In the time I have spent in the field of public policy, I’ve noticed people like to post on social media platforms, talk about, or blog about how their representatives do not represent them, or do not wish to hear their concerns and suggestions. It also seems many people generally treat public policy with great distaste. They make it their objective to deter people from voting, from “working within the system”, and from attempting to “change things from within.”
These folks are understandably angry because of a perceived lack of representation and diminishing faith in the constitutional system.
They may have a point. But how many times do you think those individuals have actually gone out of their way to communicate with their local or state representatives? How many people actually spend time working to direct change? How many people, out of the millions in our republic, actually spend time talking about solutions with their representatives?
Maybe part of the problem is that we aren’t proactive enough.
Our elected officials pack their days with committee hearings, floor sessions, speaking engagements, radio/television interviews, and press conferences. It’s reasonable to assume that their time is at a premium. So, if you want good representation, you need take the time to schedule a meeting. Then show up prepared with an objective, a solution, and a positive attitude. This will go a long way toward developing a strong two-way relationship with your representative. They aren’t used to this kind of effort, and it WILL have an impact.
If you do this on your own free-time, it will show your representative that you want to help in his or her efforts. Additionally, it reveals that, yes, their constituents are watching their legislative performance closely. Failing to properly communicate with your representative is no one’s fault but your own.
How you can begin getting involved
Do a Google search for your state legislature website. There you will find legislative contacts, information on pending legislation, calendars and general legislative procedures.
Click HERE to track important bills in your state, and for model legislation you can propose to your representative and senator.
Network with other people in your state. Find out what issues have the most traction, and focus your attention on coalition building to get bills passed.
(This opinion-editorial was originally published by We Are 1776. TAC republished it upon permission.)