Your Tasks

Task 1- Decisions, Decisions

Decide Your Topic

You will need to pick a topic related to anything that we have gone over in the course.

Here are some ideas to help guide your decision:

  • Explore trending events/topics in the news
    • What are news reporters currently focusing on? Oftentimes politicians are also focusing on these issues.
    • Examples of news sources: CalMatters, NPR, CNN, Fox, BBC, MSNBC, and etc.
  • Research proposed/recently passed bills
    • What are some issues that legislatures have recently voted on or will be voting on soon?
    • Examples of where to find this information: CalMatters, CA LegiScan

Decide Who You Will Write To

Next, you will need to decide who to write your letter to. It is recommended that you:

  1. Write to the legislator that represents your district and/or
  2. Write to a legislator who works on the topic you’re writing about.

CalMatters has a new tool that allows you to find your legislator, as well as identify legislators who work on key topics. You can access this information on their page, Glass House: California Legislator Tracker.

Please see the Directory of Public Officials for their contact information.

Task 2- Rough Draft

Next you will create a rough draft of your letter. Your letter can express one of the following:

  • You are angry about something, and want others to know it
  • You think that an issue is so important that you have to speak out
  • Part of your group’s strategy is to persuade others to take a specific action

Or you want to:

  • Suggest an idea to others
  • Influence public opinion
  • Educate the general public on a specific matter
  • Influence policy-makers or elected officials directly or indirectly
  • Publicize the work of your group and attract volunteers or program participants

Please refer to the guidelines found in “How to Write Letters to Elected Officials”, which can be found on the next page. General guidelines can also be found in the powerpoint presentation preceding this assignment. Feedback will be based on the following: