Working with the Community: Activist Milestone #8
October 22nd, 2009
Organize a Monthly Letter-Writing Meeting in Your Community
Chances are, you have already led or been part of a RESULTS letter-writing meeting at this point. The important thing to keep in mind at this point is that letter-writing can be a very natural, practical, and important component of your group’s gathering for the monthly conference call or of one of your group’s Education & Action meetings. Or, if you are a solo activist, it can simply be a regular action you take as part of the monthly agenda of the RESULTS work that you keep. Remember, a personal, well-written letter for one of our issues is more than a letter; it is democracy in action.
Once you have had one letter-writing meeting, it is much easier to do it again. Generating consistent letter-writing is a great way to maintain contact between your local community and your members of Congress. Also, it is a great way to expose more people to RESULTS and possibly enlist new activists for your local RESULTS group.
Tips for Doing Monthly Letter-Writing Meetings
- See Working with the Community Milestone #2: Organizing a Letter-Writing Meeting on how to plan and conduct the meeting
- Find a location that may be willing to host your meeting each month. Your local library may have meeting rooms you can reserve or your faith community would let you hold a meeting before or after services once per month. Coffee shops also have meeting rooms or spaces to meet; this is a good way to expose your activities to others in the community, i.e. shop customers.
- Pick a recurring date for the meeting, e.g. the first Monday of the month at 7:00 pm or the third Sunday at 1:00 pm. After a few months of doing your meetings, word will spread that a letter writing group meets on such-and-such date each month. You can even incorporate your monthly letter-writing meeting into your regular monthly RESULTS meeting. Your RESULTS group can meet for the first 45 minutes to plan local activities and then the last hour is a time for anyone to come write letters.
- Even if you have your meeting at the same location, try a new location every few months. For example, if you meet in your church each month, perhaps another church in your city would host it one month. This exposes your meetings to a new community and group of people. If you do try a new location, explore ways to let people near the new location know about it (flyers, newsletters, social media, etc.)
- Have a sign-in sheet asking for contact information at each meeting and keep records of people who attend each month. Before each meeting, send a reminder to past attendees.
- Don’t hesitate to share a little about RESULTS at your meeting. You never know when someone new may want to join your local RESULTS group.