Tips for writing to your representatives

As the School of Conservation serves residents from all over New Jersey, we need to alert all of our legislators to the possibility of the School closing. A small number of phone calls or letters is taken to represent the opinion of many more people. Here are some points to consider in writing to your representatives:

Find your representatives:  
https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp

Use your own words and personal examples. 
Form letters that look alike don’t have the same impact. While we have provided a sample letter, please put your own personal spin on it. Your own personal experience is your best supporting evidence. Remember to personalize the heading and salutation for each legislator to whom you send a letter. 

Focus on key points. 
It is not necessary to identify yourself as a citizen and taxpayer, since your address will do this for you. State your concern—that the School of Conservation may be forced to close—and your request:
The Friends of the New Jersey School of Conservation has submitted a proposal to the Governor’s Office and the Commissioner of the NJDEP to manage SOC until a permanent manager can be found to replace Montclair State University. The Friends of NJSOC’s temporary stewardship will protect the site and help ensure that the citizens of New Jersey will not lose this valuable resource. I am asking for your endorsement of their proposal and your support in helping to save the NJSOC.

Ideally, this information should be in your first paragraph. A one-page letter is preferred, but two pages are acceptable.

Communicate by mail. 
Most legislators have fax machines and email, but personal communications by mail or by phone are recommended.

Be professional. 
Use a polite and informative tone. This is not the time for righteous indignation or threats. Spell check and proof your letters carefully for grammar and punctuation. 

Share and coordinate your efforts. 
Share a copy of your letter with the Friends of NJSOC and inform us of any follow up. This can be done via email (friendsofnjsoc@gmail.com). We will be happy to assist you with speaking to legislators if they request additional information. 

Sample letter 

(click to download)