Write a letter to the editor

Hit 'em at Home

Trying to contact Extendpua.org with press inquiries?

We are so thrilled you’re here. Writing a Letter to the Editor is an incredibly powerful tool for making your voice heard. Your legislators care a lot about what is written about them in local paper, since that is what their voters read. There's a chance your legislator will read your story directly. Plus, it brings the cause to other people’s attention, hopefully inspiring them to join you in action. 

Op-Ed VS Letter to the Editor:

Letters to the Editor are easier to place and easier to write, but they are usually limited to 250 words. If you want to write something longer, here are some tips for writing an Op-Ed.

How Do I do it?

Find your local paper

You may already get a local paper, but if you don't and need help finding yours, you can simply Google “______ area newspaper” or similar for other sources. Also consider sources you personally consume every day.

reach out

Most news outlets will have a "Contact Us" page. If it’s not in an obvious place on their website, check the footer at the bottom. On their "Contact Us" page they should list either:

  • A general submissions email.

  • A specific Letter to the Editor email address.

  • A Letter to the Editor submission tool. 

If they have a submission tool:

It will walk you through the steps. Make sure to have your letter all ready to copy and paste into the context box. Most of them have character or word limits so be sure to check before you copy it over!

IF email, YouR email should include:

  • A friendly hello and brief introduction to you and your letter's purpose.

  • Your contact information (name, email, and phone number)

  • Your Letter to the Editor in full.

  • Feel free to include a link to ExtendPUA.org

Tips for Your Letter

  • Most LTEs are limited to 250 words or less so make sure to check your word count!

  • Start with your personal situation.  Be specific, honest, and concise.  

  • Move into how your story fits into the bigger picture. Is your whole industry frozen?  Are there other people in your same situation?  There are over 30 million of us in this together, after all.

  • Why is this important right now? 

    • Over 19 million people are still unemployed, and over 25 million are still grappling with issues directly resulting from the handling of the pandemic crisis, long term unemployment, and lack of federal relief. The American Rescue Plan, while helpful, still leaves massive holes for unemployed workers.

  • Go into what you want done about this situation.

    • Unemployed workers need further relief that includes a large direct payment to compensate for the 5 months of FPUC lapse, extended and expanded UI, PUA, and FPUC benefits with automatic stabilizers, and full tax forgiveness on unemployment payments.

  • Make sure you call out your legislators by name in your letter, urging them to help.

  • Mention how others can get involved in reaching out to their legislators on this issue at ExtendPUA.org

  • Please feel free to use any of our talking points that help you with your letter.

**We think it is critical for everyone to know about these issues AND for individuals to take action, which is why we created this resource. Please make sure to mention that people can find more information and ways to help at ExtendPUA.org**

Need more help?  Reach out to us.

 

Sample Letter

Use ours as a template to create your own.

Template Updated 3.16.21

Notes:

anything highlighted in blue needs [to be personalized]

  • State-by-state weekly unemployment payout, living wage & unemployment numbers [$xxx] are here

Letter Draft:

 

To The Editor:

 

I am one of the millions of Americans affected by the  American Rescue PlanCOVID relief passed by Congress in MarchDecember. While this legislation is full of vital and important provisions, it still continues to fall short for workers who are unemployed due to this pandemic, many of whom are now approaching or have already passed their one year unemployment anniversary; a devastating marker.

  

Further pandemic relief must include a retroactive solution. When legislators allowed the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) $600 liveable wage supplement to expire in July, 26 million unemployed workers were left to rely on their base benefits.  This lapse lasted five months after which a reduced $300 supplement was included in the December bill. In [State] the average payment is just [$xxx], before taxes, which is [$xxx] below the weekly living wage and nowhere near enough to cover rent, health insurance, groceries, and utilities. Unemployed workers were forced to fall behind on bills and rack up immense debt to pay for necessities. By omitting retroactivity in continued unemployment assistance, Congress is placing the financial burden of their 5 months of inaction on the American people.

 

[Tell your story briefly here.] I’m terrified, and I’m sick of begging for relief from the government that I fund with my taxes.

 

There are [XXX,XXX state-ers] still out of work due to COVID-19, which doesn’t include those who have had to drop out of the workforce to take care of their families during this national crisis. Lost jobs will not come back until well after pandemic is over.

 

[Insert your Senators and Representatives names here] must include further comprehensive pandemic support for unemployed workers. to ensure a full recovery. This must include a direct payment or tax credit to compensate for the 5 month lapse of the FPUC, extended and expanded UI, PUA and FPUC benefits with automatic stabilizers, full tax forgiveness on unemployment payments, and continued direct aid, healthcare and rent relief. Congress must also address the systemic issues in the unemployment process and federalize UI.

 

Signed,

[Name, City, State]

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