Stationery companies are offering more and more cards designed specifically for writing lawmakers.
Elisabeth Egan, books editor for Glamour magazine, struggled with how to express her political protestations after the November presidential election, until she realized the call to send postcards to lawmakers perfectly matched her skill set.
“I’m a good writer and I have good handwriting,” Egan says. “And I have a lifelong love of paper.” So starting on Jan. 22, she pledged to write 100 postcards to public servants in 100 days.
Egan’s postcards of choice feature literary quotes from authors like Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf, but those looking to address the current administration have ever-increasing options of cards designed specifically for writing lawmakers. Many companies are selling the postcards at cost or donating a portion of the proceeds.
Dahlia Press, based in Seattle, has four female-empowerment illustrated postcards in its Women Take Action Set ($12 for eight at dahliapress.com), including one with a hand with red fingernails holding an olive branch and “Tough as Nails” written across the wrist. Stephanie Clarke, the company’s founder, intended the cards to be appropriate whether the sender wanted to encourage lawmakers to better support women or to thank those who have done so.
“I didn’t want the cards to come across as aggressive,” Clarke says. “I kept them very soft and feminine and peaceful.”
Portland’s Waterknot Super Pak Postcard Action Kits ($12 for 18 at waterknot.com) include messages like: “Thanks for working for justice. You’ve got my vote!” For those with whom a sender disagrees, one option is “Work for love to earn my vote” on a purple card with darker purple writing.
Out of Minneapolis, Bench Pressed Get Heard Postcards ($5 for five, including postcard stamps, at benchpressed.net) are reminiscent of party invitations that prompt the sender to fill in the blanks with things like issues of concern and why the topic is important.
Paper Chase Press goes one step further, with full-page stationery and envelopes. The 40-year-old Los Angeles press and bindery company, whose clients include Marc Jacobs and the Ace Hotel group, just introduced an Official Correspondence series ($12 for 12 at shop.paperchasepress.com), including letterhead and evelopes on thick eggshell-color paper with a circular logo reading “The Office of Concerned Constituents.”
The series could be considered partisan, says Nicole Katz, Paper Chase’s chief executive, noting one reads “Majority” and another “Immigrant.” But her hope is that buyers can find a paper that fits their political personality. “We like the idea of radical neutrality,” Katz says.
Paperless Post is also aiming for neutral with a new line of Write Your Reps postcards offered among its baby shower invitations and personal stationery. (Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, has had a stake in Paperless Post via his brother’s venture capital firm, but is reportedly divesting himself of that and other assets.)
The Paperless Post Vote Yes Postcard ($12 for 10 at paperlesspost.com) calls to mind the U.S. flag, with “Yes” in shadowed letters in the upper-left corner; a matching “No” card is available.
“Having both versions will really allow people to participate in political dialogue,” says Catherine Chi, a content director at Paperless Post. “Also, prettiness and politeness can be a good way to bring forward a message to your local representative.”
Dana Doll, executive director of Treetops Collective, a refugee advocacy group, was looking for politically powerful but polite postcards when she found printable postcards on Instagram from Love Letter America.
When she and fellow advocates gathered last month to write to Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., a member of the House Freedom Caucus, they used downloadable postcards reading “Dear America, I Love You” atop a pink drawing of the United States, and another with an illustration of the Statue of Liberty above the words “Give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” (both free to download at loveletteramerica.com).
Both designs were created by Oliver Jeffers, a children’s book author and illustrator. An original rendering, he says, included an unflattering picture of Trump yelling into a megaphone, “Kick them out, ban them, lock them up.”
When he drew it, Jeffers says, “there was anger in me — that’s pointing out what’s wrong rather than reminding them what’s right.” So for the final card, he let Lady Liberty stand alone, a heart topping her torch.