Social Question

Blackberry's avatar

Do those online petitions and websites that help you send letters to congress work?

Asked by Blackberry (31923points) November 8th, 2011

I see people asking others to sign petitions for important issues, and there’s also some websites that have pre-written emails and letters that you sign and send in your name (you can write what you want if you choose to).

Are these legit?

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12 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

Handwritten letters and phone calls work better.

Cruiser's avatar

I have had all my hand signed letters replied to with “personal” replies. Do make your concerns specific and you will get a reply with the politicians stance on said concern and you can take it from there.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Yes. When BOA, for example, wanted to charge for having debit cards, a woman began a petition that gained signatures overnight to a huge number and they will not charge.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’m not sure if the websites work, as I have never tried one. I do know that those chain emails saying “this will be sent in when it reaches 1000 names…yadda yadda” are completely bogus.

Blackberry's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Those definitely have to be, yes. I was referring to actual websites.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I haven’t tried those yet, but I wish you luck!

woodcutter's avatar

Usually there will be the ability to add some of your own text in that pre -written letter so it will look more personal. The org that you are sending it in behalf of wants to be sure you include the talking points that are important to them. I get replies almost every time I do it. These people are flooded with more letters than Santa Claus so it would be unrealistic to expect them to take time to compose a personal letter each time.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Oh yeah every petition and letter I’ve ever crafted has had a direct affect on our government policy. You have me to thank for the current state of affairs. You might say I’m actually running the entire show. Any suggestions just let me know… I take care of my peeps you know.

lillycoyote's avatar

I’m not sure. Some of those things may work better than others. I know the the times I have used those kind of sites, where they are set up to direct your message to your own Senators or Congressperson, and I could enter my address, I always got a letter of response. The responses generated by those sites were always form letters, but at least they got someone’s attention. I still think a personal letter, directed to your own members of Congress are the most effective. Your representatives actually do pay attention to what you think. The secret is letting them know what you think. Many people don’t even bother voting, and even if they do, they think that voting is sufficient. Letting your representatives know what you think and what you want is a big part of the democratic process too.

plethora's avatar

Some do, some don’t . NumbersUSA.com is very very effective.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Many of them are legit. I get hand-signed letters from Congressmen in reply to my petition signings several times per year.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Become a regular correspondent if you want to get a response. If the staff becomes used to you writing them, and you are respectful they will generally move your mail to the front of the line when it comes in as opposed to someone that only writes once a term.

The volume of letters sometimes makes a difference on a specific bill, but you are less likely to get a personalized response from a form letter.

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