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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


OPINION: Reasons to write your senators and representatives and how to do it


un-PAC is a political action committee dedicated to reducing the role of money in politics. (Illustration by Molly Cline | Daily Wildcat)

Every two years, the House of Representatives holds a new election cycle, and every six years the Senate holds their elections. These cycles give constituents a chance to vote for the candidate of their choice. Each vote is a contribution to the election system and a chance to have your voice heard. 

Your district representative and two state senators work for you. Your vote put them where they are now, so why shouldn’t they listen to what you want? 

As your representative or your two state senators, they aren’t meant to work in their own personal interests (even if they do). They are meant to listen to their constituents — also known as you! 

However, it is our responsibility to let them know what issues are important to us and how we want them to vote in the Senate or House. 

Writing a letter of concern or support towards a particular piece of legislation is a way to hold our elected officials accountable in their positions. 

This may seem daunting at first, but with a three-step guide, it can take less than 5 minutes to have your voice heard. 

First, who do we contact?: 

The representative that encompasses Tucson is Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz. If you are a resident of Pima County, she is your voice in the House of Representatives. However, if your voting residency is in another district or state you can look up your representative here

The two Arizona state senators are Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Mark Kelly, D-Ariz. 

Second, what do we want to address?: 

There are hundreds of House bills and Senate bills being discussed every day in the Arizona state legislature. If you hear about an issue or piece of legislation happening in Arizona, there’s a bill for that. 

You can look up specific bills you are invested in here. In your letter, you want to address a specific either Senate or House bill by number, ex: SB1000 or HB1000. 

Third, how do we format our letter?: 

In my opinion, you want to keep it concise. You may not receive a response to your letter, the actual elected official may not even read it. However, at least a desk assistant will tally up all the letters of the day and alert the elected official about how many letters of support and concern they received about a certain bill, so every letter matters. 

A free letter format resource from North Los Angeles County Regional Center shows how to clearly outline your letter in a respectful and concise way. 

If mailing a letter doesn’t seem like something you would want to do, a phone call is an alternative. All elected officials can receive phone communication, however, you will most likely be speaking with a desk assistant. 

I recommend still writing your letter, and then reciting it on the phone to the desk assistant. This will help you keep your thoughts organized, concise and respectful. 

Emailing is another option for some elected officials, but not all of them. Kelly has an email form and Sinema has an email form as well. However, Kirkpatrick does not. Your email should follow the same format as your letter. 

Your elected officials work for you. They are in the position they are in today because of voters. Make your voice heard and have your elected officials listen to you. 

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Maayan Cohen Headshot

Maayan Cohen (she/her) is an opinions reporter and a sophomore majoring in digital journalism. In her free time, you can find her trying new recipes, going to a thrift store or creating art.

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