a long struggle for their rights. Our nation has already seen times when Americans were unfairly excluded from the right to vote. Do we really want to take a step back through this voter ID scheme?

MORE INFORMATION »

LETTER SAMPLE

The sample below Below is a suggested structure for your letter.

 

Dear editor,

*In this paragraph, you should establish why you are sending this letter. If responding to an article from the publication, you should state its title, author and publication date. If not, you should use this paragraph to convince both the newspaper staff (deciding on whether or not to publish your letter) and by extension, the general public, that your story and your perspective are worth reading.*

*You should next use this paragraph to establish the facts surrounding the impact this issue has on. Under the “Quick Facts” tab, we’ll be adding more and more easy to use statistics that can give you a stronger footing in the numbers, and freeing you up to focus on creating a more personal connection with the reader.*

*This third paragraph should contain your call to action, as well as any context that requires. Are you calling on a legislator to drop a dangerous bill? Are you calling for a legislator to be recognized for a great deed? Are you calling on your friends and neighbors to stand up in 2016 and help put an end to the big money overshadowing Missouri politics? Make the request clear, and only worry about elaboration for the sake of clarification.*

*You should end your letter with either a moment of reflection on the content so far, or a lighter note establishing the separation of politics from someone’s personal morality and well being.*

Sincerely,

[Name]
[Address]
[Date]

UPDATE US!

Let us know you've sent your letter, and tell us about it using the form below! No need to wait on the letter being published first, unless you'd prefer that.

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If possible, please copy and paste the text of your letter here.

If your letter was published online in addition to or instead of in traditional print, please include a link to it here.

Please include any other additional details you feel are relevant to your letter. We're excited to have you on board with spreading the word, and hope it's been well received!

You may also upload and attachment for any portion of the information requested by this form, if more convenient:

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