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Letters to the Editor

Tips on writing a good letter Get Involved Today!

1. Pick one subject and stick to it. There are 20 reasons why this campaign is needed, but people don't remember more than one argument at a time; so pick your favorite topic and write about it exclusively.

2. Outline before you write. Political letters are arguments: The following is true, because, 1) first reason, 2) second reason, 3) final reason (State your most powerful reason last, for greatest impact.). For these reasons, the preceding is true.

3. Get right to the point. Bad: "Editor: I've been thinking about all the political issues facing us these days and..." Better: "Editor: The Fair Elections and Local Democracy Ordinance will protect our local laws from outside special interests."

4. Keep it short and simple. Keep words and Get Involved Today!sentences short and don't multiply adjectives.

5. Use your own words. Simply "talk" to your yellow pad or word processor. The result will carry your special personality. Then read your composition out-loud and simplify any parts that are hard to read.

6. Avoid "thinking." Don't use phrases like, "I think that..." "I believe that..." "In my opinion...." Bad: "I feel confident in stating that Measure T will protect our community." Better: "Measure T will protect our community."

7. Avoid repeating other arguments. Don't give opposing arguments more exposure by repeating them. Bad: "Dear Editor: Regarding the assertion that Measure T campaign is anti-corporate." Better: "Dear Editor: The Measure T campaign is pro-democracy and levels the playing field for local corporations."

8. Don't comment on the publication. Bad: "Though you are obviously conservative, you should at least be fair to Measure T campaign..." Worse: "I'll bet you'll never print this letter, but..."

9. Include your address (or at least your name and town). If you have a valid reason, you may ask the editor to withhold your name.

10. Submit to only one publication at a time. Publications like exclusives, not mass mailings. If your letter isn't printed, send it to a second publication.

Other Hints for Effective Letter Writing

  • If possible, reference an article in the newspaper you're writing to. Newspapers are more likely to publish letters that respond to their coverage, rather than random opinions from outer space.   Commenting on a specific article shows the editor that you're paying attention to what s/he is printing and offers other readers a context for your concerns.
  • Be concise and, if the newspaper has a word limit, don't exceed it. Short, well-written letters with a clear point are more likely to be printed than long-winded letters with multiple concerns.   Plus, brief letters will catch more readers - and readers who know less about your topic - than complicated letters. Jane Voter, who's never heard of Measure T, might not be inclined to begin by reading a position paper on the merits of the ordinance, but could be interested in more information after skimming a well-written paragraph.
  • Punch the first line. That is, make sure that your opening sentence both engages and expresses the gist of your opinion. What was your gut reaction to the story you're responding to? What is it that makes you so excited, outraged, concerned, or supportive of the reporter's view? What information was wrong or missing? Be up-front and perhaps a little bold - reach out and pull them in as you then...
  • Back it up! Include a key fact or reason that supports your opinion. If appropriate, include a few, but don't get too complicated - you're only writing a paragraph or two overall. Statistics, examples, or quotes work well.
  • Finally, offer a solution. In this campaign, "Support Measure T!" is a great suggestion for readers. Include a reason why this solution is appropriate. For example, tell the readers why you will vote yes and encourage them to do the same. Finishing with a positive message points the reader in a supportive direction as he or she puts the paper down to tell a friend about your thought-provoking opinion.

Contact Information for Local Newspapers

Eureka Times-Standard
• Keep it to 250 words or fewer
• Include your full name, phone number, and physical address - only your name and hometown will be published, P.O. Boxes don't count • Email to:
• Submit via webform at:
• Fax to: (707) 441-0501
• Postal mail to:
Letters to the Times-Standard
P.O. Box 3580 Eureka, CA 95502-3580

Eureka Reporter
• No word limit, but most published letters are 300 words or fewer
• Include your full name, phone number, and address - only your name and hometown will be published
• Email to:
• Fax to: (707) 476-8092
• Postal mail to: Submissions c/o The Eureka Reporter 513 Second Street Eureka, CA 95501

North Coast Journal
• Letters should be 250 words or fewer
• Deadline is 11:00am on Monday, published weekly on Thursdays
• Include your full name, phone number, and city of residence - only your name and city will be published
Priority given to "local topics that the Journal has covered"
• Email to:
• Submit via webform at:
• Fax to: (707) 826-2060
• Postal mail to: North Coast Journal, 145 G Street, Suite A Arcata, CA 95521

Arcata Eye
• Letters will be printed on a space-available basis and "may be reluctantly edited for length, or, if extraordinarily long, boring, incoherent, or editing-intensive, tossed"
• Deadline is noon Thursday, published weekly on Tuesdays
• Include your name and phone number - phone number will not be published
• Email to:
• Fax to: (707) 826-0161   **Email greatly preferred!**
• Postal mail to: Arcata Eye, P.O. Box 451 Arcata, CA 95518

McKinleyville Press
• No word limit, but "lengthy letters may be held if we don't have room"
• Deadline is anytime Friday, published weekly on Tuesdays
• Include your full name, phone number, and address - only your name and hometown will be published
• Email to:
• Fax to: (707) 839-2638 ("Save paper and skip the cover sheet")
• Postal mail to: McKinleyville Press, P.O. Box 2593 McKinleyville, CA 95519
• Drop off in person at: 1660 Central Avenue, Suite F, McKinleyville

The Independent
• Letters should contain no more than 400 words and should be typed or printed
• Include your name, phone number, and address - only your name and hometown will be published
• Email to:
• Fax to: (707) 923-1065
• Postal mail to: The Independent, P.O. Box 2438 Redway, CA 95560
• Drop it off in person at: 827B Redwood Drive, Garberville

HSU Lumberjack
• No details available online...
• Email to:
• Fax to: (707) 826-5921
• Postal mail to: The Lumberjack
• Nelson Hall East Humboldt State University Arcata, CA 95521

Contact Information for Other Papers

Ferndale Enterprise:

Fort Bragg Advocate:

Hoopa Valley Reporter:

Humboldt Advocate:

Senior News:


Humboldt County Leaders Endorse Measure T!

Democratic Party of Humboldt County

Green Party of Humboldt County

Central Labor Council of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local #1684

Building and Construction Trades of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties

Carpenters Union Local #751

Operating Engineers Union Local #3 AFL-CIO

Paul Gallegos, Humboldt County District Attorney

Peter LaVallee, Eureka Mayor

Chris Kerrigan, Eureka City Council

Dave Meserve, Arcata City Council

Harmony Groves, Arcata City Council

Paul Pitino, Arcata City Council

Bob Ornelas, Former Arcata Mayor

Connie Stewart, Former Arcata Mayor

Elizabeth Conner, Former Arcata City Council

Julie Fulkerson, Former Humboldt County Board of Supervisors

... and hundreds of other individuals and local businesses! Join us today!

View the full list of public endorsements!


Learn More!

Pros and Cons of Measure T

Learn more about Measure T in a Pros and Cons Video, produced by Eileen McGee (51 mins)


Radio Ads


Chris Kerrigan, Eureka City Counsel, and Kate Christensen, owner of The Garden Gate, support Measure T! (1 min)


Paul Gallegos, Humboldt County District Attorney, and Nezzie Wade, community member, support Measure T! (1 min)


Larry Glass, owner of The Works, and Dennis Rael, owner of Los Bagles, support Measure T! (1 min)