Letters to the Editor (LTEs) have been a form of activism for as long as newspapers have existed. They’re a particularly powerful form of activism too; they get out ideas that the paper may not have covered, bring new facts to light, and, typically, represent the community’s opinion, meaning that our representatives keep a close eye on them. The good news is that LTEs are short and so easy to write!
Throughout the month of June, Beyond the Bomb wants to get the word out, and we need your help! Every letter submitted through our quick and easy tool enters you into a contest to win a book on nuclear weapons, some Beyond The Bomb gear, and more nuclear swag. As a bonus, we also have a guest pass to the Netroots Nation exhibition hall, happening this July in Philadelphia, to give away! Just use Beyond the Bomb’s LTE tool to submit your letter and you’ll be entered to win!
There are three basic parts to every good LTE: The Problem, The Solution, and How We Get There. Let’s break them down, but keep in mind that a lot of papers have word limits, or cut your LTEs down, so keeping things short and sweet is the best bet.
If you’ve made it to this point, you have a pretty good idea how many issues there are with nuclear weapons, but try and focus on one for your letter. Sole authority over launching nuclear weapons is catastrophic, and contributes to many other nuclear issues, making it a good place to start. Keep in mind that many readers may have no idea what sole authority is, or much about nuclear weapons in the first place, so try and avoid jargon and acronyms as much as possible.
No First Use is one of the biggest steps we can take to end sole authority and put guardrails back on our nuclear system! Here’s five reasons we love No First Use. By adopting such a policy the United States would lead the way for other major nuclear powers to adopt such a policy (even though China and India already have!) Congressional support for these bills from every representative is crucial to getting No First Use passed!
How We Get There:
This is the most important step! If you don’t give your readers a next step or an action to take, chances are they won’t. This is our call to action! For citizens, the action is to contact their representatives and to tell their friends and family about these issues. For our representatives – and remember, they do read these! – the action is cosponsoring legislation.
That’s it. Really. Use our LTE generator to send your letter off! Make sure you use your real information and submit locally because many papers will call to confirm your information and that you live in the community. If you haven’t heard back in a few weeks, feel free to call or redraft and resubmit!