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Guide to written advocacy

communications for a
#drugfreeward7

2016

4645 Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE


Suite 202
Washington, DC 20019

p (202) 329-8227
e info@w7sdcc.org
www.w7sdcc.org

Page | 1

Contents
ABOUT THE COALITION ............................................................................................................................................... 2
USING THIS GUIDE........................................................................................................................................................... 3
LETTER TO MAYOR TEMPLATE ................................................................................................................................ 4
LETTER TO MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TEMPLATE .......... 5
LETTER TO ANCs TEMPLATE ...................................................................................................................................... 6
LETTER TO APPOINTED OFFICIAL/DC GOVERNMENT AGENCY........................................................... 7
TESTIMONY TEMPLATE ................................................................................................................................................ 8
STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD TEMPLATE ................................................................................................... 10
FINDING CONTACT INFO FOR ELECTED & APPOINTED OFFICIALS ................................................ 12

4645 Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE


Suite 202
Washington, DC 20019

p (202) 329-8227
e info@w7sdcc.org
www.w7sdcc.org

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ABOUT THE COALITION


The Ward 7 Safe & Drug-free Communities Coalition is a nonprofit organization, incorporated
in the District of Columbia and organized to promote substance abuse prevention among
youth and adults living in Ward 7 in the District of Columbia. The Coalition promotes
prevention through resident education and empowerment.
Contact the Coalition:
www.w7sdcc.org
info@w7sdcc.org
(202) 329-8227
Twitter: @Ward7sdcc (https://twitter.com/Ward7sdcc)
Mailing address: 4645 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave NE, Washington, DC 20019

Guide to written advocacy communications for a #drugfreeward7 by Ward 7 Safe &


Drug-Free Communities Coalition is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
4645 Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE
Suite 202
Washington, DC 20019

p (202) 329-8227
e info@w7sdcc.org
www.w7sdcc.org

Page | 3

USING THIS GUIDE


The purpose of this guide is to help Ward 7 residents, business owners, and stakeholders
communicate effectively with elected and appointed officials about important issuesto you.
The guide walks users through creating various types of communications toolsletters,
testimony, written statements. We also show users where they can get the contact information
for their elected and appointed officials.
Throughout the guide, we offer suggestions about what content to put where. But note that not
all the suggestions work for every element of the community (family, business, social club) and so
you may need to ignore some guidance and add other content not mentioned.

4645 Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE


Suite 202
Washington, DC 20019

p (202) 329-8227
e info@w7sdcc.org
www.w7sdcc.org

Page | 4

LETTER TO MAYOR TEMPLATE


[Date]
The Honorable Muriel M. Bowser
Mayor of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite [suite number]
Washington, DC 20004
Dear Mayor Bowser:
First Paragraph
1. If you represent an organization, start with a statement about your organization including the
ward in which you are located and the population served and your reach. If you are a resident,
start with the ward in which you live.
2. Briefly and simply explain what the issue is, why you care, and why she should care. Tell her the
action that needs to be taken and why. In a sentence or two, explain the consequences of doing
nothing.
3. Thank the official for taking an interest in the issue (if applicable).
Middle Paragraphs
1. Solutions/recommendations, action you want taken. Be specific.
2. What it will take for the solutions/recommendations to be implementedfunding, policy change,
practice shift, compliance with existing law
3. Party responsible for implementing changes
4. Consequences of doing nothing
5. How you will know changes have occurred. Be sure to include measureable outcomes.
Last Paragraph
1. Summarize the issue and action you want taken
2. Offer assistance and be sure to provide your phone and email
Sincerely,
[Your signaturehandwritten if being mailed or hand-delivered or electronically if being emailed]
[Your name typed]
[Your title]

4645 Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE


Suite 202
Washington, DC 20019

p (202) 329-8227
e info@w7sdcc.org
www.w7sdcc.org

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LETTER TO MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF


COLUMBIA TEMPLATE
[Date]
The Honorable [first name and last name]
Council of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite [suite number]
Washington, DC 20004
Salutation
Dear Councilmember [last name]:
First Paragraph
1. If you represent an organization, start with a statement about your organization including the
ward in which you are located and the population served and your reach. If you are a resident,
start with the ward in which you live.
2. Briefly and simply explain what the issue is, why you care, and why she should care. Tell her the
action that needs to be taken and why. In a sentence or two, explain the consequences of doing
nothing.
3. Thank the official for taking an interest in the issue (if applicable).
Middle Paragraphs
1. Solutions/recommendations, action you want taken. Be specific.
2. What it will take for the solutions/recommendations to be implementedfunding, policy change,
practice shift, compliance with existing law
3. Party responsible for implementing changes
4. Consequences of doing nothing
5. How you will know changes have occurred. Be sure to include measureable outcomes.
Last Paragraph
1. Summarize the issue and action you want taken
2. Offer assistance and be sure to provide your phone and email
Sincerely,
[Your signaturehandwritten if being mailed or hand-delivered or electronically if being emailed]
[Your name typed]
[Your title]
4645 Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE
Suite 202
Washington, DC 20019

p (202) 329-8227
e info@w7sdcc.org
www.w7sdcc.org

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LETTER TO ANCs TEMPLATE


[Date]
Commissioner [first and last name], ANC [SMD number]
[address]
Washington, DC [zip]
Salutation
Dear Commissioner [last name]:

First Paragraph
1. If you represent an organization, start with a statement about your organization including the
ward in which you are located and the population served and your reach. If you are a resident,
start with the ANC and ward in which you live.
2. Briefly and simply explain what the issue is, why you care, and why she should care. Tell her the
action that needs to be taken and why. In a sentence or two, explain the consequences of doing
nothing.
3. Thank the official for taking an interest in the issue (if applicable).
Middle Paragraphs
1. Solutions/recommendations, action you want taken. Be specific.
2. What it will take for the solutions/recommendations to be implementedfunding, policy change,
practice shift, compliance with existing law
3. Party responsible for implementing changes
4. Consequences of doing nothing
5. How you will know changes have occurred. Be sure to include measureable outcomes.
Last Paragraph
1. Summarize the issue and action you want taken
2. Offer assistance and be sure to provide your phone and email
Sincerely,
[Your signaturehandwritten if being mailed or hand-delivered or electronically if being emailed]
[Your name typed]
[Your title]

4645 Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE


Suite 202
Washington, DC 20019

p (202) 329-8227
e info@w7sdcc.org
www.w7sdcc.org

Page | 7

LETTER TO APPOINTED OFFICIAL/DC GOVERNMENT AGENCY


[Date]
Mr./Ms. [first name, last name]
Director
[agency name]
[agency address]
Dear Mr./Ms. [agency director last name]:
First Paragraph
1. If you represent an organization, start with a statement about your organization including the
ward in which you are located and the population served and your reach. If you are a resident,
start with the ward in which you live.
2. Briefly and simply explain what the issue is, why you care, and why she should care. Tell her the
action that needs to be taken and why. In a sentence or two, explain the consequences of doing
nothing.
3. Thank the official for taking an interest in the issue (if applicable).
Middle Paragraphs
1. Solutions/recommendations, action you want taken. Be specific.
2. What it will take for the solutions/recommendations to be implementedfunding, policy change,
practice shift, compliance with existing law
3. Party responsible for implementing changes
4. Consequences of doing nothing
5. How you will know changes have occurred. Be sure to include measureable outcomes.
Last Paragraph
1. Summarize the issue and action you want taken
2. Offer assistance and be sure to provide your phone and email
Sincerely,
[Your signaturehandwritten if being mailed or hand-delivered or electronically if being emailed]
[Your name typed]
[Your title]

4645 Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE


Suite 202
Washington, DC 20019

p (202) 329-8227
e info@w7sdcc.org
www.w7sdcc.org

Page | 8

TESTIMONY TEMPLATE

Testimony before the [committee name]


regarding [bill number and bill name or subject in
notice]

by
[your name and title]
[your organization, if applicable]

[Date]

4645 Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE


Suite 202
Washington, DC 20019

p (202) 329-8227
e info@w7sdcc.org
www.w7sdcc.org

Page | 9

First paragraph
1. Testimony typically includes the opener "Good morning Chairman Smith OR Mr. Chairman and
members of the Committee on XYZ."
2. If you represent an organization, start with a statement about your organization including the
ward in which you are located and the population served. If you are a resident, start with the ward
in which you live.
Example:
Good morning Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee on [rest of committee name]. I am
[your name] and I am the [your title or role] at [organization]. [Organization's mission]. We are
located in [ward(s)] and serve [brief description of population and number served last year or the
last quarter].
3. Briefly and simply explain what the issue is, why you care, and why she should care. State the
action that needs to be taken and why. In a sentence or two, explain the consequences of doing
nothing. Be sure to include a list of the agencies/divisions involved.

