Debating for Democracy (D4D)™ is a  distinctive campus-based co-curricular program that represents the mission of Project Pericles in action. On each campus, Periclean students research, develop, and advocate their opinions and positions on current public policy issues. Students will produce a co-written, two page letter to an elected official advocating for a legislative response to a current issue. The primary goal of D4D is to inspire and encourage all participants to become successful and resourceful advocates in their community. Out of the thirty Periclean institutions, five winning teams will be selected to receive $500 towards mobilizing on their issue back at their home college the following year!

Letter Writing- Initial Student Policy Proposal Letters
Due :March 11th, 2022

Letter Writing- Finalist Student Proposal Letters w/revisions
Due: March 17th, 2022

Program Summary

In order to be eligible to participate in the Letters to an Elected Official Competition, a student must:
a) be a full-time undergraduate at one of the Periclean campuses;
b) be a first, second, or third year student as defined by their college or university; and
c) write and mail a letter to an elected official.

 Students selected to participate in the competition must be a freshman, sophomore, or junior during the Spring 2022 semester and be returning to their campus for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Selection Process
Students must submit their letter to the Pitzer D4D Program Director (CEC Director, Tricia Morgan) by mid February 2022 or sooner. The Program Director along with the CEC Steering Committee will review each letter and select the four strongest letters to forward to Project Pericles.
A committee consisting of people with significant experience in public policy will review the submitted letters using the criteria below. Based on this review, Project Pericles staff will select the five winning teams. We will announce the five winning teams in early March.

Project Pericles will provide a $500 award to each of the top five student teams. Each college or university is eligible to receive only one award. In consultation with Project Pericles, the students can use this money to fund advocacy and education activities including lobbying trips and workshops. Teams that have won this award in the past have used the money in many different ways, including travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with Members of Congress and their staffs to discuss the issues raised in their letters

To get involved or for more information contact: Tricia Morgan, Managing Director of the CEC

D4D Support and Resources

Have you visited the Writing Center? Whether you’re just beginning your letter or need help on final edits, the Writing Center is a great resource! Set up an appointment today!

Support from Pitzer Faculty!
The following Pitzer Faculty have agreed to serve as advisors to students submitting a proposal letter in their related fields:

The following resources will assist students in writing their letter:

  • A letter written by students at Earlham College that was selected as the winner at the 2012 D4D Legislative Hearing appears on pages 5-8. This letter is an excellent model. The five letters that were selected for the 2012 legislative hearing can be viewed at
  • THOMAS was launched in January of 1995, at the inception of the 104th Congress. The website provides detailed federal legislative information to the public.
  • C-SPAN is a private, non-profit company, created in 1979 by the cable television industry as a public service. Its mission is to provide public access to the political process. The C-SPAN website contains a wealth of information including video of Congressional hearings related to a number of federal policy issues.
  • National Journal Group is the leading source of nonpartisan reporting on the current political environment and emerging policy trends.
  • The National Conference of State Legislatures is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation’s 50 states, its commonwealths and territories.  The NCSL website provides research and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues.
  • Earlham College juniors David Schutt and Clara Stuligross recently completed a video on how to communicate effectively with elected officials. Schutt and Stuligross emphasize that elected officials pay attention to constituents who reach out to them. By engaging with elected officials, individuals and groups can have a significant impact on issues – a view that echoes the underlying philosophy of the D4D Program. In the video, Representative Tonko comments, “Constituent interaction is absolutely critical. It’s not only helpful; it’s essential.”