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Write Your Legislators!

Aug 22, 2008
What I Can Do. What You Can Do.
Feeling powerless? Well, cut it out! Because you’re not.

Our elected representatives have to come to us, hat in hand, every two, four, or six years to renew their sinecures—excuse me—their offices. And regardless of the degree to which their obscenely expensive campaigns are underwritten by corporate interests, it’s still, thank heaven, “one voter, one vote” in this country, and our representatives are keenly aware of this.

They are also aware that the point of view made known to them by one person represents the point of view of many others from whom they are not hearing. So your letter, phone call, or email gets their attention, you may be sure. This makes it your responsibility to make that point of view known.

There are many online organizations that have automated the process of sending email communications to legislators, and have made it easy for you to sign on to those efforts. However, these emails are more like signing petitions, which is fine for its purpose. However, a personal communication from you to your legislators carries an impact beyond these group petitions, for the reasons noted above, and we should all get in the habit of making our views known in personal communications to our legislators as often as an issue arises about which we feel strongly.

Finding Your Legislators: The link below will take you to the page on Congress.org’s site where you can find all your state and federal elected officials by entering your zip code in the box in the left-hand column. Contact information, as well as information on bills your legislators introduced or co-sponsored, and their votes on important legislation can all be found here.

I gather my state and federal legislators into two email lists that make it easy to send to all of them with one message. Legislators who limit their Internet contact to forms you have to fill in on their site, as opposed to email addresses, should be encouraged to provide the latter.

Another site worthy of mention, from which you can keep a close and detailed eye on your state legislators, is the State Legislatures Internet Links page on the National Conference of State Legislatures site.

Your voice is as important as—and probably more effective than—your vote. Make it heard!
tags: Politics

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