Why a personal letter?
For the Million Letter March campaign, we're asking our "marchers" to write personal letters that are signed, placed in envelopes, and sent to their members of Congress (with a copy submitted to our website). In an information age dominated by email and texting, why would we ask people to do this?
One word: Impact.
In our conversations with congressional offices, we heard time and again that personal letters from constituents, sent by regular mail, carry the most weight with decision-makers on Capitol Hill. More than email. More than phone calls. And certainly more than petitions, web-based or otherwise.
A personal letter — unlike other forms of communication — sends the message that you are highly commited to the issue, that it ranks near the top of things you expect your member of Congress to handle. Two things will happen when you send a personal letter: You'll get their attention, and you'll get a response.
Making a letter personal means going beyond copying and pasting talking points. It means sharing who you are and your position in the community. It means speaking from the heart about why you feel it is so important to address climate change. It means being specific about your support for the Million Letter March principles because they will be fair, effective and enforceable, and insisting that Congress reject false solutions like cap-and-trade-with-offsets.
We could have created a petition that takes people five seconds to sign and click. With so little effort, a million signatures could be gathered in a matter of weeks. But people in Washington would place little value on those signatures and feel no urgency to act.
Yes, we're asking you to do a little work here, but considering what's at stake — the future of our planet — it's well worth the effort.