Below is the letter I sent to my Congressman last summer requesting a meeting. I've interspersed some notes [italizied and in brackets], to address possible questions you might have about how to customize the letter for your locale.
Sending the letter accomplishes two things. It gives you something to talk about as an independent voter activist and a spokesperson in-the-making, and at the same time, starts another ball rolling in our campaign for Congressional hearings.
* * *
Independence Party of Richmond County
Sarah D. Lyons - Chair
36 Hamilton Avenue, Apt. 3N
Staten Island, NY 10301
Ph: 718-447-9689 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
[If you don't have an organizational name, perhaps now is the time to make one up. "Independent Voters of __(name of state)__" is always a good place to start. If you're not ready to do that, you can simply use your connection to IV.org in the following way. Under your name on the next line, identify yourself as part of the IndependentVoting.org network.]
Jane/Joe Doe, member
[That provides the reader -- a Congressional staffer -- with a sense that you belong to an organization, in this case, a national network of independent voters. As small of a detail as this might seem, it's already established you as someone who is part of something bigger. That's important for spokespeople because a big part of the job is to create the context in which you are being listened to.]
VIA FACSIMILE & POST
Honorable Michael Grimm
265 New Dorp Lane, 2nd Floor
Staten Island, NY 10306
Dear Representative Grimm,
The Independence Party of Staten Island is participating in a national campaign among independents calling on Congress to hold hearings to examine ways in which partisanship is so hardwired into the political system, as to have created structural discrimination against independents.
[You can subsitute the name of your organization or "As a member of the IndependentVoting.org national network of independents, I am particiating..."]
The purpose of our campaign is two-fold: 1) To educate Congress and shine a light on the effect of partisan control of the election process, namely that 40% of Americans have a second class status; and 2) to urge Congress to investigate these biases by holding hearings.
I'm writing to request a meeting with you to present the motivation for this campaign and ask for your help.
Recent polls show the number of Americans identifying as independents has surpassed that of Democrat or Republican. This disconnect-between the growing independence of the citizenry and the highly partisan nature of our governing process-is creating an unhealthy situation for our democracy.
Indeed, many have noted that the budget negotiations are so driven by partisan considerations as to put the country at risk. They urge that structural reforms are urgently needed in order that we may find genuine solutions to the problems we face. I have attached several articles on this theme for your review.
[The above paragraph can be updated to refer to the budget negotiations in the past tense or generalized to say that "Congressional debate is so driven by partisan considerations..."]
I will follow up with your office shortly.
Chair, Independence Party of Richmond County