People will have divergent opinions, concerns, and solutions on different issues in the country and community. Therefore, it is not surprising for constituents to try and pass this information to the highest level of government and the office of the President to contribute to the country’s growth. A letter to the President is one of the best ways to achieve this.
The President represents the country’s entire population, and their office welcomes any positive or constructive criticism. White House staff receives and reads multiple letters and forward ten of these letters for the President to read; chances are your letter can always be selected. Upon review, the President can decide to respond personally.
While it might be intimidating to write to the highest government office in the country, writing a letter to the President does not have to be sophisticated or fancy. You must, however, pay attention to details, especially when addressing the letter; the letter can be titled “The President,” and the President can be referred to as ‘Mr. President” throughout the letter.
Civil societies often use letters to the President to advocate the policy decisions and public opinion or constituents to reach the President. While President cannot respond to most of the letters, careful planning, intentionality, and follow-ups can boost response.
Do you know: The official address for letters to the President is The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20500.
How to Write a Letter to President?
A letter to the President is an official letter and should be written as so. You can use electronic contact forms from the official White House website or draft a physical copy of the letter.
This article will discuss the different steps authors can take to craft effective letters to the President below:
Add a header
The letter needs to start with a header containing details about the author. The header ought to be placed at the top left corner of the page. Next, you should write your official name, home address, city, state, and ZIP code while writing each category of information on a separate line. The letter should then be dated. Finally, the date should be inserted after one blank line.
The details of the President should then be provided. The President’s name (first name and last name) should be indicated before the White House address provided earlier.
Next, skip a line and then provide a formal salutation. For example, the formal way to address the President as “Mr. President” or “Madame President.” Note that even though the letter will be received and first reviewed by the Office of Presidential Correspondence, the letter is directed to the President.
The first paragraph should be used to introduce who you are and the reason for writing the letter. If you are crafting the letter to the President on behalf of a group, it should be clear how their work is related to the topic to be discussed.
“My name is John Doe, an activist for Animal Rights and a member of the Farewell Animal Protection Organization in Philadelphia. I’m writing this letter in support of your Animal Conservatorship National program targeting endangered animals by seasonal hunting and human interference”.
Body of the letter
Once an introduction has been made and an overview of the letter’s purpose has been provided, you can get into details about what you want to let the President know. The body can outline the following:
Reason of writing
Firstly, let the President know what you are proposing to their government to do. The request can be generic or specific.
For example, the letter could be written regarding the lack of funds for community rehabilitation centers which is a general-purpose, or a letter asking the President to write a condolence letter to families affected by wildfires in California which is more specific. Where there is more than one “asks,” they can be listed in bullet points.
Next, you should provide supporting information that further justifies the letter’s claim, proposal, or solution (purpose). Supporting information can be cited from research reports or official records and can be given as citations, quotations of experts or public officials, anecdotes, or footnotes.
The letter to the President should then illustrate the author’s belief in constructive criticism. It is polite to respect the President’s authority and express that the letter is not an order or judgment on their government but rather an input regarding a particular subject that needs to be addressed.
The body of the letter to the President should then state the exact action the author is asking the President to undertake. Note that the purpose of the letter is different from the action you are asking them to take.
For example, the letter could be about the lack of funds for community rehabilitation centers nationwide. Still, the action would be to increase the budget for community rehabilitation centers in the country.
The next section of the letter should summarize critical points addressed and show appreciation to the President for reviewing the letter. Finally, a statement stating any attached documents should be provided.
The letter should then be finalized by supplying a complimentary close, author’s name, and signature. The most common complimentary close for letters to the President is “Most respectfully,” but any other formal complimentary close such as “Sincerely” is acceptable. After the closing, sign the letter and provide your name.
Format of the Letter
A letter to the President needs to be professionally formatted. Therefore, several formatting considerations need to be considered:
- The letter should be written or typed (preferably typed) on a standard 8.5” x 11” paper. If handwritten, a pen should be used, and the letter must be neatly written.
- Use single-spacing and skip one line to separate paragraphs.
- The letter should be aligned to the left, and a formal font such as Times New Roman or Calibri should be used.
- Since the letter to the President is a formal document, it should adopt a standard business letter format; header, salutation, introduction, body, conclusion/summary, and signing off.
- The greeting can be generic or specific; “Dear Mr or Madame President” or “Dear President [last name].”
- The letter should be legible and to the point. Therefore, it is advised that a letter to the President must be less than three pages long.
[Your street address]
[City, State, ZIP Code]
The President of the United States of America [Or write the President’s name]
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President [Or Dear President (last name)]
Mr. President, I’m a [capacity under which you are writing the letter], and I’m sending this letter about [reason for writing the letter or issue you want to bring to the President’s attention]. [ Add brief point showing the urgency or severity of the issue].
