Thursday, April 7, 2011

Write your Senator

Earlier this week Senator Scott Brown voted to block the EPA from combating climate change. The EPA wants to move ahead and cut the amount of carbon dioxide that power companies pump into the atmosphere, but Senator Brown voted for two amendments that would have stopped the EPA in its tracks. While Massachusetts citizens are demanding action for clean energy and green jobs, their senator is aligning himself with the faction of his party that wants to just stand idly by. We need to change the way Senator Brown votes in future.
So let's each and every one of us write him a letter. Yes, I'm suggesting that you write him an authentic, personal letter. I'm not talking about a mass-produced form letter. I mean an old-fashioned, pen-and-ink, this-is-what-I-think letter.
Why? Because one of the dirty little secrets of mobilization and advocacy campaigns is that the generic letters and emails have relatively little impact on politicians. All they prove to elected officials and their aides is that the sponsoring organization has a big mailing list and staff that are adept at writing persuasive emails; persuasive enough to prompt members to spend a minute or two online filling in the name and address fields and clicking "send."
But a genuine, individual piece of correspondence containing the original, unique thoughts and feelings of a committed and passionate human being -- a human being who votes -- explaining why the senator should support the EPA? That would be different.
I'll be writing my letter shortly. And on Thursday, May 5, 7:00 p.m., I'll be sitting down with a group of Sierra Club volunteers at the Media Education Foundation, 60 Masonic Street, Northampton to write another one. If you would like to join us, please bring the following: a pen, paper, envelope, postage stamp, and your passion for clean air.
In the meantime, here's the address of the man who voted to prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases:
Senator Scott Brown, 2400 JFK Federal Building, 15 New Sudbury Street, Boston MA 02203
Please write him and let him know why his votes were just plain wrong, and why you expect him to vote the right way in future.