Newspapers are a valuable tool for making your voice heard and a simple way to influence your members of Congress.
On November 6, all 435 House representatives and 35 of the 100 U.S. Senators will face elections. Leading up to these races, candidates will share their views on the topics we ask them to consider. That’s why we’re calling on World Vision advocates to submit letters to the editor around the country to let your leaders and candidates know that their constituents care about global poverty.
Newspapers – both the print and online versions – have areas set aside for readers to share their opinions through letters to the editor. In general, the pieces are short, about 150-300 words and you can find guidelines for submission on the newspaper website.
By writing to your local paper, you can get the attention of your community and members of Congress about important issues that impact the world’s poor and explain how we can help make a difference.
Don’t believe us? Last year, a woman in Chicago caught the attention of her senators and representative when she publicly called out her members of Congress in The Chicago Tribune. Another woman who was saddened by the situation in Syria wrote a letter to raise awareness and publicly speak to her senators in the North Jersey section of the USA Today Network.
Ready to get started? It’s incredibly easy:
- Go to your local paper’s website and look up their submission guidelines so you know how to send in your letter. (For example, here are the guidelines and submission form for The Dallas Morning News.)
- Copy and submit – personalizing, if possible – the draft letter below. The more locally relevant you can make it, the more willing your paper will be to publish it! You may need to shorten the letter to meet your paper’s guidelines.
- Submit to your local paper as soon as possible, so the letters can appear online or in print before elections.
- Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know that you submitted a letter.
Draft of the letter:
As we approach the November election, I’d like to hear more from our candidates [Address your candidates for U.S. House/Senate by name, if possible!] about their views of U.S. leadership in the world. I think it matters locally — more than we think.
Globally, over 5 million children under the age of 5 die each year from causes we can prevent. Only 50 percent of refugee children attend primary school, and more than 152 million children are involved with child labor.
These problems seem like a world away, but they aren’t. As we’ve seen on our southern border, when problems impact places like Central America, the consequences don’t stay there. But proactive U.S. leadership – like investing in humanitarian relief and development – can help stabilize global economies and prevent crises before they happen. Most people believe that we spend about 25 percent of the federal budget on foreign assistance. In reality, we spend less than 1 percent, with a phenomenal return on that investment.
Local issues, understandably, tend to dominate our candidates’ talking points. It’s time to recognize the missing link of U.S. global leadership and the impact it can have for us, here at home.
[Your name, your city]
Don’t forget to let us know if you get published! We want to encourage other advocates with your amazing example. And of course, email us at the address above if you need help at any point in the process. We’re here for you!
Let’s use our local media to make a big impact. Thank you for using your voice to speak up for children around the world!
Photo: The Naples Daily News newspaper in Immokalee, Florida. ©2017 World Vision, Eugene Lee.