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WRITE YOUR STATE REPS

One way you can advocate for Vote16MO is by writing a letter to your state representatives. Below, we outline the steps necessary to write to your state representative and senator in support of the Vote16MO Campaign

FOLLOW THE STEPS OUTLINED ON THIS PAGE. USE THIS CLICKABLE MENU BELOW TO GUIDE YOU THROUGH THE INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE: 

STEP 1: WRITE THE LETTER OR USE OUR TEMPLATE

A) FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVES

B) USE OUR TEMPLATE

C) WRITE YOUR OWN LETTER

STEP 2: PREPARE TO SEND YOUR LETTER

STEP 3: SEND YOUR LETTER

STEP 4: GET REIMBURSED FOR POSTAGE COSTS

STEP 1: WRITE THE LETTER OR USE OUR TEMPLATE!

You can choose to either write a letter on your own or use the template provided by Vote16MO.

 

STEP 1 (A): FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE

1) Click here to find your representatives. 

2) Once you enter your address on the website linked above, a list of your representatives will pop up. 

You'll want to pay attention to where it says "Senatorial district" and "House District"

(note: this is NOT "US House district")

3) Once you've located your representatives, their names should be underlined in blue to signify a clickable link. You should click on your representative's or senator's name. 

4) Once you've clicked on their name, you should write down their NAME, OFFICE ADDRESS and OFFICE ROOM NUMBER which can be found on their page. If you plan on calling your legislator, write down their PHONE NUMBER. 

5) You will use this information to write and address your letter. If you are using our template, you will need to add this information into the template.

If you would like to WRITE YOUR OWN letter, click here to skip to Step 1 (C).

STEP 1 (B): USE OUR TEMPLATE

To make it easier on you, we've prepared a template that you can use easily. Simply follow the instructions below. 

1) Once you click on the "open template" button below, you'll click "USE TEMPLATE" in the upper right hand corner. 

2) Once you've opened the template in Google Docs, you'll fill in all of the necessary information that is in brackets or "[ ]". 

For example, at the top you'll fill in your information and delete the brackets "[ ]" where it says:

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State, ZIP Code]
[Date]

Do this for the rest of the information in brackets throughout the letter. 

CLICK THE BUTTONS BELOW TO OPEN EACH TEMPLATE

STEP 1 (C): WRITE A LETTER ON YOUR OWN

Writing to your legislator is an effective way to voice your concerns, express your opinions, and advocate for change. Here are some tips for writing a persuasive and impactful letter to your legislator:

  1. Use a Proper Format: Look at our template for reference!

    • Begin with your name and contact information at the top of the letter.

    • Include the date.

    • Address the legislator appropriately, using their full name and title.

  2. Be Concise:

    • Keep your letter short and to the point. Legislators receive many letters, so it's essential to make your message clear and concise.

  3. Personalize Your Letter:

    • Mention your connection to their district or constituency.

    • Share personal stories or experiences that relate to the issue you're writing about.

  4. State Your Purpose Early:

    • Begin your letter by stating the reason for writing and what specific action or policy you are advocating for.

    • Before you write your letter, see the important talking points below.

  5. Do Your Research:

    • Understand the legislator's stance on the issue if possible. Mention previous related actions they have taken.

  6. Be Respectful and Polite:

    • Maintain a respectful and polite tone throughout the letter, even if you disagree with the legislator.

    • Avoid using offensive language or making personal attacks.

  7. Request a Specific Action:

    • Clearly state what you want the legislator to do (in this case, you want the legislator to vote to place the Vote16MO initiative on the November 2024 ballot).

  8. Use Personal Stories and Anecdotes:

    • Share personal anecdotes or stories that illustrate the impact of the issue on you, your community, or others.

  9. Address Local Impact:

    • Explain how the issue directly affects your local community or the legislator's constituency.

  10. Follow Up:

    • Include your contact information and invite the legislator to respond to your letter. Express your willingness to discuss the issue further.

    • After sending your letter, work with Vote16MO to follow up with the legislator or their staff. It shows your commitment to the issue.

