Deliver Letters to Congress
Members of Congress want to hear from us, their constituents. Time and again, staffers tell us how important it is that they hear from their constituency. They say that personalized letters from constituents delivered directly to their office are very meaningful.
Below you’ll find a suggested process for organizing and delivering a batch of letters and postcards.
Add letter authors who have opted in to the CCL database
We ask that you enter the names of those that have completed Constituent Letters into our database when you collect letters at your outreach events. Be sure to only enter the contact information from the forms of people who have “opted in” to receive follow-up CCL communication (their box is checked at the bottom of the form). You can enter them into the Chapter Roster Tool to add them to the CCL mailing list. Or get the New Volunteer Import Spreadsheet, enter the authors’ information, and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make two copies of each completed letter so that you have one for each Senator as well as one for the Representative.
Prepare for a volunteer delivery in D.C.
Looking up the district
If you have letters for Congressional districts other than your own and you plan to send the letters with a volunteer who is going to D.C., look up the Congressional Districts for the zip codes on the letters. You may have to enter the author’s street address as well.
Write the Congressional district code (e.g., FL-25) on the lower right-hand corner of each letter. For letters going to the Senate, use JR for Junior Senator (the senator in your state who has served a shorter period of service in the Senate), and SR for the Senior Senator (the senator in your state who has served a longer period of service in the Senate). For example, FL-JR, and FL-SR.
Scheduling a meeting at the local office
Schedule a meeting in the appropriate Congressional office to present the constituent letters. It’s a great reason to ask for a meeting: “We have over fifty handwritten constituent letters which I would like to go over with you.”
Delivering the letters
If you are attending the International Conference in DC., follow these instructions for how to prepare your out-of-district letters to be exchanged for delivery during Lobby Day.
Sometimes when you’re doing outreach, you collect letters from out-of-town folks. If there is a CCL D.C. Conference coming up in the near future (November or June), bring the letters to D.C., or send your letters with a volunteer who is attending. At other times of the year, or if no one in your vicinity is attending, put your letters in envelopes and mail them directly to the appropriate Congressional offices in D.C.
Prepare for an envoy delivery in D.C.
If you have twenty-five or more letters for a single Congressional district and no one from your chapter is traveling to D.C. in the near future, download a transmittal card and send the letters to the CCL Envoys at:
Citizens’ Climate Lobby
1750 K St. NW, Suite 11
Washington DC 20006
On the transmittal card, write the name of the Congressional staff person whom you would like to receive the delivery. It is most effective for the CCL Envoys to deliver the letters to the attention of a specific staff member you’re working with in order to increase the letters’ impact.
Submit a field report
Tally up all letters being delivered and submit a field report to track the number of letters being submitted.