Sample Email for Congressional Letter

Below is a sample email you can adapt to follow up with the Foreign policy staffer at your Representative's Office. Feel free to personalize!

Dear So-and-So,

My name is _________________. I live in [Your Town] and am a member of [Your Organization].

I am writing today to make sure you have seen a Dear Colleague letter being circulated by Representatives Schakowsky, Vargas, Johnson and Serrano about a concerning political situation in El Salvador and to encourage you to sign on. The deadline is this Friday, February 16 at noon.

Since the democratic change in government in El Salvador in 2009, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court has issued a number of rulings that jeopardize El Salvador's democratic institutions, a situation that was profiled a few years ago in The Nation.

One of their main areas of focus has been electoral law, issuing rulings that have undermined both the independence and authority of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (the entity that regulates elections), the creation of which was one of the main achievements of the 1992 Peace Accords that ended El Salvador's twelve-year civil war.

Many of their rulings have also brought them into open conflict with the democratically-elected legislature, as the Constitutional Chamber has blocked many legislative decisions and government initiatives, from funding for security and violence prevention to measures designed to prevent tax evasion. These decisions are made on what appear to be politically-motivated grounds, or in some cases, to protect the Magistrate's personal financial interests.

Despite these concerns, the U.S. Embassy has continued to express a very positive opinion of the Supreme Court, which is adding to a tense political situation among the three branches of government. Civil society organizations in El Salvador are concerned that the Chamber’s actions have opened the door to a potential democratic crisis in El Salvador, especially with legislative elections coming up in early March and presidential elections set to take place next year.

I urge you to join with Representatives Schakowsky, Vargas, Johnson and Serrano in calling on U.S. Ambassador Jean Manes to refrain from taking sides in the elections and to remain neutral on matters pertaining to the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court.

The letter closes on Friday, February 16 at 12 noon. To sign on, please contact Aaron Weinberg in Rep. Schakowsky's office ([email protected]).

Many thanks for your attention to this and for supporting El Salvador's continued democratic progress.

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