Use this sample letter of protest as a template for your formal notification. Last updated on January 17th, 2019
A letter of protest is an effective way for an individual citizen to express his or her opinion about a topic. It is generally recognized that one letter of protest represents about 10,000 members of a community, which is why politicians, institutions, governments, corporations and other entities treat letters of protest seriously. The letters are considered like a barometer of public opinion. A letter that is short and to-the-point has a better chance of being read through by the receiver.
Letters of protest need not be very formal, but they should be very clean and easy to read. It is recommended to print the letter rather than handwrite, because a handwritten letter may be difficult for the receiver to decipher causing him or her to discard it without reading. However, handwritten letters can have a great personal impact if the handwriting is very legible.
Opinion Must be Genuine
The opinion must be genuine. The sender need not have a thorough grasp of the law, current affairs or business principles, but they must have a strong personal uneasiness that they can express clearly with a strong request for the concerned party to take action.
The letter should be addressed to a specific person. The sender can call the newspaper, institution or company to get the name of the person who receives protest letters. The name and title of the person should be spelled correctly.
Even though it is not necessary to be an expert in the field, it is important for the sender to have basic knowledge of the issue and be aware of the current status. An effective letter will contain valid evidence and reasoning to support the claim. If the letter is addressed to a government official, it should use the proper title.
Stick to One Issue
The letter should also stick to one issue. Multiple complaints will just muddy the water and not achieve anything. The language should be polite and respectful and not express anger, use profanity or be insulting. It should not give the impression the sender is a malcontent. To be effective, the letter needs to appear to be from a sensible, concerned citizen.
Summarize the Situation
The sender should introduce him or herself in the first two sentences giving some personal background such as education, training or occupation. Next, the letter should get straight to the point. The next two short paragraphs should summarize the situation and state the sender’s concerns. Once the concerns are clear, the sender should support them with facts. They can include personal experience, which is sometimes more effective than a list of statistics.
The last paragraph should clearly state the action that the sender expects to see. This may include legislation, or other corrections. If there is a time constraint, it should be mentioned. For example, a local pond may need to be cleaned before the migrating geese that rest there every year arrive in the fall. The sender can make a request for a reply that outlines the recipient’s intended action. The sender can also mention that a form letter is not an acceptable response.
Here is a sample letter of protest. It may be sent by email, if the receiving government official or company invites email suggestions. However, a letter sent by post may be taken more seriously. If the sender wants proof that the letter was received, it can be sent by certified mail.
Sample Letter of Protest Name of Sender Address of Sender City, State, Zip Code
Name of Receiver Name of Company, Newspaper or Government Official Address of Above City, State, Zip Code
RE: Regarding the City Council’s decision to move the local landfill.
Dear Name of Council Member,
I am a high school biology teacher at Name of High School, and I am writing this letter to protest the decision of the City Council to move a waste dump from its current location, to a location out of town. I understand that the land needs to be cleared for housing, but believe there is a better place to relocate the waste material than the one selected by the council.
The current suggested location is in the flood plain of Name of Creek, which feeds Name of Lake. This could post a potential environmental disaster for the creek and lake if there is ever a flood. Even during normal rainfall, toxins will end up in the water. Today, Name of Lake is a balanced eco-system that is used for recreation and wildlife habitat.
My high school class joins me in protesting the new location for the waste and has searched for a better place. They found Name of Place to the south of the city where a waste dump would have a minimal effect on the surroundings.
Kindly reconsider your decision concerning the location of the new waste dump and make the necessary changes. My class and I would appreciate a response from you regarding this issue. I can be reached at Phone Number or at Email Address.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.
Sincerely, Signature of Sender Printed Name of Sender By Andre Bradley