It’s an election year so politicians are falling over themselves for votes and most are pretty amenable towards doing anything you want within reason. So… how do you bug your politicians in a non-election year? How do you do it when you’ve got young kids and no time? Here are a couple ideas. If you have any more, the combox is open for them.
Petition sites. I subscribe to MoveOn.Org and Change.Org among others but for those who are my polar opposite politically, there’s RightMarch.Com. For Catholics, there’s CatholicVote.Org. For those into human rights, there’s Avaaz.Org and Amnesty International. To make your own petitions, you can use SignOn.Org and Change.Org.
We The People @ WhiteHouse.Gov. This kind of goes along with #1 but it’s a bit of a different thing. You go through the petitions already open on the site and if there isn’t one to fit your issue, you can start a new one. You have to meet a certain threshold of signatures but if you can meet it, it will be reviewed by the Administration. It’s kind of nice because you can cut out the middle man and go straight to the Administration.
Call your Congressional Representative. I have a feeling that my representative has me on the “oh-for-the-love-of-God-will-she-stop-calling-and-emailing-me” list. If you don’t know who your House person is, go here. It will ask you for your address and zip code + 4 because in urban areas, there can be multiple Congressional representatives as it is based on population. I know that my town is split between two districts. Once you get the name of your House rep, click on their name to get their phone numbers in DC and in your local area. Every Congressperson has a website. Here is mine as an example. His contact page is here. I recommend calling them vs. emailing them because then they send you a form email and if it isn’t something you want to hear, it doesn’t make you feel happy. Calling them connects you to a person and they’ll listen to you and take down your comment. Be nice to them — many of them are college kids doing internships and they don’t need your vitriol. If you despise them, petition them all you want and remember not to vote for them when they come up for re-election in two years.
Call your senator. This should be easy as there are two per state and they’re generally more recognizable than one’s Congresscritter. Their websites are easy to find — it’s [last name].senate.gov and they also have pages with their contact information. Senators serve a six year term so you’re stuck with them longer and you might as well make them serve you.
Write a letter to the editor of your newspaper. It never ceases to amaze me how many times newspapers publish letters from people that deal with the latest conspiracy theory. It was almost humorous to see what my local weekly paper published in Montana. My answer to this is to submit something of substance on an issue about which I am passionate. I’ve been published a few times in various papers and it helps to bring your issue to the forefront.
Pray. Romans 13:1 states “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (NIV) In other words, we’re called to submit to the authority of the governing authorities, regardless of whether or not you like them. Part of our job as Christians is to pray for those in authority. Our liturgy in the AALC even has specific collects for this. If nothing else, praying for those in authority whom you hate will change your heart and teach you patience.
Vote. I’m a permanent mail-in ballot and it’s not hard to acquire one. If you don’t vote, you’re actions are a confirmation of the status quo and in my opinion, you lose your right to complain. The right to vote has only been given to women in the last 100 years and to African-Americans without prejudice in the last 60 years. Honor the sacrifice of those who came before you and exercise your right to have a voice.
For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.