What is Dear Leaders?
This publication is born of a pretty simple idea: that calling or writing to our elected officials is an effective way to make our voices heard; that it’s hard sometimes to do that because it requires not only that we know what we want to say, but also that we know how to articulate it; and that the solution to this problem is pooling our resources.
So what we’re doing here is collecting letters that folks have already written to local, state, and federal elected officials; and we’re collecting phone scripts from people who choose to call in. The idea is that if you have something you want to say, but constraints of time, language, or even motivation press on you, Dear Leaders becomes an easy fallback point: a source rich in prefabricated language that you can use to tell your legislator to back off cuts to social services, or protect the rights of the most vulnerable among us, or vote for or against whatever piece of legislation has come up this week.
Many posts here will be perfect to modify and use yourself. They will be short, pithy, and to the point — all qualities that are important in a situation where legislators’ staff primarily want to keep a tally of how many people want what.
Some of the posts here will also be useful for taking inspiration. It happens occasionally that we want to contact an elected official for purposes other than weighing in on some upcoming matter. It may be to write a thank-you note for a job well done, or express our disappointment in an official’s choices. Those sentiments belong here, too.
In its way, you may consider Dear Leaders a form of collective action. If one person writing the occasional letter is participating in making his or her voice heard in the public square, then all of us swapping letters and call scripts and bombarding our elected officials can only serve to amplify that voice.
So we invite you to pilfer greedily. Take the letters and scripts that are published here, change them around to fit your needs, and then use them. Our leaders need to hear our voices; and we hope that this publication will make that easier for more people to achieve.