Write a letter to the editor of your local paper

A letter to the editor (LTE) is a short letter to a local newspaper or publication where you can give your opinion on an issue and call on your lawmakers or fellow community members to take action. We’ve put together a tool to help you get started on writing your own. Find your local publication, pick up some writing tips on the issues that matter to you, and follow the instructions to submit your letter. Then let us know how it went.

Ready to write a letter to the editor? Find your local newspaper’s submission requirements.

Suggested topics

Thanks to Obamacare, more than 20 million Americans have gained health care coverage—many for the first time—and the nation’s uninsured rate has dropped to an all-time low. Have you or someone you know gotten covered because of Obamacare? If so, explain why it's important to you that you and your loved ones have insurance.

The current administration has worked to undermine Obamacare since day one. They’ve shortened the open enrollment period, misused or cancelled funds and contracts meant to help community outreach efforts, and refused to say whether they'd make key payments that help keep consumer costs down. With lives and livelihoods on the line, our lawmakers shouldn’t treat our health care like a political football. If you've benefited from Obamacare, let elected officials know where you stand and why—now’s your chance to share your personal story.

Obamacare contains crucial protections for consumers, including eliminating lifetime limits on coverage and banning insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions. Repeal threatens all of these common-sense protections. Have you or someone you know benefited from Obamacare's protections? Speak up and share your story.

Under Obamacare, states have seen children, low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled gain access to critical health services through Medicaid expansion. Survivors of the opioid epidemic have also benefited from these protections. Every repeal plan brought up in Congress cuts Medicaid funding and would end the program as we know it. Have you or someone you know benefited from Medicaid? Speak out now.

America has always derived strength from its diversity. For centuries, the United States has been a beacon of hope and opportunity for people around the world. The immigrants and refugees who have come to our shores in search of a better life have helped write our exceptional story and pursued their own American Dream. Does your family have an immigration story?

As soon as they took office, the new administration turned its back on our country’s rich tradition of welcoming immigrants. We have always built bridges to overcome our greatest challenges, but this administration wants to build a wall and cower behind it. We value the American Dream, but this administration ended DACA—a program that protected hundreds of thousands DREAMers, young immigrants who grew up here and were promised protection to live, study, and work without fear of deportation. America has held dear the freedom of religion and embraced the persecuted, but this administration has tried to slam the door on Muslims and on refugees from war and persecution. These actions go against the core values we share. Why is this issue important to you?

This administration has laid the groundwork for a mass deportation force, calling for thousands of new ICE officers and border agents to conduct raids that seem indiscriminate. Instead of focusing narrowly on deporting violent criminals, nearly every undocumented immigrant now appears to be a target, leaving entire communities—children, parents, husbands, and wives—to live in constant fear. Do the government's actions on immigration fit with your core values?

This isn’t who we are. These aren’t the values we represent. We can’t give in to those who would rather sow division than foster unity. We must keep standing up, standing together, and making our voices heard. What does the American Dream mean to you?

NASA and 97 percent of scientists agree that climate change is real and man-made, but some politicians still refuse to accept the basic science. Is your representative a climate change denier?

Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods are all now more frequent and severe, and they’re only projected to get worse due to climate change. Has your community been impacted by extreme weather in recent years?

Switching to clean energy like wind and solar not only cuts the carbon pollution that causes climate change, but has created hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country. Have you switched to clean energy? Why did you switch? Do you know someone who works in the clean energy industry?

Gun violence impacts communities across the country every day. Has yours been affected by gun violence? Why is it important to you that we close the loopholes in background checks to keep guns out of dangerous hands?

Congressional leaders are working to loosen gun laws by deregulating firearm silencers, which would make it more difficult for potential victims and law enforcement to hear gunfire and protect themselves. They’re also trying to weaken existing laws allowing more people who have never passed a background check or fired a gun to carry concealed weapons in any state. Why do you believe it’s important to keep communities safe from gun violence? What can we do to make sure that we prioritize the safety of our children, families, and law enforcement?

Despite inaction in Congress, many states are taking action to expand background checks on their own. What should your state do to make progress to help prevent gun violence? Write a letter to the editor and call on state leaders to act.

Congress and this administration are pushing plans that would give huge tax breaks to millionaires, billionaires and wealthy corporations. At the same time, these leaders have expressed support cutting key programs that middle-class and working families rely on. Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security Disability Insurance are all on the chopping block. Have you benefited from these or similar federal programs? Do you or someone you know stand to lose access to a program you depend on?

The Obama administration proposed and approved expanded overtime protections by raising the salary threshold that qualifies working Americans to receive overtime pay from nearly $24,000 to just under $47,500. Americans all over the country submitted public comments in support of this rule. Now, it's under threat and might be rejected by leaders in Washington. Millions of Americans stood to benefit from this long-overdue update that ensures fair pay for a day’s work. Were you or someone you know going to see your wages lifted by the Obama administration's rule change?

Leaders in Washington want to end the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s ban on forced arbitration—also known as “rip-off clauses”—that allow big financial corporations to keep consumers from having a fair day in court if they’re cheated by their bank, credit card company, or lender.
 Do you know someone who has been taken advantage of by a big lender or bank?