Who are you visiting?

Crossposted from DemConWatch

Congress has gone home. To your neighborhood. What these boys and girls are supposed to be doing is visiting with you, the voter. All the reps and Senators have websites. These sites will either list the public activities they'll be attending, or give you contact information for their local offices which you could call for information or to set up a meeting.

Some people interact with Congress on a regular basis. You know if you're one of these people: when you call, the staffers either sigh in a way that indicates “I cannot believe it's you, again” or ask after your family, all of whom they know by name. We can't all be like that. You actually can develop a personal relationship with your elected officials. My mom for many years had an interactive relationship with a Senator who will remain nameless, but his initials were Bob Torricelli. He had a position on one issue that, um, resonated with her. He'd have a speaking engagement where there was audience participation, and she'd be there. Everywhere he went. They were on a first name basis. For years. There's art.

More after the jump, and a poll!

But on a more normal basis, they will all be out and around, and if you want them to know what you think, you should consider going to an event, calling, and/or stopping by the office. This is true whether you have an elected official you love, or one you are actively working to replace. While the public events will likely not be as rude and contentious as they were last summer, and might not involve forging flooded roadways to get there, they will likely still be interesting and potentially worthwhile. 

Elected officials only get re-elected if they have the support of their constituencies, or at least that's what's supposed to happen. They can only vote your opinion if you let them know what it is. Even Rick “Spawn of Satan” Santorum was known to change votes based on his constituency input. Sure, not always, but on occasion. Point is, you say nothing, and they don't know how the populace feels beyond what polls tell them. And national polls may well not reflect local sentiment.

So what are your plans?

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