How Do You Engage Your Representatives?

No matter your political leanings, your position on, say, gun control, or the government’s use of drones abroad and domestically, or on the matter of e-commerce taxes, or the sequester, or the death penalty – you have opinions. And oftentimes, especially in times like these, or as we get older or perhaps just more involved in civics, we want to engage our local representatives, our senators, or our town hall, mayor, aldermen, and make ourselves heard, influence change, or organize a petition.

When you have a cause or when you want to affect change, how do you do that? How do you engage your local representatives (or senators etc.)? This is not a rhetorical question; I’m genuinely looking for honest and candid responses. So I guess the questions are as follows:

  • Have you ever written a letter or an email to your state reps or senators?
  • Have you done so more than once?
  • Did you ever receive a response?
  • How meaningful was the response (versus a boilerplate ‘thank you’ letter)?
  • Did he/she take action based on yours?
  • Have you ever gone above and beyond writing a letter (i.e., organized a protest, or a petition, or otherwise)?
  • How do you keep tabs on your representatives and ensure they’re representing you well (i.e., how do you know what they vote for/against, what legislation they sponsor, where they truly stand on specific issues, how ‘in the pocket’ they are with lobbyists, unions)?

 

I’d truly love your thoughts, and those of your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers. Comment below and please, share this post (click here if you don’t see the comment box).

 

    Michael B
    April 24, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I have never written a letter to a congressman. I’ve thought about it but I never have. Only my parents have done that. I’ve never emailed them either. Sadly. Sorry.

    Peg
    April 24, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I’ve never done that either and I don’t know how to keep tabs on my congressman other than what’s reported in the news. Sorry. The system is broken though that’s for certain.

    Brenden Peck
    April 24, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    I’ve often wondered how this process works and about the legitimacy of this system myself. I must say that I am mostly of the opinion that that these letters and such go largely unseen, unheard and if responded to, they are more likely than not by either a subordinate or an automated reply.

    The manner in which these politicos operate in can seem a bit secretive, covert and downright misleading and it’s tough to know exactly what they do once they are in fact elected, are casting votes and using their influence. How do we really know if these “officials” actually vote for or against the very issues they took a stance on during their campaign? After-all, these were the very reasons that we voted for these candidates for office.

    Good food for thought Ben. Thank you!

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