I am getting ready to send a letter to each of my senators urging them to support Senate Bill 804. In the process, I consulted with a friend who has both contacts and experience in this area. My question to him was, what's the best way to insure my letter actually gets read and acted on? Here's what he told me. I think it's worth passing on to everyone who is an advocate (or plans to be).
First. Don't use email. In the average congresscritter's office, incoming emails are not read, at least not initially. They are reviewed by staffers and sorted into folders according to the subject line. They may or may not get read eventually, depending on the topic and on what else is happening.
Second. To give a letter the highest possible probability of being read, send it by snail mail. And (important!), use the heaviest expensive paper and envelope you can find. Either type the address on a typewriter, or hand address it in a way that can't be mistaken for computer-generated. Those letters get opened and read all the way through.