Welcome New and Returning State Officials
Voting is just the first step towards full civic participation in a democracy. Follow up with your governor and legislators so that they know what matters to you and ask them how they plan to serve your community. Below, find a sample letter that you can personalize for greater impact to welcome your state officials.
Dear <Governor/Representative/Senator Last Name]:
As a constituent living in [Insert City/Town], I am writing to congratulate you on your successful election and welcome you to the <Insert governship/ Your State's Senate/ or Your State's House>.
I know you will face many tough decisions in the months ahead as our state grapples with the devastating economic and social impacts of COVID-19. I encourage you to make public higher education a budget priority as these investments benefit students, their families, and our communities.
A well-rounded education develops inventive employees, thoughtful citizens, and stronger communities. Public higher education institutions contribute to <State’s> economy as major employers for the region, attract federal and private funding critical to research that benefits the public good, serve as major cultural centers contributing to a sense of place, and educate alumni who go on to improve the quality of life for all <Alabamans, Texans, etc.>.
Our state’s public colleges and universities are also working on prevention and response efforts, while trying to minimize the unprecedented administrative disruption and profound financial upheaval to their campuses. Your support is needed to make sure young people have access to high-quality education.
Again, congratulations on your election and thank you for your service. Please add me to your newsletter list to keep me informed about your post-election priorities.
City, Town, Zip]
Tips and Suggestions to Make Your Email More Personal
- Keep your message as short, simple, and specific as possible. If you can, incorporate the budget request language from institutions in your state by looking for public higher education advocacy networks like Texas A&M, Michigan State University, University of Florida for example. If you need help finding these networks in your state, Society staff can help you.
- Tell a brief personal anecdote when possible to tie your message back home for your legislator.
- Make connections between your issue and the concerns of the governor or legislator.
- Ask for a response by indicating you would appreciate a reply on the issue.
- Follow up when appropriate by thanking your governor or legislator when you agree with their votes or informing them when you disagree.