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OBTAINING HAND-WRITTEN LETTERS ON IMPEACHMENT TO BE SENT TO REPRESENTATIVES
[Go to a public place and help folks write a letter to their Congressperson asking for impeachment.]
The first time you go out with a clipboard you may feel a little uncomfortable. That’s natural! However you may feel more at ease when you experience people thanking you for giving them the opportunity to say in a letter what they feel in their hearts. And though there is no magic bullet to impeaching Bush and Cheney, these letters do contribute to the groundswell that we need in order to show Congress that the public really wants impeachment.
WHAT TO HAVE ON HAND
1. blank white computer paper
2. clipboards, pens
3. sample letter to the congressperson (have approx. 10 or so copies)
4. a blown-up, laminated “letter to the congressperson” to attract public attention
5. flyers, with someone’s email address on them for tracking purposes (optional)
6. 2 to 3 people (max. needed for any one location.)
7. a list of congressional representatives within approx. a 50 mile radius (an idea of where a congressperson’s district is located.)
8. an ironing board (you’ll get used to this approach quickly; it doesn’t look as dumb as you imagine.) (or)
9. a folding table with 2 or more chairs (for events, and also for letter-writers to sit in while they write.)
10. a volunteer sign up sheet (optional)
WHAT TO SAY TO THE PUBLIC
Something like: “Hi! Would you like to help get rid of Bush and Cheney?”
We have a national grassroots campaign to put pressure on our
representatives to introduce a bill of impeachment, [or ask for
an investigation into possible impeachable offenses.]”
“It will only take about 5 minutes to write a letter; each hand-
written letter represents the opinions of several hundred other
people who didn’t take the time to write.” (THIS IS A FACT
BASED ON LOBBYING RESEARCH.)
THE COLLECTION PROCESS
Each clipboard needs to have some white paper secured to it and a sample letter to the congressperson placed on top for reference viewing. Make certain that a diagonal line is slashed down the center of the letter and the words, “Do not date” are written on it somewhere. Also ask the constituent to not date their own letter. This is important in terms of when the letters are actually mailed out or brought over to the district office.
Say: “We’d really prefer that you write this in your own handwriting; the district
office will be more likely to read it. It can be 1 or 2 lines or as long as you
want.” If they don’t want to compose something, tell them they can
copy the sample letter verbatim. Least effective, but acceptable, is filling in
a sample letter that you keep out of sight except for these instances.
After they’ve finished their letter, check to see if they’ve signed and printed their legal name and full mailing address. If they’re not absolutely certain who their representative is, tell them to leave the “Dear Representative xxxxx” space blank.
You can find out who their member is by looking at their address on the letter afterwards.
VERY IMPORTANT: THEY NEED TO LEAVE THE LETTER WITH YOU!!!
This is so that each week you can date the letters and mail or take them to the congressional district offices to which they’re addressed. (Group them in batches of approx. 15 to 20 per week.) Optional: Make a copy of each letter to save for P.R. purposes later on. Someone can do the copying/mail-outs.
MISCELLANEOUS INFO. AND SUMMING THINGS UP
There are many good places to conduct the letter-writing campaign. 2 hours a week
(Saturdays are great) is all it takes to get the job done. Using the above method you can collect as many as 50 letters in a 2 hour period of time.
Farmers markets, shopping strips, street corners, public events……any place with a high volume of foot traffic is all it takes. In some cases you may have to ask permission to collect letters in a place that is “iffy”. And in cold weather it can be more challenging. But usually it can be done.
There will be many people who want to write letters without a huge amount of persuasion. Focus mainly on them and the process will go much smoother. In fact, you may actually find you’re having a good time out there.
Questions? Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org