Sample Letter to Elected Officials

Here is a sample letter template that you can use to send to your local elected officials or city staff. Simply make a copy of this document and add your own information.

Pro tip: write from your heart and use examples from your life.

Dear [city council members, or name specific people],

My name is [name]. I am from [city/neighborhood]. The General Plan is the long-term blueprint for our communities vision of future growth. I am writing to you today to request that:

[This is where you share the main issue you would like to talk about. Perhaps it’s including or prioritizing environmental justice policies or incorporating more green infrastructure policies]

Possible request: I am writing to you today to request that the climate crisis and how our community plans to address it is front and center in our General Plan update.

We ask that you ensure the Updated General Plan incorporates goals and specific policies to reduce the causes of human-induced climate change as well as prepares our community to adapt to future climate impacts in all of its elements. To do this, means that all growth, development, or redevelopment plans account for ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as climate impacts Priority is needed to ensure plans protect those currently most affected by greenhouse gas emissions and those who are currently at risk or face future risk of disproportionate harm from climate change related impacts in our communities.

Please ensure that our General Plan update addresses climate action, strengthens the urban limit line, protects our shorelines, and includes clear implementing policies to shift towards clean energy, affordable housing, and overall healthy places.

Specifically, please ensure that the General Plan updates include: [Feel free to use all or part of this list or create your own. This is where you should list out clear, bullet-point requests that are easy to digest]:

  • Direction to address the climate crisis, explicitly require a Climate Action Plan that meets or exceeds the state goals, and is reviewed on an annual basis.
  • Clearly state that there will be a completion of a Greenhouse Gas Inventory to establish a baseline level of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and is reviewed on an annual basis.
  • Agree to partner with other jurisdictions and organizations to develop effective regional solutions and regulations at regional, state, and federal levels.
  • Identify disadvantaged communities, and include clear Environmental Justice policies.
  • Clearly state that you will expand the green transportation network by encouraging the use of climate-friendly technology, planning growth around multiple modes of travel and reducing automobile reliance and vehicle miles traveled.
  • Ensure transit-oriented development, focus economic development and jobs near housing or transit, and promote equitable access to jobs and services, especially for disadvantaged communities.
  • Incorporate ecologically sustainable practices like green infrastructure and materials into new development, building retrofits, and streetscape improvements.

We cannot afford to ignore our climate crisis any longer. I look forward to following along in the General Plan process and providing my feedback. The consequences of not addressing our climate crisis are extreme and we are already experiencing many of the impacts. We do not have more time to waste.

Thank you for your service to our community, and all that you do to ensure it is a place that future generations will come to enjoy as we have!


Name, address, email, phone number