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Letter Writing Campaigns

Letters (intended here to also include emails) are a great way to make your position known to policymakers, make an ask, say thank you, or express your concern about a vote or position taken. Keep in mind that governors and state legislators receive a lot of mail, so you’ll want to give careful thought to its construction.

affiliate organization letters

  • Be timely.  Your letter should precede the opportunity for the policymaker to take action.  For example, if you are asking the individual to support your issue in a committee, you will want to be aware of their meeting calendar and agenda to make sure your letter arrives in time. 
  • Keep it relatively short—ideally one page but never more than two.
  • If using email, make sure your subject line includes an abbreviated version of your ask and references that you are a constituent. For example, “Constituent Request:  Please support funding for Cuyahoga County's arts and culture sector”.
  • In the first paragraph, state clearly and concisely the issues you want to discuss, your (or your organization’s) position on them, and the action(s) you want the policymaker to take.
  • Make sure you point out that you are a constituent or that you or your organization is physically located in or provides services to the policymaker's area of representation.
  • Provide a brief (one paragraph) background on the issue.
  • Stress how the issue at hand will affect the policymaker's area, and, if possible, tell a personal story that highlights why you care about the issue.
  • State clearly what you want the policymaker to do.
  • When possible include thanks for something the policymaker has done to support arts and culture related issues or, at minimum, for considering your request.

grasstops sign-on letters

Grasstops sign-on letters follow the same format and rules as affiliate organization letters, but they are signed by a group of leaders within the community.  This is a great organizing tool to cultivate, engage, and focus grasstops support. 

Some suggestions for grasstops signers:

  • A group of board members
  • A group of individual artists 
  • A group of small business owners
  • Local elected officials (e.g., mayors, county officials)
  • State legislators
  • Grant recipients
  • Leaders of arts and culture organizations
  • Directors of allied organizations
  • Religious and faith leaders
  • Members of arts and culture advisory groups

Note that the sign-on letter can be used with other groups of individuals sharing similar characteristics.  For example, a letter signed by a number of artists or arts and culture organizations could be very persuasive. This article can provide more information on forming and working with grasstop groups. 

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