PDA

View Full Version : Do you ever contact your elected representatives?



switters
01-15-2014, 12:48 PM
Lots of policy geniuses on here fueled by Huffpo and Fox.

Just wondering how many actually contact senators and congresscritters on issues they feel strongly about.

How about donations (don't care about the amount or to whom), I have not donated money, but have donated some time in the past.

I raise this question because I get e-mails from moveon.org to sign petitions and contact officials. Which I have done in the past, I got connected with them over the transportation bill and fracking issues about two years ago. Sometimes they ask for my participation in something that I fell the opposite about, but they have alerted me to an upcoming vote. For example they are very anti personal gun ownership.

Full disclosure, I have voted third party in the last two presidential elections, so my participation in politics has been labeled useless in that regard.

jack grebe
01-15-2014, 12:48 PM
I'd like to contact a few,,,,,,,with a 2x4

leikec
01-15-2014, 12:55 PM
Lots of policy geniuses on here fueled by Huffpo and Fox.

Just wondering how many actually contact senators and congresscritters on issues they feel strongly about.

How about donations (don't care about the amount or to whom), I have not donated money, but have donated some time in the past.

I raise this question because I get e-mails from moveon.org to sign petitions and contact officials. Which I have done in the past, I got connected with them over the transportation bill and fracking issues about two years ago. Sometimes they ask for my participation in something that I fell the opposite about, but they have alerted me to an upcoming vote. For example they are very anti personal gun ownership.

Full disclosure, I have voted third party in the last two presidential elections, so my participation in politics has been labeled useless in that regard.

I've contacted my representatives numerous times over the years, and I've also donated money to campaigns and advocacy groups (most recently to Gabby Giffords/Mark Kelly). I've also worked for a congressional campaign.

Jeff C

Phillip Allen
01-15-2014, 12:56 PM
yes

Lew Barrett
01-15-2014, 12:56 PM
With some regularity. I'm on their mailing lists as well.

htom
01-15-2014, 01:01 PM
I write to them. I am sure there are limits to my self-restraint, so I intentionally attempt to avoid coming into personal contact with them, lest I grab them by the neck ...

BrianY
01-15-2014, 01:07 PM
yup... I have contacted my representatives in state and federal government.

switters
01-15-2014, 01:14 PM
I write to them. I am sure there are limits to my self-restraint, so I intentionally attempt to avoid coming into personal contact with them, lest I grab them by the neck ...

Y> I have to admit to signing far more pre-written letters for distribution than putting my own thoughts down on paper. Once I feel passionate enough to write my vocabulary seems to suffer.

jonboy
01-15-2014, 01:18 PM
What's the percentage of eligible voters who vote...? plenty of govs have been elected in the last few years with thirty or so percent... indicating, if you like, 70 percent didn't want them... now that's democracy ... I believe in Oz if you are eligible to vote its a crime not to....? I waut to be corrected but the principle is solid...

Breakaway
01-15-2014, 01:21 PM
all the time

bogdog
01-15-2014, 01:32 PM
Yep, I make appointments and go to their offices to meet either with them or a staffer who is familiar with the issue I want to discuss. One of them we use to have supper with every Wednesday, he's great cook but a lousy politician. I got in a yelling match with a now former Congressman and neighbor years ago over water pollution legislation, he was probably one of the dimmest bulbs to have ever served. Also met with some lobbyists, can't forget them neither.

stevebaby
01-15-2014, 01:40 PM
I'd like to contact a few,,,,,,,with a 2x4Jack, I always figured you were a very kind man, perhaps too kind.

Chip-skiff
01-15-2014, 01:57 PM
Our congressional delegation get 4-5 messages per year each, mostly (since they're all paid-for Republicans) when they pull some particularly egregious stunt. I also file regular comments on EA and EIS documents for the US NEPA decision process, often suggesting criminal prosecution. When an elected official does something we like, we send notes of appreciation. We donate $1-2k per year to political candidates and parties, from local to national, and also donate to education/lobbying efforts such as the one started by Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Lewis, to counter the malignant influence of the NRA. On top of which, I've been serving on the boards of non-profit groups that undertake environmental action and lawsuits for the last 20 years, which included lobbying the state legislature (very discouraging).

BETTY-B
01-15-2014, 02:59 PM
I donate and write regularly. I have started donating to local state positions that are out of my district as well since two fake dems ran and promptly changed their party to Republican after the election.

Flying Orca
01-15-2014, 03:06 PM
I know a fair number of mine at the civic, provincial, and federal level; my work brings me into contact with a lot of provincial legislators in particular.

PhaseLockedLoop
01-15-2014, 04:01 PM
For the most part, my congressman, and our senators, pretty much reflect not only my attitude, but the attitudes of most residents of Massachusetts...

Funny.

S.V. Airlie
01-15-2014, 08:59 PM
Local, State or Federal? I see the local and state members regularly. Federal? No.

skuthorp
01-15-2014, 09:02 PM
Yes, often and quite directly. My Fed rep has well known views on pollution, global warming, conservation etc. Problem is he's part of a conservative government which only believes in business so his 'principles' are totally abrogated unless of course he reckons he's better off staying in the tent and arguing his case rather than outside where a worse alternative may get the job.

