At our January 31 letter-writing night, we gathered together to talk about why we write letters to elected officials and news media. We talked through some of the features of effective letters, such as conciseness and the inclusion of a fact and a personal story. With the State Legislature in session in Washington, we talked about the ways things work in Olympia. We practiced some research skills, including how to look up information about legislation being considered at the state and federal levels.
We had a small group with a range of experiences in participating in democracy. Some had written letters before, and even run for office. Others wrote their first letter that night. Everyone wrote a letter on a topic of their choice, which included abolishing the death penalty in Washington, stopping the defunding of UNRWA, and passing Congressional resolutions to prevent unconstitutional war with North Korea.
One participant wrote a letter to the editor of the Cascadia Weekly, and the letter was published in today's edition:
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