The [issue/problem] has resulted in [expound on the impacts and background to why the President should consider what you are discussing]. I have been a voice of [the subject matter] for more than two years, and the lack of government support and intervention has led to further issues such as [list all associated concerns].
I request you to [state the actions you would like the President to address the issues at hand]. This will go a long way in [state the benefits of having them intervene]. Again, thank you for taking your valuable time to review my letter, and I believe you can consider my suggestion.
[Complimentary close such as sincerely]
555 Park Lane
Maplewood, CA 00000
4th November 2021
The President of the USA (United States of America)
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President
Dear President Biden, I would like to convey my distress in the issues surrounding the public education system in our country. The quality of education has dwindled over the years, negatively impacting employment status and sector.
The average number of children enrolling in the public system has decreased due to the quality of education offered. Private education has been the alternative for most parents, and due to the cost of private education, most families are spending a considerable part of their income on their children’s education resulting in limited resources for other needs for most average income families (The Washington Post, 20th October 2021 issue. Page10). Those who take their children through public education have complained of their children being disadvantaged in the formal sector, for most recruiters opt for graduates from private education systems.
I am requesting you to form an inquiry committee on the public education sector’s issues and identify the root causes of the problems we’re seeing today related to that. Then, urgent interventions should be made based on the committee’s findings, and I believe in a few years, we shall begin to see a turnaround once the problems are addressed.
Thank you for reviewing my letter, and I hope for a follow-up on the same. Our children are indeed the future of our country and must be elevated wherever possible. Education is a significant component of government support and commitment to the future well-being of this country.
Professional Tips and Tricks
Getting the President to read your letter is undeniably a bit complicated. The message and quality of the letter will, however, impact whether it gets reviewed by white house staff. The following tips, if incorporated correctly, are known to boost a letter’s chances of getting reviewed:
- Keep it direct and concise. Consolidate the message in a few words to ensure the person who reviews the letter understands what you wanted to communicate, even if they have 1 or 2 minutes to spare.
- Keep the tone formal and respectful. Try to use diplomatic language that illustrates objectivity and lack of judgment on the issue.
- Proofread the document before sending it and correct any grammatical and spelling errors as well as typos. Then, you can prepare drafts until you have a draft that is satisfactory for submission.
- Use enough postage. Aim to get the letter delivered as soon as possible, mainly if you write about time-sensitive issues.
- Consider sending an email instead, as emails are deemed the official means of communication for the White House.
When Should the Letter be Sent?
Timing plays a vital role in getting a letter to the President reviewed. The best times to send your letter to the President are:
- When the subject of your letter is an emerging topic or is in the limelight, this can be done when the news covers an associated event/topic or when Congress takes an interconnected action.
- At the beginning of a new government administration or the start of an incumbent administration’s new term. Why? New administrations will be conducting policy reviews at the beginning of their tenure, and public input is an important consideration. Also, White House staff will be looking for new ideas to impress their new President.
- In coordination with other related high-profile advocacy initiatives, for example, during activist movements. This is considered an excellent time to get the letter reviewed.
How to Address the Envelope?
Formatting the address on the envelope of a letter to the President is essential in ensuring the letter gets selected for review from the multiple letters White House staff have to go through. Therefore, the following details must be included in the envelope:
‘The President’ in the address
The envelope must show the letter is addressed to the President by declaring so. At the center of the front side, this information should be provided as follows “The President.” This should be in bold and in a relatively large font that grabs immediate attention.
Full address of White House
The white house address should then be provided beneath the words “The President.” All the elements of a standard mailing address must be provided; street address, city, and postal code. The address needs to be written in the same font as used in the information above.
Your return address
To sum up, at the top left corner of the envelope, you should supply your address. This is the return address to which any response is going to be sent. A return address encourages two-way communication.
The Office of Presidential Correspondence has different ways people can use to communicate with the President. The other ways to communicate with the President include:
You can use email to forward your issue, proposal, or message to the President. Submissions via email are to be made through an email submission form provided by the White House via their website. The message can be conveyed the same way as a letter, but the header and signature are not included. Contact information has to be provided instead.
Messages to the President can also be sent through a phone call to the Office of Presidential Correspondence. The following telephone numbers can be used for this exercise:
- TTY/TTD, call 202-456-6213
- Comments: 202-456-1111 or
- Switchboard: 202-456-1414
- Visitors Office: 202-456-6213
The President is one of the highest positions held in a country. The President being a representative of the people, the Office of The President must be accessible in one way or another to the people.
A letter to The President is one way to communicate to the President about different issues within communities within the country. The letter should be brief, direct, and addressed to the President’s official residence, the White House. A letter to the President being a formal letter needs to be formatted as a standard business letter.
A letter to the President is structured as follows; header, formal salutation, introduction, the body of the letter, conclusion, complimentary close, signature, and author’s name. As much as a letter to the President can be equally effective in delivering a message to the President, the White House recommends using email as it is the official method of communication.