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Write a Letter! Bring Common Sense to Budget Conversations

There's a whole lot of crazy talk in Washington about the budget. The House even passed a bill further cutting programs for working people so that they can fund weapon systems! So it's time to turn the conversation around, says campaigner Paul Shannon, "with a letter writing drive that let's the public know about the costs of Washington's priorities and tells them about the Budget-for-All signature gathering."

The campaign has provided a sample text that can be copied from this webpage or simply downloaded (both files have the same text, one is in Word format and the other is a plain text) and modified by you. Click on "read more" below for the letter and to download the files.

Sample letter for you to edit and submit

To the editor:

It’s time for each of us to inject some common sense into the federal budget debate taking place in Congress and on the campaign trail.

The recession has been going three years now, unemployment is still high, and 46 million people – one in every 7 of us -- are on food stamps. Half of those people are children! Imagine: all this in the richest country on earth.

But the leaders of the House of Representatives want to cut food stamp funding so they can keep buying useless warplanes, the cost of any one of which would put well over 4,000 of our kids through Harvard or Boston College: 4 years, full room board and tuition.

And they are adamant in preventing fair taxes on billion dollar companies and the super-wealthy, meaning that all those excess dollars will keep flowing into their campaign war chests instead of into the public pot where they could do so much good.

Americans would end all this nonsense if they could vote on it, right? Well, I and many of my (name of town) neighbors will be at meetings, supermarkets, and bus stops (insert your actual signature-gathering locations) over the next two months, collecting signatures for a referendum that says: create jobs, save vital services, make taxes fair, end the wars and bring those dollars home. If we get enough signatures in State Senator _____'s district, you'll get to vote your values this fall.

Yours sincerely:
Your Name
Town

LTE Tips

1. Write a short letter to the editor (LTE) of your local town or neighborhood paper. See the sample LTE on the left, but use your own words and find local examples of programs that're being cut. This will let other people know about the referendum campaign, prime them to sign it ("oh, I read about that") maybe motivate some people to help you gather signatures, and tell your state rep and senator about the referendum (if you mention them in the LTE: "we are asking Senator ___ to ...")

2. Visit your state rep/senator; tell 'em you're gathering signatures for this referendum; and ask them to support it after the November vote. This will start building State House support for the referendum, identify some state reps and senators who will lead the charge for a state resolution after November, and start getting the political class used to the idea that cutting military spending and fixing federal taxes actually could solve the state's money problems.