Letter to Editor Templates

 

Modify one of the following templates to submit to the local newspaper in your area to let them know why you want reform NOW!

 

Gift Limitations for Public Officials


Subject: Pennsylvania Needs Common Sense Gift Reform

To the Editor at _,

Right now in Pennsylvania, unlike almost every other state, it is completely legal for paid lobbyists to “gift” (bribe) anything to our legislators. Paid lobbyists and corporations routinely give luxury items like vacations, tickets, and everything in-between to politicians, in the hardly-shielded hopes of receiving favorable legislation for their respective industries in return. HB 39, introduced by conservative Republican Representative Saccone, limits gifts to public officials, allowing for commonsense exemptions to the bill. While the bipartisan legislation specifically prohibits legislators from accepting gifts from anyone who stands to significantly benefit from a favorable opinion from the state House or Senate, it still allows legislators to accept items of nominal value, like pens or t-shirts.

***FILL IN: 1-3 SENTENCES ON WHY YOU CARE ABOUT THIS ISSUE***

Example: When legislators accept gifts from paid lobbyists, I feel that I cannot trust that my legislator is working on behalf of my community.  

Studies show that support by moneyed elites has more impact on legislation than support by the public at large. In order to have a responsive, accountable government, citizens must demand an end to bribery of our elected officials.

Sincerely,
Name
March on Harrisburg Participant
E-mail

HB 722: Independent Redistricting Commission


Subject: Take Redistricting Out of Incumbents’ Hands

To the Editor at ______,

Gerrymandering is the (now much discussed) process by which legislators are able to select their own voters by allowing incumbents to draw their own congressional and state district lines.  Pennsylvania has some of the worst gerrymandered districts of any state across the country, ranking third worst in the nation by The Electoral Integrity Project for the way the state draws legislative and congressional district boundaries.

However, there is a bipartisan solution that was introduced by Representative Samuelson and Representative Roe, HB 722.  This legislation establishes an independent commission made up of members from both political parties, as well as independents, to draw Pennsylvania’s legislative maps. This bill is not an algorithm that draws perfect squares across the state. It is a human process that uses both software and common sense to create diverse, representative districts that minimize the division of political subgroups and preserve communities of interest, with specific laws which ban drawing districts with the intent to favor a political party or an incumbent legislator.

Gerrymandering secures a given district for one party, meaning that politicians don’t need to appeal to anyone but their own party members. This encourages polarization and diminishes the power and impact of “one person, one vote.”

***FILL IN: 1-3 SENTENCES ON WHY YOU CARE ABOUT THIS ISSUE***

Note: If you live in the Seventh Congressional District in PA, you are in one of the most gerrymandered districts in the country! Write about it!

Sincerely,
Name
March on Harrisburg Participant
E-mail