This “letter to the editor” is not to the editor but to the citizens of Jacksonville. This space reserved for the opinion of the citizens of Jacksonville has gone fallow in the last six months. It has been used mostly for a phone book with instructions on how to reach the officials you have elected.
Surely there is some topic that has caught your eye in the past that you had an opinion on. Don’t just grind your teeth or nod your head. Take the time to sit down at your computer or pull out pen and ink and share your opinion with the community. Your letter can be brief. Though the instructions say letters longer than 500 words will be rejected, yours can be 100 words—even less. You don’t have to write about everything in your letter, pick one or two points that really excite you and focus on them. Come to the point and tell us what you think!
I know this is the “Bible Belt” and “Watch your language” probably isn't necessary but do avoid profanity if you want to be published, check your spelling and use your best grammar. After all, your name, address and phone number are required before your letter can be printed! Besides, your pastor and friends will probably want to congratulate you for getting published! Most will agree with you and wish they had written to the editor about that topic.
Write to convince, write to express how you feel. Letters to the editor may not seem important, but statistics show they are the most read features in a newspaper. Letters to the Editor are the one tool through which we can weld our community together—by which we can make a difference. Politicians read these letters to better understand what people are thinking. Editors and news people in general read them to get a feel for the public mood.
Have ever wondered how activists of every ilk continually grab the headlines, are followed by the cameras; seem to carry more weight than the average guy on the street? It is because they are not afraid to speak up; speak out. Will your letters be published every time you write? That is a resounding NO! Don’t quit if you don’t see your letter—hone your skills, write on every topic that catches your attention. Write as soon as possible after the topic hits the paper. Be brief, be concise, be yourself: you can make a difference. Besides, I had rather read your letter than the "phone book!”