New way to write to Congress … if you care

democracyio

I’ve long been an advocate of writing to one’s representatives in Congress to express one’s opinions on various issues. I realize it probably takes mountains of mail to make a difference, or even to be heard. And I understand that most letters aren’t read, they’re just tallied as pro or con by staffers. Still, I sometimes feel the need …

In the past I’ve mentioned several sites that make it possible to contact all your representatives at the same time, with one letter. But frankly I’ve lost track of them. And as I recall one of them got more complicated because not all my representatives would accept mail on the same form.

Now comes Democracy.io. Just enter your address, and the the names of your representatives pop up. You can then compose a message to any or all of them. Couldn’t be easier.

Democracy.io is a free service of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization that fights daily to protect our rights in the digital age. I can think of no higher recommendation than that. EFF is an outstanding operation that you should check with often.

EFF launched Democracy.io on July 17. It may be many months before I again take Washington seriously enough to bother writing to my representatives, but when I do, it will be via Democracy.io.



Categories: Politics

19 replies

  1. Thanks . . . if we ever get politicians I trust or believe actually care about their constituents, I’ll make sure to use this.

  2. It is always a good idea to write to your political representatives to let them know what you think about issues. You can also write a letter to the editor of the local news paper. They tend to listen more closely to that one.
    Leslie

    • I write if I get really wound up about something and want to have my say about it. Been a long time since that’s happened. I’ve lost confidence in Washington, and they’re all in campaign mode now anyway.

      • I write letters to the editor of our National paper the Globe and Mail. Every couple of weeks a letter gets published. The paper get hundreds of letters every day, so I feel good when it does get published. Also, I know the big guys in Ottawa are reading those letters.
        Leslie

        • Years ago I often wrote letters to the editor of the local paper. But always about local issues. They’ve become far less fashionable and influential since then and I doubt they’ve much influence in Washington.

  3. I like the hand written letter to my Representative and the sent via snail mail. Return receipt requested should signal urgent or important response is requested. They are not all idiots up there on Capital Hill,just some of them. That is just my opinion.

  4. Thanks for the heads-up… 🙂

  5. I used to write my representatives. Often. But I got tired of receiving their printed boilerplate responses that usually went something like this…

    “Thank you for writing to let (political hacks name here) know your thoughts about (whatever.) (Senator or Representatives name here) wants you to know that he/she values your opinions regarding this issue. Please be sure that he/she will (either endorse or oppose) the issue in opposition to and regardless of what you pointed out about about either the logic or economics or morality that the representatives belief violates.”

    Without exception, none that I’ve written ever had the decency or integrity to actually respond to the core issue which defined my reason for writing. On the other hand… sometimes I am so moved by some idiocy that I still call and speak to an intern who claims they will quote my message to their boss. Even though I realize I’m spitting into the wind. They may not be all idiots, but most of them act like it.

    • Yep, the boilerplate, computer-generated replies were what turned me off, too. I never even got the line about whether the representative would support or oppose. Just thanks for sharing my opinion about (fill in the issue). “Our” representatives don’t represent us anymore; they represent the donors (usually out-of-state) who financed their campaigns and to whom they will be forever beholden.

  6. Usually I get the canned responses from my legislators telling me that they intend to vote against whatever I’m for, and for the stupidest reasons. Someday there will be a revolution, but for now all we can do is try to let them know that we’re watching. Thank you for providing us with a site to facilitate the process!

  7. I don’t know about other government agencies, but in the U.S.Forest Service whenever a constituent’s letter was referred to us for comment or response by a congressional office it got top priority. I disagree with those who think only low-level interns read letters and nothing about public opinion gets to the legislator.

    Obviously, if you tell a legislator to favor something they do not support, you will get a reply to that effect. Also obviously, no legislator yet created could personally read and respond to all the mail they get. That’s why they have home offices and home and Washington staffs. In my experience, some staffs were very good about responding to constituents and relaying information to their boss, and others not so. Sort of like most groups of humans?

    • Nice to know somebody somewhere listens. If the letters get referred beyond the legislator’s in box, that’s great. And no doubt responses are more likely as the letters get close to the agencies and personnel directly involved. I never thought public opinion didn’t get to the legislators, but only that it got to them in terms of tally sheets of pro and con letters, summaries of which topics the public is most concerned about (whether pro or con), etc.

"Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance." ~ Plato

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