How to Send a Letter to a Governor

by Shala Munroe

Taking the time to craft a letter to your governor helps focus some of his attention on your cause, but you must use formal titles when addressing the letter and get quickly to the point without too much fluff. Keeping the letter respectful from the address on the envelope to the signature line makes it more likely to spark a response from the governor or someone in his office.

Addressing the Letter

Any letter sent to the governor should acknowledge her position from the beginning. On the envelope and at the start of the letter, use **"The Honorable" followed by the governor's first and last name.** The second line should read **"Governor of" and the state name.** Then add more lines for the official mailing address, typically found on the "Contact" page of the governor's office website. Check the spelling of the governor's name on the contact page as well, or call the governor's office and ask the receptionist for the proper spelling and address. For the salutation line, write **"Dear Governor" followed by the governor's last name**. Begin your letter after the salutation.

Structuring the Letter

It's unlikely your letter reaches the governor initially. Instead, someone in his office probably reads incoming mail and makes notes. Whether the governor or an aide opens your letter, **getting to the point immediately** in the correspondence shows respect for the person's time and gives your letter a better chance of getting attention. Use the first sentence to explain why you're writing, such as asking support for a bill or explaining how a recent decision negatively affected you . Explain your position using statistics or specific examples when possible, staying concise and on point while remaining respectful. **Use bullet points** when possible to make the letter easier to read, and clearly state what action you would like the governor to take on your behalf, such as requesting that he sign a specific bill into law.

Ending the Letter

Always **thank the governor for his time** as you end the letter and offer to help his office regarding the issue. Condense the main point of the letter -- such as your requested action -- in one sentence to ensure it doesn't get lost in the body of the letter. Sign the letter with the formal "Sincerely" followed by your full name a few lines down. Leave three to four lines before you print your name to make room for your signature. Sign the letter in blue or black ink. Include your address and email address, especially if you are writing to the governor of your home state. Voters' concerns always carry more weight.

Sending Email

Before you send a letter to the governor, check the contact page of her website. Many include a link to **send an email,** as well as links for specific requests such as invitations for the governor to speak at events. If the contact page includes an email address, the governor's staff might prefer that you send your letter -- still written in a formal style -- by email instead of regular mail. If you're unsure of the best way to send the letter, call the governor's office and ask which way is preferable.

About the Author

Based outside Atlanta, Ga., Shala Munroe has been writing and copy editing since 1995. Beginning her career at newspapers such as the "Marietta Daily Journal" and the "Atlanta Business Chronicle," she most recently worked in communications and management for several nonprofit organizations before purchasing a flower shop in 2006. She earned a BA in communications from Jacksonville State University.

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