Ask and ya shall receive! Although BikeTexas stands for thousands of Texas cyclists, from time to time it’s critical to let elected representatives and other officials know your views about a particular issue. Elected leaders pay close attention to constituent outreach. The following pointers should make your requests more effective:
The suggested greeting to use is “Dear Council Person LastName” (“Dear Commissioner LastName” in places with City Commissioners instead of Councillors) or “Dear Mayor Pro Tem LastName” if your council person is the Mayor Pro Tem.
To start, identify who you are, your occupation, and your affiliation with any relevant organizations, such as being a member of BikeTexas.
Identify the Issue
In the first paragraph, identify your issue. Be sure to identify the agenda item or resolution by name and number if you are writing in reference to a specific item that has been placed on the council agenda.
A polite, friendly critique will always be more effective than a rude and insulting attack. The goal is to establish a relationship with your council member and their staff and then work towards achieving a specific goal by presenting potential solutions.
Support Your Case
Concisely state reasons in support of your position. Cite facts and include any applicable personal anecdotes. Ideally, your letter should be one page type-written, two at the most. Therefore, you need to be concise and direct.
Make a specific request about a single issue. Do not present a laundry list of items, but rather focus on their attention on the one pressing issue.
Keep BikeTexas in the Loop
Carbon Copy (cc:) firstname.lastname@example.org on any communications you have with representatives or other officials, or shoot us a quick email to let us know you made a phone call. And be sure to tell us if and when you get a reply.