Biden Letters to the Editor
Take action today and commit to send a letter to the editor! By getting the word out in your local community, together, we can help inform our fellow citizens and pressure our elected officials to take bold action. We have a sample letter to the editor below and tips on how to write/personalize an effective letter to the editor.
Sample Letter to the Editor
To the Editor
Regarding, “Article title,” (page, date)
Vice President Joe Biden’s speech on Feb 18th once again highlighted what President Obama in his State of the Union address called the “greatest threat facing the American people-the threat of nuclear weapons.” In a world where nuclear weapons and nuclear know-how are spreading, international treaties like the New START agreement and the Comprehensive Test Ban Teaty (CTBT) are the United States’ best line of defense against nuclear dangers.
The New START agreement between Russia and the United States promises to cut excess nuclear weapon stockpiles by 30% from current levels. This significant reduction in U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpile is in U.S. national security and economic interest since it reduces the number of nuclear weapons that could fall in wrong hands, decreases the need for funding required for maintain and safeguarding excess nuclear weapons while also preserving the flexibility to adjust U.S. strategic forces to meet more urgent 21st century security needs.
The CTBT bans all nuclear test explosions worldwide. The United States has the world’s most advanced and developed nuclear arsenal, and no longer needs to test nuclear weapons. For almost two decades, every U.S. administration since the George Bush, Sr. has adhered to a self-imposed and congressionally approved testing moratorium and there is broad and bipartisan consensus that the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear arsenal can be guaranteed for the foreseeable future without resuming nuclear testing. Therefore, it is in the United States’ national security interests to prevent countries that could benefit from nuclear testing, like China, Pakistan and Iran, from doing so.
It is time to move away from the usual partisan politics and the outdated Cold War thinking when it comes to the security of American people. The best way to do this is for the U.S. senate to approve the new START agreement and the CTBT.
How to Write a Letter to the Editor
- Check the length of the letters your paper publishes. Most newspapers have a limit of 100-150 words. As a rule, shorter is better.
- Use legislators’ names. If your printed letter mentions a representative or senator by name, be sure to clip it out and send it to him or her.
- Reference the title of a recent article in your local paper that you are responding to.
- Don't rant. Hard-hitting criticism is a big plus, but rants won't get published.
- Get to know the tone and style of letters selected by your paper.
- Use statistics and personal stories when you have them.
- Your letter should be signed and must include your address and telephone number or it won’t be published. The paper may call to verify that you wrote the letter.
- Be patient. It may take you several tries to get a letter published, but even unpublished letters have an impact by showing the public cares about this issue and increasing the chance that letters on this topic will get published.
- Work with a group. Letter writing is a great group or volunteer activity, and the more letters on a given subject, the greater the chance that one or more will be published.
Example of how to write a great letter
Sentence 1: What was recently in the news that prompted you to write this letter, and what about it moved you to take action? Say it in as few words as you can.
Example: I was dismayed to see today’s editorial entitled, “Obama wrong to focus on disarmament.”
Sentence 2: What is the single most important point you want to make?
Example: Former statesmen like Henry Kissinger cite the risk of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists or accidental launches of nuclear weapons as a prime reason that reducing nuclear weapons in the US and around the world will make us safer.
Sentence 3: What is at least one fact, observation or personal statement that backs up your point? Personal anecdotes often work great here.
Example: As a grandparent, I want my grandchildren to grow up in a world where the possibility of devastating nuclear attacks are no longer possible.
Sentence 4: In conclusion, make your point again. It’s often effective to call for specific change to help drive your point home, as in the example below.
Example: The US can demonstrate leadership by working with Russia for even deeper stockpile reductions, ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and not pursuing new nuclear weapons as first steps towards creating a safer, nuclear weapons free world.
Page Updated February 18, 2010