You should have people call their reps! I wasn't content with the form letters either, so I started making phone calls. Take into consideration that us americans have a lazy streak, and it's a lot easier to pick up the phone, then to write a letter. Not only that but consider the impact of a phone call, or better yet a flood of them. If you ran a highly successful letter writing campaign the staffers at the reps office would receive big bags of mail, that they had to print form letters for. Big Deal. On the flip side of that coin if you run a successful call in campaign their phones are constantly ringing, with people upset at the other end (always be polite yet firm) and at the end of the day, it has much more lasting effect on them.
Here's my best example of a flier I handed out all over my neck of the woods at college campuses, around town, in bars, under windshield whipers, even at my congressmans church (under windshield wipers during service):
Would you feel safer with a person convicted of rape, or a person convicted of a marijuana offense in a dorm of your college? Guess which one has restrictions on Federal Financial Aid?
Call Mark Green and ask him why he'd prefer a rapist on your campus! Toll Free 1-800-773-8579
For more info see www.raiseyourvoice.com
Yeah I know it's highly controversial, but I didn't give a shit. When I'd hand out these fliers I'd explain to people that a person convicted for growing flowers can't get financial aid, but rapists, murderers, and armed robbers can still receive an education. Mark Green voted for this legislation, and has yet to act on legislation stopping the real criminals from receiving an education. Where's his priorities? Call this guy, don't be shy he works for you.
One day I called his office and said I received one of my fliers from a nice young man, and I was wondering if it was true. The staffer gave an exasperated sigh and said he knew about the fliers being circulated, but that they didn't tell the whole story, and they'd be happy to send me a form letter. The letter confirmed everyting I told these people, since I had already received the same letter before. I haven't had as much time to circulate my fliers in a while, but I plan on doing a lot of it this summer, since we've got governor elections this November, and this Republican from hell is planning on moving up from Congress to become governor!
Whenever you call politicians you get their staffers, whose job it is to stand between you and the politician. I've got telemarketing experience so I try to use my powers of persuasion to get a hold of them. Sometimes it doesn't work, but more often then not I get through to them eventually. You will be very nervous, if your anything like me, but plan your arguments in advance and try to think of the worst thing to shoot down what you have to say, and be prepared for them to use it against you, and have your rebuttle prepared (ex: but states that legalize medical marijuana will have easier access for kids...Well actually representative, states that legalize have lower rates of kids using drugs, and if you want to score some pot it's a lot easier for a high school student to find it at school then for an elderly patient to find it on the street, with the laws as they stand now. Any change would likely be for the better).
In closing emails and letters can be deleted or thrown out, but a live person on the phone is a completely different story, they can hang up, but that's pretty bad PR. Just try to do it sober, and possibly taking notes before hand wouldn't hurt for a quick glance in case you flake.