Addresses & Letter To An Elected Official


American Government, Fall 2010


Monday/Wednesday Class Assignments Due:  10/18

Wednesday Night Class Assignments Due:  10/20


Address Assignment:


Using my web page as a start, look up the information necessary for the Web Assignment covering Mailing Addresses of the elected officials on the assignment sheet.


Letter to Elected Official:


Select a political issue that interests you and write a letter about it to any elected official at the local, state, or national level.  You could also write a letter to an appointed official (such as the Attorney General), but if you do, run that person’s name and position by me.  Your letter should have a definite purpose (typically to persuade someone to do something).  For example, you may want the Governor to veto a bill that the Legislature has just passed.  Or, you may want a Congressman to vote in favor of a bill currently up for a vote in Congress.  Whatever the issue, be as specific as possible.  State exactly what you want the official to do.  You may have to do some research to learn the relevant details about the issue.  The more specific and informed your letter, the more influence you could have over the individual’s vote/beliefs on an issue.

Here are some guidelines/directions:


·        Writing in the first person (I think…) is ok.

·        The letter should be no longer than one page in length (but a minimum of 250 words).

·        The letter should be typed and single spaced in standard business letter format.

·        You are responsible for finding the appropriate official’s mailing address.

·        The letter should be written on 8.5 X 11 paper.

·        The letter should be placed in a business size envelope.

·        The envelope must be stamped, sealed, with the official’s correct address, and it must have a return address.  The envelope must also have the letter in it!

·        Make sure to sign the letter.

·        Turn in to me a second copy (it can be a photocopy of the letter that goes into the mail, or it can be another printout of the original) along with the sealed, stamped envelope with your letter in it.  I will place the letters in the mail.


The letter will be evaluated by the following criteria:


·        Following directions

·        Selection of an appropriate issue (is it relevant?)

·        Addressing comments to the appropriate person

·        Clear, effective writing style with correct grammar, spelling, and a clear argument with supporting evidence



Helpful Hints


See my homepage ( information on correct addresses for elected officials and current topics of interest.  I have links to several government sites for information on elected officials and links to sites that describe current topics of debate.  I have taken information for this assignment from


Helpful suggestions for your letter:


1.     The purpose for writing should be stated in the first paragraph of the letter.  If the letter pertains to a specific piece of legislation, identify it by name/issue if at all possible.

2.     Be courteous, to the point, and include key information, using examples to support your position.

3.     Address only one issue in the letter.  This helps to maintain the letter’s focus.


Addressing Correspondence:


To a Senator:


The Honorable (full name)

United States Senate

___(Rm.#)___(name of) Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510


Dear Senator (last name):


To a Representative:


The Honorable (full name)

United States House of Representatives

___(Rm.#)___(name of) House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515


Dear Representative (last name):


Note:  When writing to the Chair of a Committee or the Speaker of the House, it is proper to address them as:


Dear Mr. Chairman or Madam Chairwoman:




Dear Madam Speaker: