Catholic Diocese of Dallas

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Being an advocate from home

On April 4, nearly 4,000 Catholics from throughout our state will join the Bishops of Texas at the State Capitol to visit members of the 85th Texas Legislature. We need advocates to write letters, call or email their State Senator and State Representative to notify him or her 1) you are in support of the Catholic Advocates visiting the Capitol and 2) you support or oppose specific legislation.

Getting Started

Find your legislator at Who Represents Me?

Learn more about your House Representative and your Senator .

Research the bishops’ positions on bills.

Please Note: All advocacy in conjunction with Catholic Advocacy Day must reflect the position of the Texas Bishops.

 


Tips on Writing your Legislator

Be brief. Keep your letter to the front of one page.

Address your letter. When writing to your legislator, use the following at the top of the page:

The Honorable (full name)
Texas (Senate or House of Representatives)
Austin, Texas 78701

and

Dear (Senator/Representative) (full name),

Identify yourself. Begin by introducing yourself with simple language. For example:

"I am a junior at Strake Jesuit in Houston"

"I am a parishioner of St. Martha Catholic Church in the Woodlands"

"I am the parent of a fourth grader at Holy Cross Catholic School in Bay City."

Be direct. Follow your introduction with a brief statement, such as, “I’m writing to urge you to consider our positions on pro-life bills, immigration enforcement, parental choice in education, foster care reform, death penalty sentencing, mental health services and environmental concerns before the 85th Legislature.” Then, devote one paragraph to one or two issues or specific bills that are a priority and explain your concerns.

Be specific. Remember that one well-presented argument is often more effective than a laundry list of reasons. If you do have several reasons, format your letter to include bullet points.

Bring it home. Help your legislator understand why your position is important to you and others in your community. If possible, explain how it impacts with a story.

Request follow-up. Include your mailing or email address and request a reply. Offer to answer any questions the legislator or staff may have.

Sign your letter. While we suggest that your letter be typed and printed, always hand-sign your name in a color other than black. Blue or green are good eye-catching options. End with a formal salutation such as “Sincerely,” and sign your name.

Be sure your letter gets on the bus with your fellow Catholic Advocates to be delivered!


Tips on Calling your Legislator

Below is a suggested call script to use to support Catholic Advocacy Day. Callers may personalize the script, but are asked to stick to the main point, which is support for the legislative agenda to be presented by Catholic Advocates.

Please consider calling April 3, the day before Catholic Advocacy Day, if at all possible. But your support of the bishops’ positions is valuable, regardless of when you can contact your legislator!

Hello, my name is ____________ and I am a constituent of [Senator/Representative] ________________. On April 4, several people representing me and many other Catholics from the Diocese of ____________ will be visiting your office. Please know that I am in full support of the agenda they will be presenting you.

In particular, I want to bring your attention to our stances on pro-life, immigration enforcement, parental choice in education, foster care reform, death penalty sentencing, mental health services and environmental concerns.

If the legislator or staff person asks for any specific information, please tell them that the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops will be able to answer those questions. Please email us at with a report on your call.


Tips for Emailing your Legislator

Emailing your legislators to advocate for the Texas Bishops’ Legislative Agenda can be done separately or in conjunction with a phone call to add impact. Please stick to the main points, which support the agenda that will be presented by Catholic advocates.

Find the email address of your State Representative and State Senator by entering your home address and then clicking on your Senator and Representative’s web pages to find their email contact form, or you can call their office and ask for an email address.

Write the email

Be brief. Keep your email to less than 300 words.

Address your letter. Dear (Senator/Representative) (full name),

Identify yourself. Begin by introducing yourself with simple language. For example:

"I am a junior at Strake Jesuit in Houston."

"I am a parishioner of St. Martha Catholic Church in the Woodlands."

"I am the parent of a fourth grader at Holy Cross Catholic School in Bay City."

Be blunt. Follow your introduction with a brief statement, such as, “I’m writing to urge you to consider our positions on pro-life bills, immigration enforcement, parental choice in education, foster care reform, death penalty sentencing, mental health services and environmental concerns before the 85th Legislature.” Then, devote one paragraph to one or two issues or specific bills that are a priority and explain your concerns.

Be specific. Remember that one well-presented argument is often more effective than a laundry list of reasons. If you do have several reasons, format your letter to include bullet points.

Bring it home. Help your legislator understand why your position is important to you and others in your community. If possible, explain how it impacts with a story.

Request follow-up. If the legislator or staff person asks for any specific information, please tell them that the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops will be able to answer those questions. Please email us at .

 

Follow-Up After Catholic Faith in Action Advocacy Day

Your advocacy doesn’t end here! The key to being an effective public policy advocate is to stay engaged in the process. Keep up-to-date on the Bishops’ public policy initiatives and follow-up on their Action Alerts by joining the Texas Catholic Network.

It’s free and you’ll get an inside view of the important issues shaping Catholic life here in the Lone Star State with updates on our Bishops’ public policy work in Washington and the Texas Capitol, exciting live events, and the Texas Catholic Voice e-newsletter. Unite your voice with the Bishops of Texas and thousands of other Lone Star Catholics today!

Join by creating an account at TXCatholic.org and signing up for emails.