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Resources for Action

ENVS 121 students practicing vegetation surveying on campus

Beyond the Program

Who is looking after your community? Who is making sure your neighborhood is not being exploited or overused? Involve yourself in the happenings of your community and educate yourself enough to know who the people are that make the decisions. By involving yourself you can be a very powerful individual. Educating yourself about your local government and local organizations can make you a more effective activist. This provides a solid foundation of information to justify your argument or stand on a particular issue. The resources section of this Website is designed to help you effectively voice your opinions allowing politicians and leaders to know you’re watching their actions and concerned with your community.

Ways to Get Involved

You can get involved in your community by attending city council meetings, planning commission meetings, state assembly and senate meetings, by joining committees that deal with issues of concern, by writing letters to leaders and politicians, and by joining organizations which deal with issues of concern. To obtain a list of scheduled meetings you can visit the headquarters of the organization holding the meeting you wish to attend and many organizations provide meeting dates and times on the internet as well.

Contact Your Representative

Use the following links to contact various government officials. 

Let Your Voice Be Heard!

An effective way to let your voice be heard is through writing letters. This method can be used to convey your opinions and concerns about almost any issue to representatives and officials. There are several key things that must be included in a letter to make it as effective as possible.

  • Start the letter off by thanking the person you are writing to for past votes or actions they may have made that you are in agreement with.
  • The letter needs to be well thought out and presented in a manner that is professional.
  • A good letter will have proper grammar and will be concise with only one topic (more than one topic can be confusing and make the letter too long.)
  • Ask for something specifically, such as a yes vote on particular bill.
  • Spell the name of the person you are writing to correctly, misspellings are often overlooked and can take away from the effectiveness of your letter.
  • Include your thoughts in your own words, do not be over-emotional or threatening.
  • When possible try to personalize your message writing a story that makes your letter stand out.
  • Mention your involvement in local organizations and groups.
  • If you are writing about a specific bill, address it by name, so your reader knows exactly what you’re talking about.
  • When writing a letter to your Congressmen or House Representative about a specific bill, remember that bills are voted for at scheduled times and it is important that you get your letter in before that time.
  • If for some reason you cannot get your letter in on time you can try calling your representative or sending them a telegram, try to avoid emailing, or faxing them.
  • Close the letter by thanking the reader for their time and asking for a reply. Be sure to leave a clear address or way for that person to reply to your letter.
  • It is a good rule of thumb to contact that person again after the bill has been voted on, either thanking them for their support or voicing your concern about their vote. This lets that leader know that their actions are not going unnoticed and certainly not forgotten.