Letters to the Editor

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Why We Need Letters

Letters to the editor play a critical role in persuading voters on a campaign like Portland Clean Energy Initiative. With just 200 words, we can reach and influence thousands of our target voters, but we need supporters to submit a lot of letters in order to get any published.

Media outlets want to hear from community members, not just experts or corporate interests. You will make a difference by writing to local news outlets about why you support the Portland Clean Energy Initiative.

Letter Writing Tips and Considerations:

  • Now is the time for letters: Letters sent as early as possible have a greater likelihood of getting published.

  • Keep it brief: Typical letters range from 200-250 words. Be brief and use active first language focused on the most important part of your message. Start the letter with “To the editor.”

  • Get to the point: Start with a compelling sentence making a concise claim about the benefits of the Portland Clean Energy Initiative for the focus areas you’ve chosen.

  • Make your case: Follow the introduction with short, clear factual points about what is most important to you. This can include data or anecdotal experience, but prioritize real-life examples.

  • Messaging: It’s most effective to stick to one primary message per letter. Below you will find a list of key focus areas and talking points that are persuasive to voters.

  • Make it local, and personal: Tell personal stories about own experiences or those of your neighbors. Struggling to pay utility bills in the winter? Want to see more tree canopy? Say so.

  • End with a call to action: That’s vote yes for the Measure 26-201, the Portland Clean Energy Initiative!

  • Identify yourself: Include a closing with your name, location, and any affiliated titles/credentials.

See a sample letter to the editor here.

Key Focus Areas

Workforce Development and Job Creation

  • Good, living wage jobs in renewable energy economy

  • Path to higher page jobs, apprenticeships

  • Benefits disadvantaged workers, including those with low incomes and communities of color, women, people with disabilities, chronically underemployed

Clean energy and climate

  • Portland is a national leader on climate action.

  • We need fight the federal inaction rollbacks on the environment from the Trump administration.

  • We need to take local action that benefits our community and expand clean energy.

Corporations pay their fair share

  • Corporations just received a massive 40% tax cut from Trump and Congress.

  • These billionaire corporations need to start paying their fair share.

  • Big retailers aren’t held fully responsible for their contributions to climate change and pollution.

Addressing Portland’s affordable housing and homelessness crisis

  • Solar on affordable housing properties can bring costs down for people with low incomes.

  • Good jobs are key to affording housing and avoiding homelessness.

  • Lower utility costs means families—both renters and homeowners—can better afford to stay in their homes.

Health

  • Creates healthier homes through weatherization.

  • Green infrastructure and renewable energy will help address air quality and pollution.

  • Many low-income parts of Portland are 20 degrees hotter than wealthier neighborhoods; more trees and green infrastructure will help cool neighborhoods.

Frontline communities

  • Communities of color and low-income communities are impacted first and worst by climate change, with the least capacity to mitigate the impacts.

  • They have been left out of Portland’s economic boom.

  • Jobs and job training will create economic opportunity, and lower utility costs will help families make ends meet.

Want feedback or help getting started?

You can sign up to join our team here. Please contact Jay Parasco at jayparasco@gmail.com with any questions, to get feedback, and to let us know you’ve submitted so we can meet our goal!

Where to send letters to the editor

  • The Oregonian: Email letters of no more than 250 words to letters@oregonian.com. Must include full address and daytime phone number for verification.

  • Portland Tribune: Submit letters of no more than 200 words to the Portland Tribune via Pamplin Media Group. Writers are limited to one letter per calendar month. Must include address and daytime phone number for verification.

  • Willamette Week: Email letters of 250 words or less to mzusman@week.com.Must include street address and phone number for verification.

  • Portland Mercury: Email letters to lovenotes@portlandmercury.com

  • Portland Observer: Email letters to news@portlandobserver.com

  • The Skanner: Email letters to Bobbie Foster, Executive Editor, at bobbie@theskanner.com