Monday, November 08, 2004

Steerage - Day 1

Day 1 - Write a letter to my congressperson.

The congressman from my district is a 3 term Republican. On the whole, he's probably one of the less accomplished House representatives in Washington. In general, he's a rubber stamp for Dennis Hastert and George Bush. Truthfully, I can't point to a lot of reasons why anyone would want to vote for the guy, but the Democratic Party in my district didn't even bother to put up credible opposition this year.

I guess that's what they mean by "the power of incumbency". My current representative hasn't soiled himself in public (as far as I know), and hasn't been caught shagging interns. He's also a very strong second amendment guy in a very strong second amendment district - so he'll be there until he wants to quit.

The question is how to make him know that I'm going to personally hold him accountable from here on out, with respect to how's he's representing his constituents? That's the purpose of the following short letter, which I hand wrote, and then mailed to his local office this morning:

Congressman John Doe
345 Broad St.
Overthere, LB 12346

Dear Congressman Doe,

I'd like to take the opportunity to offer my congratulations on your re-election to the House of Representatives. Many of the issues which will debated during the next congressional session have significant potential impact to those of us in the YY district. I believe that you will continue to represent the interests of all constituents in our district to the best of your ability.

Though I realize that you can't personally respond to every phone call, letter, and email that you receive, as one of your constituents I'll be communicating my concerns and suggestions to you over the coming months. I hope that we can engage in some meaningful dialog that will reflect what is most important to our mutual Left Blogistan home.

Again, best wishes in your next term!


Richard Cranium
123 Main St.
Anywhere, LB 12345
So, I've introduced myself to my congressman in a brief, positively framed letter. I hold no false illusions that Rep. Doe will respond to me directly, in fact, the letter will probably never get beyond some minimum wage staffer in his office. The point is that I want someone in his office to see my name, in a short handwritten note, and know that his office will be hearing from me frequently.

I'm a great LTE writer - most of them that I write get published in my local paper. So, my followup letter to Congressman Doe will express that sentiment. The guy has been flying below the radar for too long. And I'm ready to start holding him accountable for his support of the Bush administration's failures.