Ian McColgin
01-15-2014, 09:09 PM
I contact my congressional rep and senators and my state rep and senator even when I agree with them. I try to make a letter that might help them in persuading others. I know, from having worked for a politician, that such things are from time to time useful and I also know that they appreciate a little positive feed-back, like anyone.

I do not simply sign stuff that was written for me, nor most petitons and certainly not any internet petitions ever.

CK 17
01-15-2014, 09:13 PM
I write several times a year. They are mostly GOP so I know I'm wasting my breath, but it gives at least a slight feeling im part of the process. There are really only 2 voters in Wisconsin that matter. Their last name is Koch.

I give money. Most of it goes to PACs. Some of it goes to candidates out of state that are in a tough race.

David G
01-16-2014, 12:25 AM
Yup. In addition, I'm in regular contact with a prior State Economist on some of the issues... mostly to pick his brain. I also went to school with, and supported the campaign of, the current head of the Port (a position with a lot of statewide clout) and occasionally contact him.

elf
01-16-2014, 01:02 AM
Yes. I sign many internet petitions, having learned years ago that it's the quantity of response on an issue which gets their attention. I do give some of them some money, but I don't have much to give so I'm very careful with it. I have worked on campaigns for my Senators and for the current President as well.

I wish I weren't so shy about phone calling, however, as phone calls are more influential than much of anything else.

I've also learned over the last couple of years of trying to get my state Senator to help me with a tax problem, that a single citizen is pretty much unable to make anything happen unless s/he either has a lot of money to create a machine to get things to happen, or can organize a huge number of other citizens to work on an issue.

Thus far my immediate issue has not become a problem, but it worries me that it could.

Gerarddm
01-16-2014, 02:48 AM
I certainly have, most recently this week. Mostly House and Senate members. Have never contacted any state rep. I did whine to my mayor once about getting a sidewalk repaired, and it happened two weeks later, ta da.

Figmental
01-16-2014, 06:35 AM
My congressman is a Tea Party man. Lately I have been commenting on his Facebook pages introducing an alternative viewpoint in the midst of his rah-rah followers. I have to be civil he says but he lets me keep commenting. I feel I am educating his base in a small way. It surprises me how many times my comments cap the comments and no one comes back with more of the usual. About the only thing we agree on so far is that the NSA needs reining in.|;)

John Smith
01-16-2014, 07:32 AM
Yes. I sign many internet petitions, having learned years ago that it's the quantity of response on an issue which gets their attention. I do give some of them some money, but I don't have much to give so I'm very careful with it. I have worked on campaigns for my Senators and for the current President as well.

I wish I weren't so shy about phone calling, however, as phone calls are more influenctial than much of anything else.

I've also learned over the last couple of years of trying to get my state Senator to help me with a tax problem, that a single citizen is pretty much unable to make anything happen unless s/he either has a lot of money to create a machine to get things to happen, or can organize a huge number of other citizens to work on an issue.

Thus far my immediate issue has not become a problem, but it worries me that it could.
We used to have a number of congressional reps at our union meetings. One thing they ALL agreed on: write your own letter. Petitions just don't carry much weight.

Concordia 33
01-16-2014, 10:30 AM
For the most part, my congressman, and our senators, pretty much reflect not only my attitude, but the attitudes of most residents of Massachusetts, so contacting them would just be uselessly clogging thier mailbox and burdening their staff. If I didn't agree with them, I'd be more inclined to contact them.

So then you feel you were well represented by Scott Brown? No need to write to him?

Ian McColgin
01-16-2014, 10:33 AM
Scott Brown lost to Elizabeth Warren. That's why he's moving to New Hampshire.

switters
01-16-2014, 11:52 AM
It is very gratifying to see such an active group. I tried to find some numbers on how many voters actually contact politicians and came up empty handed, but I still suspect that this is an above average group here in the bilge.

Ian McColgin
01-16-2014, 12:32 PM
Regarding normal citizens - not "important" people like major doners and civic leaders: Every politician I've talked to or heard from places greatest value on personally written remarks. An email is just as good a a letter on paper. If you have a point of view, try to make the letter short with one clear and documented point. If you write a book on the issue or if you make it hard to read, it won't be read. Figure an attention span about equal to the sound bites they utter.

Letters of support might be aimed to the politician's colleagues as well. For example: "Glad you stand with ----- regarding -----."

That gives them something to help build the coalition.

Sometimes if our delegation is divided I'll urge my delegate to talk to the other delegates. That can be if I want my delegate to work on a colleague or if I want my delegate to hear from someone to change his or her mind.

I do not believe in making threats like "vote this way or I'll never vote for you again". Firstly, they don't matter. Secondly, there are very few issues so critical that some future opponent can't hold a worse position.

Make a copy to the politician's local office if one is near. The local office mostly does constituent services but it helps for them to know who you are.

Keeping your elected reps informed is the second minimal duty of citizenship, right after voting. There are other very important levels of involvement with various levels of government and with non-governmental organizations and non-political organizations. It takes a lot of very diverse effort to make democratic self-governance work. Writing brief notes to your rep is a good start.

Glen Longino
01-16-2014, 01:11 PM
My senators are Ted Cruz and John Cornyn.
We do not speak the same language, so it's futile to contact them.:)

Ian McColgin
01-16-2014, 01:19 PM
Ah but Glen, you could write supportive noted to Al Green.