We make it easy to contact your congressperson or senator! Use our Contact Your Legislator page to send an email. Send a tweet or visit your reps with our Right Side of History page. But if you want to step it up, write an old-fashioned letter to your congressperson or senator.
Why write a letter?
Letters, especially hand-written letters, have more value to your reps than emails. It took you more time to write the letter, so your reps will figure you felt more strongly than someone who just sent a tweet or an email.
Your senator or congressperson isn’t sitting in the office opening the mail and reading it. There are staff members who do that. For emails, there’s even software that sorts out the form letters and grades the level of importance of the emails.
Your letter will be most likely to reach your rep if you write it in your own words, from the heart. However, you can use our email templates as inspiration, or a starting point.
Write a good letter
An effective letter makes a clear point in a courteous way. At least, avoid being abusive in your language. You can certainly be passionate, and it’s good to share personal stories.
Support your claims. Puerto Rico voted for statehood in 2012 and 2017. Not all legislators know this. Two-thirds of stateside Americans in a Gallup poll said they support statehood for Puerto Rico. Many people don’t know this. Share your own experience — the experiences that make you feel strongly about statehood.
Ask your legislator to do something. Members of Congress can cosponsor HR4901, the Puerto Rico Statehood Admission Bill. Senators can introduce the same bill in the Senate. Presidential candidates (sure, write to them, too!) can come out publicly for Puerto Rico statehood as Andrew Yang and Mike Bloomberg have already done.
Here’s an example for inspiration:
Dear [Rep. or Sen.] [Member Name],
As a voter and your constituent, I urge you to listen to the will of the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico who voted for statehood in 2012 and again in 2017. In 2018, the Puerto Rico government officially requested statehood sending a shadow delegation to demand that Congress take action.
Now H.R. 4901, the “Puerto Rico Statehood Admission Act of 2019” has been introduced in the House with significant bipartisan support. I urge you to become a cosponsor of this legislation, and to support the introduction of a companion bill in the Senate.
It is unacceptable that nearly 3.2 million U.S. citizens live in Puerto Rico, without a voting representative in Congress and without a vote in presidential elections. The United States should not be a colonial power. Puerto Rico has been a territory for more than a century, and it’s time for this damaging, unequal treatment of the U.S. citizens living on the island to end. We should welcome our fellow Americans to equal rights and equal responsibilities with the 50 states.
I urge you to support H.R. 4901, support the introduction of a companion bill in the Senate, and to publicly voice your support for Puerto Rico statehood! I look forward to your feedback and response.
Your name and address
Write to your own reps
A letter written to a congressperson who doesn’t represent you may just be forwarded to your congressperson. It probably won’t hit the desk of the person you addressed it to. If you want Senator Marco Rubio to introduce an admissions bill in the Senate, ask a friend in Florida to write the letter.
Tell us how it turned out
We want to know! If you get a response, please share it in the comments here.