CALL TO ACTION: SUBMIT A LETTER TO THE EDITOR TO THE GAINESVILLE SUN

Submit a Letter to the Editor to the Gainesville Sun. As we prepare for the last scheduled Town Hall of this term in Gainesville, we need to make our concerns known. Letters to the editor are written by people in the community, just like you, to comment on issues that concern residents. We urge you to write about your experiences at the last town hall meeting, the news coverage that followed, and what you want to address at this Saturday’s town hall.

Why are Letters to the Editor so important?

  • Politicians track public opinion as expressed in media.
  • The number of Letters to the Editor signal to the paper the intensity of interest in the topic and therefore encourages the paper to more vigorously cover the topic
  • Letters can impact the papers own stand on an issue
  • Local papers can sway national policy

Use your voice and be heard by our community and elected officials. Submit your letter using the online form at http://www.gainesville.com/submitletter or email them to letters@gainesville.com

If you choose to email your letter, please include your full name, address, and phone number. The newspaper requests this information to verify that you submitted the letter and not someone pretending to be you.

Also, to increase the likelihood of your letter being published, please follow the word limit for the Gainesville Sun—150 words maximum. If you use the online submission form, this word limit is strictly enforced.

To encourage attendance at Monday’s Town Hall, we also ask that you include the following information at the end of your letter: Rep. Yoho’s Town Hall is Monday 4/10/17, doors open at 6:30 at Lincoln MS 1001 SE 12th ST Gainesville, FL 32641.

Here are some suggestions that based on advice found at ReachOut.com to help you make the most impact with your letter:

Read the ‘letters to the editor’ section of the Gainesville Sun. If you can capture the style of the published letters, you’ll increase your chances of finding your opinion in print.

Be upfront with your comments. Are you supporting the article/issue, or wanting to set the record straight?

Once you’ve poured your heart out onto paper (or screen), walk away and come back in a different frame of mind to edit. Make sure that what you’ve said is easy to follow, to-the-point, well backed up with facts, and uses formal language. Get a friend or family member to read your letter and see if they get what you meant.

Spell-check your letter and make sure it is double-spaced. Your letter will need to meet the particular newspaper’s formatting guidelines. These are usually shown on the letters to the editor page.

Here’s a perfect example of a letter that was published in the Gainesville Sun today by a concerned Gainesville community member:

Questionable statements

Rep. Ted Yoho raised eyebrows last week by saying that a congressman “reports to the president.” Moments like this call to mind some other gems that he has uttered during his career.

Like the time he defended farm subsidies because “it’s the accepted norm. To just go in there and stop it would be detrimental to our sugar growers.” Sugar growers like the billionaire Fanjul brothers of South Florida. I thought tea partiers were against crony capitalism.

Then there was the time he said that the U.S. defaulting on our debt would result in credit agencies saying, “You know what, they’re getting their house in order.’” Because we all know creditors just love missed payments!

His “president” gaffe may not even be the worst thing he said in March. A couple of weeks ago Yoho announced, “It’s been proven over and over again Medicaid has the worst outcomes in the industrialized world as far as the quality of health care.” This whopper was just given a “false” on Politifact.

Sandy Parker

Gainesville

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