Tools for Advocacy

Tools for Advocacy

As a vital constituent in California, you are the ideal advocate to inform stakeholders and policymakers on balanced energy policies that underpin fundamental quality-of-life issues and promote the upward economic mobility that empowers all Californians.

By becoming a Powering California Network (PCN) member, we want to help you build relationships with your local representatives. Find out more about PCN here. You will have access to information about upcoming policies and legislation and we will make it easy for you to take action to help advance balanced energy policies that benefit future generations to come.

Being an advocate is simple! It can be as easy as signing a digital letter, making a phone call or using social media to contact your elected representatives. As important issues arise, the PCN will send members Action Alerts to easily help you engage with your elected officials on issues that matter and impact our communities. Of course, each PCN member decides for himself or herself what comments to make or whether to engage on any given policy issue – that’s one of the great freedoms each of us enjoy in California.

As you are engaging with your local elected officials through the PCN, the following tips will help you personalize and enhance the impact of your message.

Send an Email

Elected representatives receive many calls, emails and letters daily on a variety of topics, but the voice of each constituent matters and has the potential to make a difference. When an elected representative is undecided on an issue, the number of communications their office receives “for” or “against” an issue often contributes to how they ultimately vote.

The PCN will send members Action Alert emails that will be easy to sign and send. However, in the event you choose to personalize your message, keep the following tips in mind: 

  • Include your name and address.
  • Make sure your message is personal.
  • Be clear about your position and what you’d like to happen.
  • Be polite and honest.
  • Avoid email attachments.
  • Proofread your email before sending.

Make a Phone Call

Calling your elected representative is an effective way to ensure your voice is heard. Do not be surprised if your representative does not personally answer the phone as they rely on their staff to field calls and talk to constituents. However, they will pass along your message. Here are some tips to keep in mind before you make a call:

  • Introduce yourself and include where you are from.
  • Make the phone call personal.
  • Ask your elected representative to take action on a particular policy or issue.
  • Be polite and honest.
  • Thank the person you are speaking to for their time.

Use Social Media

Social media has become a very impactful tool to reach out to elected representatives. For example, nearly every elected representative has a Twitter account and they use it frequently to keep in touch with their constituents and follow the day’s trending stories. Here are a few tips:

  • Be clear and concise. For example, on Twitter you only have 280 characters to say what you want to say.
  • Use relevant hashtags.
  • Tweet or tag elected representatives as appropriate on Twitter, Facebook or any other social media platform you are using.

Write a Letter to the Editor or an Op-ed

An op-ed is a news article devoted to commentary, feature articles and opinions. The authors are not officially affiliated with the media outlet and can range from state legislators to local citizens. Op-eds are typically approved by the editorial staff and are often scheduled in advance. They tend to be 600-750 words in length and generally appear in the Opinion section of a newspaper or website.

Letters to the Editor are usually written in direct response to an article or editorial and are no longer than 200 words. They are typically published in the Editorial section of a newspaper or website that focuses on community issues. Letters to the Editor are more likely to get published than an op-ed and at a quicker turnaround time. Here are some tips to keep in mind when drafting your letter:

  • Research submission deadlines and guidelines.
  • Identify yourself as a concerned California resident.
  • Be clear, concise and include a call to action at the end.
  • Be persistent and follow-up after submission.