How to write your rep about police and prison abolition

Step 1: Find your reps

Figure out who you want to write and what power they hold:

Use the Wisconsin Election Commission website to find all of your elected officials

Step 2: Write a concise letter in your own words

Currently, it is important to ask your county supervisor to support Elizabeth Doyle’s resolution “ADDRESSING SYSTEMIC RACISM IN THE DANE COUNTY CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND INVESTING IN ALTERNATIVES TO INCARCERATION OUTSIDE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT”

Templates can be valuable time savers, but once your representative starts to see the same letter over and over again, the impact drops off.  Take a few extra minutes to write your own message, it doesn’t have to be very long to have a big impact.  Make sure to (1) state who you are, including if you are a constituent, (2) be as specific as possible when asking for what you want, (3) focus on your strongest arguments and illustrate them with data specific to the situation, and (4) emphasize the impact you see in your life and your community.

Step 3: Bring in resources

You can make a bigger impact by using solid data and resources as you write your letter, particularly data that speaks to your community. 

More data and resources are further down on this page.

Step 4: Stay involved

Support Black-led activists in Madison, such as Freedom, Inc., Urban Triage, and Impact Demand.  Connect with Madison DSA through our website, madison.dsausa.org.

More resources

Finding your officials
Wisconsin Elections Commission – My Voter Info
Dane County Board of Supervisors
MMSD Board of Education
Madison Common Council
State Assembly
State Senate

Letter writing suggestions
ACLU guide to “Writing your Elected Representatives

Budget Data
City of Madison Budget: https://www.cityofmadison.com/budget
MMSD Budget: https://budget.madison.k12.wi.us/files/bpa/uploads/2019-20_budget_book_-_january_2020.pdf

Data on Police in Madison Schools
Freedom Inc. – Police Free Schools campaign info
Families for Justice – ERO/SRO info sheet

Data on Racial Disparities in Dane County
Race to equity report (summary)
UW-Madison Institute for Research on Poverty
Cap Times analysis of Madison Police Use of Force.
Madison Police Department quarterly data reports


Dane County Public Health and Mental Health Reports
Dane County 2019 Maternal and Child Health Data Book
Dane County Behavioral Health Needs Assessment

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