Speak a little LOUDER

Submitted by tsm1 on Wed, 01/23/2002 - 12:09

From JoeRoss:

I've been around M4X4A meetings for nine years now. I have been hearing pretty much the same story all the time from Don and Steve. I've seen them well disgusted by the lack of written support from the membership on a veriety of land use issues.

I'm guilty.

Some of the talk, names, and bill numbers go by fast and over the head.

I've also heard at out local level "you write it and I'll sign it"


You know, we can do that!

Some of you saw what I did at the last delegates meeting with a letter to senators Burns and Baucus. I had requests for copies for other clubs' members to sign.

I decided to build letter heads for each state club, and with other things I set up it would be a snap to customize a letter for each club.

I don't have the time to follow the issues but if any of you will write the text and get it to me we can have comments to any legislator or forester from each club. E-mail would be really nice for me. Then I can just plug it in the right place, but I'll surely help get the word out.

This is the cover that will go out with each:

It seems that we continue to lose rights and access to our trails. It’s time for us to

Speak a little louder.
Please present this at your club meetings for all who agree to sign and forward to the addressee.

This is the best solution I can come up with. I'm willing if you send me the text and to whom it goes. Go to your next club meeting to see how I customized the last letter.


A guide from SEMA on letters:
Personal letters -- The absolute best thing to do is to write a personal letter. Personal letters show legislators that the author is knowledgeable, interested and committed to the matter at hand. Sending a personal letter also alerts the legislator to the fact that the author is politically active. Legislators keep close track of how their mail is running on particular issues, so your letter will have an influence whether the elected official personally reads it or not.

Be Timely -- Write when an issue is current. Procrastination and apathy guarantee that your voice will not be heard and that legislators will assume you don't really care.

Be Brief -- Limit yourself to one page and one topic. The goal is to be read and understood.

Be Specific -- Reference specific bill numbers. Include basic information like what the legislation would do and how it would affect you and other people in the legislator's district or state. Remind legislators how their actions affect your hobby and your vote.

Be Supportive -- Write thank you letters when a legislator supports your cause. Too often they get only ãantiä or complaint letters. A thank-you will make you stand out and it will help establish a more personal relationship with the legislator.

Give extra effort -- Take an extra 30 seconds to write a 1- or 2-line personal note at the bottom of the form letter. Briefly restate your concerns. Ask for a written response. Any effort to make the form letter personal will help it be noticed