Be Counted: Write to Your Local Newspaper

Shirley Lin Kinoshita, a life member of WILPF offers this advice:

I believe well written opinion letters to major news media have more impact than standing on street corners holding signs or singing to the converted few there. Remember to read and follow the editorial guidelines, and don't forget to include your organization or affiliation in your closing. The editors prefer the latter so they can keep your comments in context. I also include a website link as a courtesy for background checks. One thing I haven't been good about, thoroughly checking my facts & references -- make sure your links aren't obsolete and resources are up-to-date and accurate.

I sent a letter timed for World Water Day (March 22) published last month in the San Jose Mercury News, which has largest circulation in our area. Included "Save the Water" Campaign in close.

I'm sure some of your can write very effective and passionate letters about taxes and military costs, too, targeted to your home communities, no matter what size. Please share your successes so others may want to get it a try.

Here's the letter I sent to our local news editor last week timed to Tax filing deadline.

Our local San Jose CA WILPF will not be doing a Tax Day Rally at Post Office this year--find it less and less productive effort as tax filers use online filing and other means to get theit taxes on time.

To: Letters@mercurynews.com

Tax day deadline is fast approaching. We Americans are concerned about our economy, mortgage crisis, healthcare and ongoing Iraq war. What really irks me is how our taxes are spent.

The costs of current and past wars takes from 43% to 54% of our taxes. Check out www.fcnl.org/wartaxes or www.warresisters.org/pages/piechart.htm with pie charts and analysis delineating these costs.

Forty years ago Martin Luther King, Jr. prophetically observed, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs for social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”

Why are we spending so much for a questionable war while people and companies at home suffer bankruptcies and foreclosure? We need to demand that our money be better spent.

Shirley Lin Kinoshita

Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom – San Jose Branch

www.wilpfsanjose.org

www.wilpf.org

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