By Liz Hamel
Sometimes, silence is complicity. You read a news story that touches on a subject you care deeply about, and you know in your heart that you must speak up. But if you express your righteous anger or reasoned argument and nobody hears it, did you really make a sound?
That’s where an effective letter to the editor comes in. An LTE can be a powerful way to amplify essential voices and broadcast your message to an influential audience. That is, as long as that letter gets printed.
The M+R Fast LTE tool will help you turn passion into a ready-to-print letter that can break through the noise. Using complete sentences, answer the 10 questions in the form below. The M+R Fast LTE tool will then put it all together in a format you can copy, paste and send away.
Not sure where to send your shiny new LTE to make the most impact? M+R’s Opinion Page Yellow Pages has contact information and submission guidelines for top news outlets.
For a glimpse at our tool in action, here’s an example of a letter to the editor following the structure of our LTE tool from Irena Sullivan, senior immigration policy counsel for the Tahirih Justice Center, that was recently published in The New York Times.
To the Editor:
Re: “U.S. Plans to Sharply Restrict New Green Cards for Those on Public Aid” (news article, Sept. 23):
By law, those who apply for certain humanitarian forms of relief, including under the Violence Against Women Act, are not subject to the public-charge rule. But survivors are already forgoing critical benefits, unnecessarily fearful of jeopardizing their eligibility for a green card.
Survivors and others applying for permanent residence on grounds unrelated to domestic violence, however, are subject to the public-charge rule. They face a cruel choice: basic, life-sustaining services, or denial of relief and deportation.
Deportation for many survivors results not only in separation from American citizen children, but also in the forced relinquishment of child custody to an abuser.
These proposed changes are already worsening poverty among families, deterring survivors from accessing essential health services, including prenatal care through Medicaid, and will result in more costly and inefficient emergency-room visits.
We should continue to extend the lifeline immigrant survivors need to get back on their feet, which ultimately benefits us all.
Falls Church, Va.
The writer is senior immigration policy counsel for the Tahirih Justice Center.