Walden University Letter to Your Representative Question

Assignment: Letter to Your Representative

Depending on the urgency of a social problem and policy timeline, you may not have the opportunity to attend a meeting with local, state, or federal representatives to vocalize your advocacy goals as they relate to the specific policies and agendas.

As an advocacy professional, you have other means of communication that can influence decision makers and legislators. Some social workers communicate by writing letters and emails to their legislators on a regular basis—others might write to broader audiences by submitting a letter to the editor of a periodical or news site. Through direct and personalized correspondence, the social worker can develop a professional relationship with the legislator. The more letters a legislator receives, the more likely they are to become an ally and to be influenced to support and vote for your social change projects.

For this Assignment, you will craft a message to the political leader(s) responsible for the policy or policy alternative you identified earlier in the course. As part of your Assignment, you will also send your message—either via physical mail or email—to your representative(s) and reflect on the experience.

To Prepare:

    Locate the information for your local or state representative(s) responsible for the policy and/or policy alternative you selected earlier in the course.

Review the advocacy resources from the Council on Social Work Education and the American Psychological Association from the Learning Resources this week. –

  • Review the letter and email examples from the Sample Letters and Emails section of the Learning Resources this week:
  • American Public Health Association. (2021). APHA letter to the House Education and Labor Committee in support of H.R. 1195, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Services Workers Act. https://www.apha.org/-/media/Files/PDF/advocacy/letters/2021/210323_HR1195_workplace_violence.ashx
  • American Psychological Association. (2017). Effective advocacy: Sample email. https://www.apa.org/advocacy/guide/sample-email.pdf
  • American Psychological Association. (2017). Effective advocacy: Sample letter. https://www.apa.org/advocacy/guide/sample-letters.pdf
  • Craft your message and send it to your local or state representative(s).

By Day 7

Complete the two-part Assignment.

Part 1:

Submita 1- to 2-page message to your political representative(s). Address the following in your message:

  • Use the appropriate structure for the delivery format (letter).
  • Introduce yourself and your intent or request.
  • Describe the social problem and impacts of the policy in question.
  • Use facts, stories, or other details to appeal to the representative(s) and connect the policy work to their district or state.
  • Provide a call to action—inspire your representative(s) to rise to this occasion.

Part 2:

Submita 1-page reflection of your process for writing a message to your political representative(s). Address the following in your short reflection:

  • Describe the experience of sending the message—either via letter or email—to your representative(s). How did it feel to formally advocate on behalf of a policy to alleviate a social problem you have thoroughly reviewed?
  • Explain why you wrote a letter versus sending an email – explain your reasoning.
  • Describe how you constructed the letter. Use the Council on Social Work Education and American Psychological Association resources from the Learning Resources this week to support your choices.
  • Explain how you used your advocacy skills in your communication.
  • What are your next steps as an advocate?

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