Write a Letter to Congress to Support Bill H.R. 3131
Bill H.R. 3131 will make participation in the American Community Survey Voluntary.
If you haven’t read about the bill click here.
If you are going to write an email or a letter to a member of Congress there are some things you need to know:
Place the bill reference number and title you are supporting right at the top of the letter.
Include your name, address, and zip code, and phone number (even in an email) so the staff can verify that you are a constituent of the Member of Congress you are writing to and so that they can call you for further information or send a response if one is required. If you don’t want to send your phone number at the very least include your name and address.
Do not fax a letter. They are thrown away.
Do not use a form letter. They get thrown away.
You can use the email form that is found on every Congressperson’s official website but keep in mind the same guidelines below apply to emails as well as postal letters. If you do email be sure to place the number and title of the bill in the subject line.
Keep the letter very short, well-thought out, and to the point. Do include a short paragraph on how you think the bill will impact your district, state, or country and its citizens and include your reason for supporting or opposing the bill. One 8 1/2”X 11” sheet of paper is enough and that should not be filled.
Personalize the letter by stating your reasons for supporting or opposing the bill but don’t include personal experiences such as an argument with a census worker or other personal experiences.
Place the reference number and title of the bill you are supporting right at the top of the letter.
Make sure the letter is legible, clear handwriting, or if you are typing, use a business-like font.
Use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation as you are representing yourself and your ideas to Congress.
Make sure you clearly indicate at the close of the letter you let the Congressperson know whether you want them to support or oppose the bill you are writing to them about.
Be sure to thank the Congressperson for taking the time to read your letter.
To find out who your representative or senator is go to: Current Members of Congress Scroll down a bit and there you will find a state by state listing of all members of congress. Each representative’s or senator’s name and photo is posted there.
To verify that you are writing to the correct congressman or woman for your district click on the “ViewMap” link next to each name and it will show you a map of the district that congressman or congress woman represents.
Clicking on the name of the senator or representative will take you to their govtrack.us profile. The first line of every profile has a link to each congressperson’s official website. Each of their official websites has contact information where you can call, email or send a postal mail letter. Many of the websites have postal mailing addresses at the bottom of the page. Others have postal mailing addresses in the CONTACT information. Either way it’s not too hard to get an address for anyone in Congress.
So here is a sample letter to a Congressperson. Feel free to make it your own.
Your full name
The Honorable (full name of senator)
RE: H.R. 3131. To make participation in the American Community Survey voluntary, except with respect to certain basic questions.
Dear Senator (Last name) or Dear Representative (Last name):
I am writing to you to express my support for Bill H.R. 3131 and I am asking that you also will support it in Congress.The extremely invasive nature of the questions on the American Community Survey are a clear threat to my sense of privacy as an American citizen. I am not convinced by any means that my privacy will be secure.
In 1997, Congress, in Pub. L. 105-119, title II, Sec. 209, Nov. 26, 1997, 111 Stat. 2480, found that:
(2) the sole constitutional purpose of the decennial enumeration of the population is the apportionment of Representatives in Congress among the several States…”
(Add a paragraph of your own research or findings about the ACS here)
Thank you for your time and interest.
(If you type and print out the letter sign your name in blue or black ink)
As an additional note on communicating with Congress or any other agency, here is some information on petitions. Do not bother with email petitions. They are completely invalid as the names and addresses cannot be verified. No government agency or organization takes notice of an email petition. It is highly unlikely that any email petition has ever reached its stated destination as an email petition is usually a scam designed to collect email addresses for spamming. People often sign them as a way of feeling like they’ve done their part without really having made even the smallest effort.
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