For many years I was told that if I don’t like a bill or policy that is being discussed at the federal level or at the state level, that it is important for me to call or write my representatives to make my voice heard.
For the most part I have shied away this advice because I’m really not interested in politics. I don’t understand how the system works, I don’t like that money seems to be able to buy votes or sway politicians, and I don’t like all the money that goes into lobbyists and Political Action Committees.
When I read about politicians and try to understand their views, I feel like I can’t always tell how much “alternative truth” they might be spewing (I don’t like to call anyone a liar). That said, I believe it is every American citizens privilege and obligation to vote, so we have to find the truths that matter to each of us and we have figure out how to have a voice in our political system.
So I have sought out groups that hold similar interests to my own and read their advice. For the most part, they all repeat the message that we have to call and write the people that we have elected to speak for us. Then they ask for money… They all ask for money. Since my small pot of money isn’t going to make a big difference, I dole it slowly and only when truly moved that it will be used for the issue or issues that matter to me.
But… as for writing and calling my reps…I have become very active. I have written to my federal Senators, House Reps, as well as State reps and/or State Committee members about 15 times in the last few weeks. I have also gone to our state capital and testified for or against a bill 4 times this year already. I am also an “intervenor” in the Public Utilities Commission docket to help set new net metering rules in NH (very important for the solar industry here). So I am invited to more meetings than I can possibly make and my inbox gets more emails than I can possibly read from this one committee.
Both in terms of testifying in person and in terms of writing to my representatives, I have decided this IS a productive and pro-active thing that we can each do. Maybe not 15 letters per week, but when an issue that is important to you comes up, please write or call.
There are probably a few Apps out there to help us understand what is happening in our government so we can speak up when it goes against our own values and interests. One of them that I am looking into myself is called “Countable“. Maybe you can find a way, like this, to make it easy to have your voice heard.
Keep fighting for what you believe in!