Middle Paragraphs
1. Details about the problem. Include analysis, data, charts, and tables.
2. Solutions/recommendations, action you want taken. Be specific.
3. What it will take for the solutions/recommendations to be implementedfunding, policy change,
practice shift, compliance with existing law
4. Party responsible for implementing changes
5. Consequences of doing nothing
6. How you will know changes have occurred. Be sure to include measureable outcomes.
Last Paragraph
1. Summarize the issue and action you want taken
2. Thank the chair and the committee for the opportunity to comment
3. Offer assistance. In testimony include a statement such as "If you have any questions, I would be
happy to answer them." If you are submitting a statement for the record, include the names of
people who can respond to questions as well as the phone numbers and email at which they can be
reached.
Example:
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. Should you have any questions, I
would be happy to answer them. Feel free to contact me after the hearing with questions; my
phone is (telephone number, note if cell) and my email is [email address].

4645 Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE


Suite 202
Washington, DC 20019

p (202) 329-8227
e info@w7sdcc.org
www.w7sdcc.org

Page | 10

STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD TEMPLATE

Statement for the Record


to the [committee name]
regarding [bill number and bill name or
subject in notice]

by
[your name and title]
[your organization, if applicable]

[Date]

4645 Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE


Suite 202
Washington, DC 20019

p (202) 329-8227
e info@w7sdcc.org
www.w7sdcc.org

Page | 11

First paragraph
1. Introduce yourself with name, title, and organization. If you represent an organization, include a
statement about your organization including the ward in which you are located and the population
served. If you are a resident, start with the ward in which you live.
Example:
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee on [rest of committee name]. I am [your name] and
I am the [your title or role] at [organization]. [Organization's mission]. We are located in [ward(s)]
and serve [brief description of population and number served last year or the last quarter].
2. Briefly and simply explain what the issue is, why you care, and why she should care. State the
action that needs to be taken and why. In a sentence or two, explain the consequences of doing
nothing. Be sure to include a list of the agencies/divisions involved.

Middle Paragraphs
1. Details about the problem. Include analysis, data, charts, and tables.
2. Solutions/recommendations, action you want taken. Be specific.
3. What it will take for the solutions/recommendations to be implementedfunding, policy change,
practice shift, compliance with existing law
4. Party responsible for implementing changes
5. Consequences of doing nothing
6. How you will know changes have occurred. Be sure to include measureable outcomes.

Last Paragraph
1. Summarize the issue and action you want taken
2. Thank the chair and the committee for the opportunity to comment
3. Offer assistance. In testimony include a statement such as "If you have any questions, I would be
happy to answer them." If you are submitting a statement for the record, include the names of
people who can respond to questions as well as the phone numbers and email at which they can be
reached.
Example:
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to comment on [bill number or hearing subject].
Should you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them. Feel free to contact me; my
phone is [telephone number, note if cell] and my email is [email address].

4645 Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE


Suite 202
Washington, DC 20019

p (202) 329-8227
e info@w7sdcc.org
www.w7sdcc.org

Page | 12

FINDING CONTACT INFO FOR ELECTED & APPOINTED OFFICIALS


Mayor of the District of Columbia: http://mayor.dc.gov/
Council of the District of Columbia:
Council Directory (http://dccouncil.us/pages/about-the-council) lists all the members and
their contact information as well as committee assignments

Committee assignments (DC government agencies)


(http://dccouncil.us/files/user_uploads/event_testimony/PR21-0001a.pdf) start on page 10

Appointed officials/DC government agencies: http://dc.gov/directory


ANCs: http://anc.dc.gov/

4645 Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE


Suite 202
Washington, DC 20019

p (202) 329-8227
e info@w7sdcc.org
www.w7sdcc.org