Campaign News

How to write an effective letter to your state senator and representatives

Write to the senator and two representatives from your own legislative district.

Need to know your district’s number? Here’s a District Finder and a map of districts.

Mail your letter to Carbon Washington at PO Box 85565, Seattle WA 98145 (or via email Kyle@carbonwa.org). We will make sure your letters get delivered to Olympia in a timely way. (If you wish to send your letter directly to the legislature, please also send a copy to CarbonWA via mail or email to allow us to keep track of constituent contacts).

Write the letter in your own words. Keep it brief, as legislative staffs are extremely busy.

Here is one way to structure your letter:

  1. Explain who you are and why you are writing (to support the passage of Initiative 732 during the legislative session). An example: “I am a software developer who lives and works in your district, a father of four, and [if true] have voted for you in the past. I’m writing you today to urge your support for I-732 during this legislative session.”
  2. Explain why you personally support I-732. Tell your legislator how the measure affects you and others. You might mention that our elected officials can save Washingtonians tens of millions of dollars competing with out-of-state special interest groups to defend a ballot initiative.
  3. Close by asking your legislator to support the adoption of I-732 during the session. An example: “The people of Washington through the initiative process have sent a loud message that we need action on climate and they expect it now. We have elected you to lead this great state, and as your constituent I look to you now to lead on this important issue. Please let me know if you plan to support I-732 this session.”

Feel free to include some of the talking points below. Be selective, in order to keep your letter to one page.

1. Initiative 732 is our best chance at making meaningful progress toward carbon reduction in Washington state, while sustaining economic growth and easing the tax burden for families. 

I-732 is a smart plan that reduces air and water pollution and accelerates the switch to affordable clean energy alternatives like solar and wind energy we produce here in our communities, all without burdening the economy of our state.
The initiative holds polluters accountable by shifting the tax burden onto carbon pollution and away from regressive and burdensome taxes, putting more money into the pockets of Washington families and businesses.
The average family in Washington state would see hundreds of dollars more in their pocket under the one percentage point sales tax reduction proposed in I-732.
400,000 low-income families could see up to $1,500 through the Working Families Tax Rebate, which would be funded by I-732.
We can keep living-wage manufacturing jobs in our state by effectively eliminating the manufacturing Business and Occupation Tax under I-732.

2. All of us have a moral responsibility to focus on carbon reduction now to protect our children and future generations.  

More than 360,000 signatures were gathered across the state in support of I-732.
Those that signed in support of I-732 agree that we need to take action now to make a meaningful impact on climate change to protect our world and future generations.
I-732 will help us leave a cleaner, healthier and safer world, reducing pollution from burning oil, coal and gas which generates smog, sulfur, arsenic and mercury into the air we breathe, food we eat and water we drink. By reducing these dangerous pollutants we can help reduce the rates of asthma and cancer, creating a healthier Washington.
I-732 is a policy option that makes it attractive for companies and individuals to make the switch to more climate friendly products, all while supporting innovation and living-wage jobs.

3. There is a strong appetite for a revenue neutral approach to carbon reduction in our state.
We need climate change action, but we also need policies that work for households, businesses, and the economy.
Families and communities are paying the cost of pollution right now. We developed I-732 to shift that cost away from families and businesses while still keeping our economy moving.

4. The data shows I-732 will work.
A similar carbon tax implemented in British Columbia is showing meaningful carbon reduction of around 10-15 percent since implementation in 2008.
An analysis by Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) predicts a carbon tax proposal like I-732 would create thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in economic activity in Washington State, while reducing carbon pollution to below 1990 levels.
I-732 has the bipartisan support of economists, scientists, former elected officials, business owners and concerned citizens across the state of Washington.

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