Help writing a letter to a legislator

Advocacy Project: DUE DATE 9/24/2018

Advocacy letter writing exercise

To provide an opportunity to advocate for health concerns, each student will complete one of the following activities:

  • Write a letter to a legislator regarding a bill or issue that was considered or will be considered in upcoming legislature, or
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local paper regarding an aspect of a legislative bill or a health-related issue, or
  • Write a letter regarding a health issue of concern to a regulatory body.

Remember a few important points:

  • Write this paper as if you intend for the person to read it.In fact, upon approval (once any edits are made), I encourage you to submit your letter via e-mail or mail to the intended party!Remember, however, you are representing yourself.
  • The reader probably has little to no knowledge of the subject matter/language you are presenting (they are most likely not nurses, doctors, or even aware of the healthcare field as in-depth as you are).So, explain your viewpoints and arguments as such.
  • Be persuasive, but not demanding (be professionals!).
  • Personal stories (obviously without violating HIPAA) can be highly persuasive and people tend to remember the ‘personal touches’ during considerations.They have a greater impact.
  • Remember to cite factual statements as you would in a scholarly paper.Include References as an “Enclosure” (see sample letters in Syllabus section).You don’t ever want it to appear as if you’re just making up facts/figures!Remember, legislators have staff people whose job is to check those fact and figures and you lose credibility if you make up statistical results.

Rubric for Advocacy Letter Writing Exercise

Criteria

Poor

(0 – 79%s)

Adequate

(80% – 89%)

Good

(90% – 100%)

Points earned/possible

Relevant introduction that captures the interest of the reader

Omits or fails to introduce the policy and/or issue

Introduction is present, but does not fully capture the intended reader’s interest

Introduces the letter and captures the intended reader’s interest in an above satisfactory manner

___/15

Rationale – Why is this an important policy and/or issue?

Omits or fails to address the importance of the policy and/or issue

Provides a rationale, but does not fully address importance of policy and/or issue

Provides an above satisfactory rationale as to the importance of the policy and/or issue

___/25

Suggested action & clarifies what needs to happen

Omits or fails to address the action needing to happen

Provides suggested action, but does not adequately clarify what needs to happen

Suggests an above satisfactory action, fully clarifying what needs to happen

___/20

Closure, summarizes the key point and action, bringing the letter to conclusion

Omits or fails to close the letter

Omits or fails to summarize key points

Closes the letter, but has difficulty summarizing key points

Provides above satisfactory closure to the letter, addressing key points and actions fully.

___/15

Grammar and syntax

Grammar and syntax with significant errors

Some errors in grammar and syntax are noted

Grammar and syntax without errors

___/20

Letter format – Appropriate salutation, body, signature

Omits or fails to follow letter format

Uses some elements of proper letter format, but lacks adequacy or omits a section

Uses appropriate salutation, body, and signature

___/5

Total

_____/100

Resource Websites- Policies and Legislative Activities

Florida Nurses Association (FNA): (Current Health Care Policies Page with Pre-formed Letters, Position Statements, etc.)

https://www.floridanurse.org/resources/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Outcomes of Florida Legislative Issues from 2016 – 2017:

http://capwiz.com/fln/issues/alert/?alertid=71682626 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

FNA Report about 2018 Advocacy Days :

https://www.nursingald.com/uploads/publication/pdf/1640/Florida_Nurse_3_18.pdf (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

U.S National Library of Medicine — Health Services Research Information Central — State and Federal Political Issues

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/hsrinfo/legislationsites.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Links to an external site.

National Institute of Health (NIH) — Grants Policy Statement:

https://grants.nih.gov/policy/nihgps/index.htm (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

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