SAMPLES
of things you can do and say

Latest page update: June 12, 2015
Return to Home Page

Part 1: ILLINOIS LEGISLATION (IN SPRINGFIELD) and CPS/CTU/CTPF AGREEMENTS

 (Material on this page IS NOT COPYRIGHTED; plagiarize to your heart’s content.)
Click here for a PRE-WRITTEN LETTER to your legislators
(note: this document will load directly into your word processor ready for your information, just replace the italicized and underlined sections.)
or
Click here for a
SUGGESTED LETTER TEMPLATE .

How can you find out who your Illinois Legislators are? Click here.

Important informational points:

        It appears as if CPS/CITY is going to forgo paying the pension fund its actuarial employer contribution for FY 2014 in order to reach a deal with the union.  RTAC members must write to the editorial boards and demand that negotiations must not be reached at the expense of retirees and the pension fund.  The CPS budget must not be balanced on the backs of retirees.  Furthermore, CPS is claiming a $700 million deficit for the upcoming fiscal year.  Where does that leave the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund?  How is CTPF supposed to continue to distribute annuities to participants if CPS does not have the money?
        Over the last fifteen years or so, the Chicago Public Schools have diverted about $3.2 billion from the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund.  If they had not received these 'pension holidays' the CTPF would be funded at close to 100% instead of less than the current 60%.  Now the Mayor and CPS CEO want to take still more money from the teachers pension fund.   Do they for some reason enjoy spending nearly multi-millions a year more than it would cost to borrow the money on the open market? 

Who to send a letter to:

Chicago Tribune
Chicago Sun Times
Chicago Teacher's Union
Go to the following for electronic submission:
Click here
(Type or paste your message in the box along the right side.)
Click here
(Type or paste your message in the box.)
Click here
(Type or paste your message in the box.)
US Postal Mail:
Voice of the People
Chicago Tribune
435 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
Letters to the Editor
Chicago Sun times
350 N. Orleans St.
Chicago, IL 60654
Chicago Teachers Union
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza,
Suite 400, Chicago, IL 60654
(or call 312-329-9100)

 Note: Several legislative aids have told us that a single visit or personalized letter, either by e-mail or USPS carries as much weight as 50-100 'robo-letters'.

Other media outlets to contact:

CBS (Channel 2)
NBC (Channel 5)
ABC (Channel 7)
WGN (Channel 9)
WTTW (Channel 11)
Fox (Channel 32)
CBS 2 Broadcast Center
22 West Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
312-899-2222
NBC Tower
454 N. Columbus Dr.
Chicago, IL 60611

312-836-5821
WLS-TV News
190 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60601
312-899-8019
WGN Television
2501 West Bradley Pl.
Chicago, IL 60618
773-528-2311
WTTW11
5400 N St. Louis Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
773-583-5000
Fox News Chicago
205 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60601
312-565-5533

ON WRITING LETTERS:

We mustn't neglect the newspapers.  Lots of folks read those letters to the editors; that's a forum we can use. 

There is no set form for these.  Just (A) be sure to address your Senator or Representative as “The Honorable...”, (B) give the number of the bill you are supporting and what it’s about (e. g., “HB 797, which would restore some of the purchasing power lost by long-time retired Chicago Public School teachers”), (C) ask that the legislator support the bill, and (D) give your name and your address in your letter (so they know you’re in their district). 

USING THE INTERNET:  Technology simplifies things a lot.  If you want to send your U. S. Representative or Senator an email, start by clicking on Write My Rep.  This address is good from any state in the U. S.  You may find it useful to write out your message, using any word processor you’re comfy with.  Make all the corrections and adjustments you like.  When you’re through, then copy the completed message to your clipboard (with MS Windows:  Highlight the whole message and then press control-C.)  Then click on the link above, and when you finally get to the box for the message, just click inside that box and then press shift-insert.  The nice part about this method is that after you write one Senator, your message is still on your clipboard, ready to send to your other Senator and then to your Representative.

 
TO COPY STUFF FROM THIS WEB PAGE:

IF YOU ARE USING WINDOWS:  To copy from this page, HOLD DOWN THE SHIFT KEY and click at the very beginning of what you want to copy.  Still holding the shift key down, scroll down or use the down-arrow to go to the end of what you want to copy, and click again at that point.  (Everything you want will now be highlighted in reverse video.)  Press the control and letter “c” keys simultaneously.  This puts the highlighted stuff on your “clipboard.”

Now open a new document in your word processor (MS Word©, Word Perfect© or whatever).  Click on that new document page and then press the Shift and Insert keys simultaneously.  (It may take a few seconds, but you should get a complete copy of all the stuff you highlighted in your new document.)


DON’T FORGET TO APPEAL TO MEMBERS OF NEWSPAPER EDITORIAL STAFFS AND TO TV ANCHORS!!  These folks have the power to shape opinions!!

Part 2: FEDERAL LEGISLATION (IN WASHINGTON):

IF YOUR CONGRESSMAN HAS SIGNED ON

AS A CO-SPONSOR OF HR 147

(calling for repeal of the GPO-WEP penalties on public servants)

PLEASE write him or her a note of thanks!  All Illinois Representatives except Dennis Hastert and Henry Hyde have signed on.  Both Senators Obama and Durkin have signed onto S 619, the Senate version of the same bill.

Return to the top
Return to Home Page

Sample letter Template

Name of Media Outlet or Publication
Attention:
Address 1
Address 2
City, State Zip or Postal Code

Dear Editor (or President Lewis or, for a legislator, Honorable name of legislator):

    State your reason for writing here. If you are responding to articles or editorials by the media outlet, use the first sentence to reference the title of the article, name of the publication, and date it appeared.

    State your case here. Include facts, references, or research here to establish credibility. [Keep length in mind. Acceptable letter length will vary from newspaper to newspaper. Look at their letters section to get a feel for an appropriate length.]

    Include a call to action, asking readers to follow up with some activity, such as joining in calling on policymakers to address the issue.

    End with a strong, positive statement in support of your case.

Sincerely,
Name of Writer
Writer’s Title
Writer’s Organization or Affiliation
Writer's address (required for some correspondence)

How to copy and paste this template to your word processor
Return to the top
Return to Home Page
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
How to find your legislators

If you do not know what legislative district(s) you are in, click here and enter your 9 digit postal zip code. 
Project VoteIllinois will  return you your legislative district information.

You can then click one or more of the links below and get to the name, address, phone and fax numbers of your legislator(s).

Illinois Senate by district
Illinois Senate by name
Illinois House by district
Illinois House by name
Note: these are for the 97th legislative session which ends on 1/9/2013. An updated list will be posted as soon as it is available.
Return to the top
Return to Home Page