Friday, December 5, 2008

May I please speak to.......?

I attended an event this morning with House Representative Stacey Abrams, District 84, and House Representative Kathy Ashe, District 56. They took the time to speak about issues important to Atlanta and the State of Georgia , including pending budget cuts to public education and social service programs that could drastically impact thousands of women and children in Georgia. They sent a message today and asked that we, as voters and residents of this state, contact our State Representatives and Senators about the State Budget. We need to demand that social supports not be cut at a time when thousands of families are in great need for economic assistance. Urge the Governor to find solutions that do not impact these already vulnerable populations!

Representative Ashe mentioned that when cuts to PeachCare were being discussed, she received only 5 contacts regarding the issue, however, after the media explosion of Michael Vick's dog fighting charges, she received 973 emails and phone calls! While both issues have merit and importance (I love and adore animals), it surprises me how many people aren't contacting their government officials on issues that affect the welfare of our children. Are we too busy? Do we feel it's the responsibility of others? Do we not know how or what to say?

Both women urged us to call not only our own district Representatives and Senators, but also those in other parts of the state who are members of committees with first access to the bills and issues being introduced. Committees include Children and Youth, Health and Human Services, Education, and Industrial Relations. Yes, it can be confusing - what do all of these committees do? But if you need assistance, 9to5 is always here to help and remind you of how you can take action. Both women said that if they receive at least 5 calls or emails about an issue, it become a hot button. So imagine what 973 calls can do! And they have asked us to hold them accountable for their votes. They advise us to talk to the media, write op-ed pieces, and to even embarrass them when they have not done their job! We should also remember to commend them for the work they do.

I have made contact with my district representatives. I was able to speak to my senator over the phone, and Representative Mary Margaret Oliver took time to email with me and even speak to me at the Capitol. Here's a few questions for you? Do you know who your House Rep and Senator are for your district? Have you ever contacted them? If so, what happened? Did you get a response? Share your experiences with us!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Contacting your elected officials seems intimidating, but it's not! More often than not they are very receptive and glad to hear from you.