Letter Writing


  • The purpose of writing a letter to a legislator is to bring to their attention your stance on a particular political issue. This can be related to a bill undergoing the legislative process, or other concerns that you have that you feel need to be addressed as a California nursing student and future nurse. 
  • Your voice is important! Legislators need our input and feedback to understand what is important to us as nursing professionals.
  • Legislators want your vote. Assisting nurses is very important to legislators. Nurses are the largest healthcare employee group in the US, with half a million nurses in California alone! As such a large component of the labor force, we hold a lot of power in the choices that legislators make...when we band our voices together! 
  • This page will go over the process of writing letters regarding bills undergoing the legislative process.


  • To stay informed of what types of legislation is in the process of being passed in California and your area, you can look up current bills undergoing the legislative process.

OPTION 1 - To Look Up Specific Bills

  • This option is useful if you know about a SPECIFIC bill that you are looking for.

  • Go to: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/ 

    • This page has a few different ways that you can look up bills…

      • “Quick Bill Search” - gives you the option to look up bills by their number, or by keyword(s). This is located on the bottom left of the home page.

      • “Bill Information” - gives you more advanced options to search for a bill, such as by author and year. This tab is located at the top bar to the right of “Home” and to the left of “California Law.”

    • Once you select a bill, you will be directed to a page where you can read the bill.

    • To check on the status of this bill, select “Status” on the top toolbar above the bill.

      • Here you can see when the next committee hearing date will be on this bill if applicable.

*Remember to plan to submit your letter at least one week before this date.

OPTION 2 - To Look Up All Active Bills

  • This option is useful if you want to look up what bills are in the process of going through the legislative process, but you are not looking for a specific bill. 

  • Go to: https://www.senate.ca.gov/calendar?startdate=6-6-2022&enddate= 6-6-2022&committee=&committee-hearings=on 

    • Here, you can browse current bills undergoing the legislative process in the following ways:

      • 1) Interactive Calendar

        • To the left of this page is an interactive calendar. Dates that have legislative activities occurring are highlighted in red. 

        • You can hover over these dates to see what is happening that day. This will typically be a “floor session” and “committee hearings.”

        • You can click on a calendar day to see a breakdown of the events listed on the interactive calendar. 

        • On each individual section, there is an option to “view agenda.” This will provide information about the individual bills that are to be discussed on that day. These bills have hyperlinks that will direct you to the written bill.

        • Keep in mind that these committee hearing dates are very important for writing letters! You will want to submit your letter AT LEAST one week before the hearing date for the bill you are writing about! 

      • 2) Search Bar

        • The search bar gives you more options on how to search for upcoming bills in committee hearings. You can search by…

          • A specific range of dates:

            • This is of particular importance because you need to submit your letters at least ONE WEEK before the committee hearing takes place for the bill you are writing about.

          • By a specific committee:

            • This is helpful if you are looking for bills by a particular topic. For example, as a nursing student, you might be interested to look up current bills in the “health” or “education” committees.

          • By session type:

            • There are three options in this section. “Floor session,” “committee hearings,” and “legislative deadlines.”

*Keep in mind that the most ideal time to send a letter is one week before a committee hearing thus searching for committee hearings at least one week in advance of the day you are searching is an ideal way to scan for potential bills you could write to legislators about.


  • Although there are many ways to write a letter, here is a basic format that is short, efficient, and effective at getting your point across to legislators.

    • Paragraph 1:  State who you are, why you are writing the letter, your credentials (nursing student), and that you are a constituent (a constituent is a person whom the voted official was voted on to represent). In addition, you will want to write the bill number you are discussing, as well as the author and topic the bill is covering. 

    • Paragraph 2: Provide specific, factual information and examples about how you and others are affected by the topic you are addressing. You can also provide personal examples of how this bill may have affected you or people you know. 

    • Paragraph 3: Restate your original concern and request a SPECIFIC action that you would like to be taken. An example of this may be to vote for or against a bill.

*How to find your district number:


  • DO’s

    • Keep your letter short and concise. Your letter should not be more than 2 pages long. 

    • Add your personal signature at the bottom of the letter.

    • Your perspective as a nursing student is very valuable to legislators. State your unique position as a nursing student and discuss your knowledge and experience that is applicable to your letter’s overall purpose. 

    • Be as concise and factual as possible in your statements.

    • Always proofread your letter. This increases your impact to the legislator as a credible professional.

    • Always use the appropriate honorifics. For example: Senator (last name) or Representative (last name).

    • Be respectful and thank the legislator for their time reading your letter.

    • You need to contain at minimum your home address. In addition, you can include your phone number and professional email address. It is very important to include your contact information so that the legislator can contact you if needed. 

  • DONT’S

    • Send your letter to representatives that are not in your district and not connected to the bill you are discussing.

    • Fail to give adequate information and reasoning behind your written stance.

    • Write too much. Quality over quantity is key.


  • You will want to send your letter at minimum one week before the committee hearing that will be discussing the bill.

  • You can determine what time you must send your letter by following the following steps:

    • 1) If you do not have a specific bill in mind, but are looking for active bills to find one you would like to write about:

      • Look up the following instructions to find committee hearings for upcoming bills.  Plan to send your letter at least one week before the date of the committee hearing for the bill you would like to write about.  In particular, looking up bills by committee will be helpful in searching for bills related to nursing and health policy.

    • 2) If you know your specific bill:

      • Look up the status of the bill to determine the next committee hearing date. Plan to send your letter at least one week before this date.


OPTION 1 - Position Letter Portal

  • You can send your letter electronically through the website “California Legislature Position Letter Portal” - https://calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates/faces/index.xhtml 

    • You will need to register for an account as an “individual.”

    • After you have registered, sign into your account and you will be prompted to enter the bill number, select the committee associated with that bill, and whether you support or oppose the bill.

    • You will be given a text box on this page where you can type in your letter or there is a checkbox below this that gives you the option to upload your letter in a different format, such as a word document if you prefer. 

OPTION 2 - Email

  • If you are looking to contact a specific CA senator or house representative directly, you can find how to email them by doing the following:

    • CA Senators: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/CA#senators 

      • Select the CA senator you would like to contact.

      • This will direct you to a page that has a link section. One of these links will be to the CA senator’s official website.

        • This website will provide you with the CA senator’s email address, or way to contact them directly about concerns you have as a constituent. This is where you will send your letter. 

    • CA House Representatives: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/CA#representatives 

      • Select the CA house representative you would like to contact. 

        • If you are looking for the CA representative specific to your district, there is a text bar above the representatives where you can enter your PHYSICAL (residential) address to get your districts specific representative.

      • This will direct you to a page that has a link section. One of these links will be to the CA house representative’s official website.

        • This website will provide you with the CA house representative’s email address, or way to contact them directly about concerns you have as a constituent. This is where you will send your letter.


Have questions? Need advice on your letter or help with editing? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Legislative Directors, Jerome Salvador and Kaitlin Yang! [email protected] and [email protected].