One of the most important things you as a civically engaged person can do is write your local politicians at all levels of government a letter about the things that annoy and upset you. If you come with solutions, and rational arguments you will get results by showing that these matter enough for you to take time out of your day to condense your thoughts into a well defined format.
I’ve written several letters to my representatives, and sometimes I receive a response. It might just be a canned response, but its enough to satisfy me. At least I voiced my thoughts in a more coherent way than your average social media post. Making a social media post is way too easy compared to writing a proper letter with reasons and citations to current events. It shows that you care.
This is why I write letters to my representatives. It’s a direct addressed letter that calls them to action. It’s also powerful when it printed out on paper and signed with a wet ink signature.
Today I wrote a letter to my politicians about anti-trust legislation and why it needs to be actively enforced. Its insane the consolidation we are seeing across so many industries. I’m going to reproduce it below, but first we need to go over the important parts of a letter.
- You need to do the research and find your representatives. Congress.gov provides a tool to look them up.
- Determine the most important issue, and what you are writing about. Focus on a single issue. Keep it short.
- Include the ramifications and how it disgusts you.
- Finalize with your call to action.
- Print it and sign with wet ink.
Here’s the letter I wrote without the exact representatives to avoid doxing myself.
There is a continuing consolidation of entertainment businesses into larger and larger conglomerates. This is preventing the free creation and expression of wonderful content. It is most apparent with the recent acquisition of HBO Max by Discovery. The acquiring company is well known for poorly produced reality television instead of art like HBO produced for decades.
This is going to lead to a massive die off of art and animation. There are going to be fewer creative endeavors produced by a company focused on reality tv. It is clear that the antitrust laws need to start being enforced again.
As these entertainment providers become more consolidated, they start playing more games with shows. It becomes harder to find the shows I want to watch. I’m sick of the games people are playing with licensing of television series. People have also lost access to things that they have paid for through no fault of their own. It’s silly that we are in this place where we own nothing, and are completely dependent on these massive companies for continuing access to our shows. If I lose access to a DVD, it’s because I mishandled it, not because some beancounter decided it wasn’t worth it to exist anymore. These are unilateral moves by a profit seeking entity without respect for our collective heritage.
At the end of the day, I would like to see better enforcement and use of the Sherman antitrust act to prevent these mergers in the first place.
I hope you’ve found this informative. I’ve written many letters to my representatives about things that matter to me, and its never too late to start. It will certainly do more than whining on social media incoherently. All change starts as a grassroots movement, and nothing is more so than writing letters.
Letter writing campaigns have affected all kinds of decisions by organizations that you might not have expected to be receptive to such actions. If it protected the original Star Trek from being cancelled twice, it can change hearts and minds.