  11. Edit and Proofread:

    • Ensure your letter is free from grammatical errors and is well-organized.

    • Send your letter to advocacy@vote16mo.org and we can help you perfect it!

  12. Collect Signatures:

    • If you are writing on behalf of a group or organization, consider including the names and signatures of others who support your letter.

  13. Timing Matters:

    • Send your letter in a timely manner, especially when a vote or decision is imminent.

 

TALKING POINTS:

These are simply our suggested talking points to help you guide your letter. You can choose between which ones you'd like to advocate for. 

1) We are not asking the legislators to support Vote16MO, although that would be amazing. We are simply asking the legislators to vote to place the Vote16MO initiative on the November 2024 ballot so that their own constituents, who are parents, business owners, school board members, teachers, and municipal leaders, would be able to decide the outcome of this initiative. If the legislator doesn't support Vote16MO, they would vote to place the initiative on the ballot and then vote against it when it is put to a vote!

2) We are not lowering the voting age in ALL elections, only nonpartisan local and school board elections. These elections are much smaller and more intimate. This will provide a transition process, allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in smaller elections which will give them practical experience in voting before joining the entire electoral process at all levels. 

3) Through Vote16MO, we are addressing the issue of taxation without representation in the youngest demographics. 16- and 17-year-old workers are paying millions in taxes combined year year, but have no access to elected representatives. This issue should supersede partisan gridlock, as this is a principle our country was founded on. 

4) We are currently seeing pitiful levels of voter engagement and turnout in local and school board elections in Missouri. Allowing 16 and 17-year-olds to vote will encourage civic engagement and active participation in the political process from a younger age. This can foster a lifelong habit of voting and civic responsibility. 

5) Educators and institutions from across the state are confirming the fact that lowering the voting age in local elections will strengthen civics education. By including younger voices in elections, we can encourage better civic education in our schools and ensure that young people have a say in decisions that will directly impact their lives.

6) Our country is built on the principle of representation. Lowering the voting age will help ensure that the concerns and perspectives of young citizens are included in the decision-making process.

7) Vote16MO will positively impact urban and rural communities. Communities across the state will see positive changes economically, developmentally, educationally, and civically, and beyond. 

STEP 2: PREPARE TO SEND YOUR LETTER

After your letter is written, you should follow these steps: 

1) Send your letter to the Vote16MO team to review and help you perfect!

You can send your letter draft to the Vote16MO team to help you review and perfect your letter so that it accomplishes the goals you want. Email your letter draft to advocacy@vote16mo.org

2) Print and Sign Your Letter

Once your letter is perfected and ready to go, print your letter and sign in the signature section. You may want to make multiple copies. If you make mulitple copies, you should print one letter, then sign it, then make copies of the signed letter. 

3) Scan Your Signed Letter & Send it to Vote16MO

Take a picture or scan your signed letter so that your letter content can be clearly seen and send the letter to Vote16MO. Vote16MO's advocacy team will ensure that the legislator's office received your letter after it is sent and we will use your letter in future advocacy meetings with your legislator. 

To scan your letter, you can use mobile phone apps such as "iScanner: PDF Scanner App" or

"CamScanner - PDF Scanner App" to scan a clear copy into your phone and send it to us. Or you can simply take a clear photo. 

Another option to scan is by using your photocopier or printer or going to a local library and asking for assistance. 

STEP 3: SEND YOUR LETTER

Once your letter is perfected, sent to us, and ready to go, it's time to send your letter! The best way to send your letter is by taking it to a local post office in which they can help you be sure that you have the correct postage and address on the envelope. 

STEP 4: GET REIMBURSED FOR POSTAGE COSTS

Vote16MO will reimburse you up to $10 per letter to cover expenses relating to sending the letter including travel to post office, stamps, envelopes, and more. To receive reimbursement, you must provide proof of the letter printed and signed and a picture of the letter in the envelope addressed and stamped. Email advocacy@vote16mo.org to receive your reimbursement.

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