I have to write a letter to my County Commissioner about a problem. It seems like a simple thing, but it is more complicated because it involves more than just her office. There are levels of bureaucracy–her staff, the public relations manager, etc.. Then, her office discusses things like this with other departments in the County to resolve problems.
It will take several steps. First, I will have to do some observation of the area. I want to make sure that my husband and I are not just over-reacting. Next, I will freewrite about the situation. I have to see who my audience will be. In other words, I will analyze the rhetorical situation. I think that my audience is the Commissioner herself. I know a little about her.
I will either send her an email, paper letter, or both. Maybe, I will send a letter and then, follow-up with the email. The point is the fact that writing is sometimes for more than entertainment. Some people, when they think of writers, they think of the best-selling authors of fiction and non-fiction who turn into household names. Sometimes, that keeps writing, the act of writing, as something reserved for a select few.
Some people do have a natural gift with word selection and story telling, but everyone can write. Everyone, every single person, has a story to tell and something that they care enough about to write to their Commissioner.
My letter is about two traffic lights along a main thoroughfare in our community called Coral Way. These two traffic lights have crossing lights for pedestrians. The crossing lights are great because the walkers and those in chairs know when to walk. The problem with these two lights is that they only stay on for such a short period of time that most people cannot get across in time. People using walkers to steady themselves frequently walk an extra three blocks to cross the street safely. My husband can’t run, and, thankfully, so far the drivers have been patient.
What does it take to adjust the timing on the light switches?
That’s the situation. Now, I don’t know if there’s more to it. I will also have to specify which cross streets I am referring to and how “short” is short when I am talking about the period of time. It would also help if I pose a solution. For example, I could tell her my opinion about what could be a suitable length of time. I could also suggest coming out to the area and try crossing the street themselves to see what it’s really like.
Writing changes things. I know that it seems like a small thing, I mean, come on, a light? Really? But that light stops traffic so that children, their parents, grandparents and people in wheelchairs can cross to get home from the public library. It’s important.