Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Want politicians to hear you? Call them

By Joe Frank

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Pete Marovich/MCT

I worried that after the presidential election last November the general public would be tired of politics after such a tumultuous campaign season. Thankfully, my worries were unfounded. People haven’t just been paying attention to President Donald Trump and his administration, they have been actively protesting and denouncing his actions and executive orders, which have threatened human rights, the economy and the integrity of the Constitution. On a local level, just this past week there have been multiple rallies on campus to protest Trump’s policies and a call for the University of Massachusetts to become a sanctuary campus.

With this amount of attention, it is easy to see how politics have pervaded other aspects of life. It seems that it is now more difficult than ever to avoid politics. Even when I went to the dentist’s office, my dentist asked me what I thought of Trump. Naturally, my Facebook feed is filled with political articles and comments. This is a good sign, though. With politics so prevalent, it is easier for the public to hold Trump and his administration accountable.

There are many ways for people to promote the change they want to see in our government—there have been protests, marches and petitions. In addition to these methods, one powerful tactic is to call representatives in Congress. I recently have been calling senators and congressmen more frequently with the hope of influencing their actions.

According to Philly.com, Jacklin Rhoads, a spokeswoman for Senator Bob Casey (D, PA), noted that compared to the same time last year, they have seen a 900-percent increase in the number calls, emails and letters received. In terms of social media, they have seen a 2,000-percent increase since this time last year. More people are contacting representatives to express their opinions, and these people have good reason to do so: their efforts have been successful.

For instance, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R, AK), in announcing her decision to vote against the confirmation of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education, stated, “I have heard from thousands—truly thousands—of Alaskans who shared their concerns about Mrs. DeVos as secretary of education. They’ve contacted me by phone, by e-mail, in person.”

Sen. Casey wrote in a tweet Feb. 1, “There is now bipartisan opposition to the DeVos nomination. Your calls, letters, tweets and Facebook posts are making a difference.” A quick call to a senator or congressman can be influential.

Given the passion surrounding the current state of politics, a phone call to your representatives is a compelling way to make your voice heard. Even if a staff member does not pick up the phone, you may be able to leave a message. In exchange for just a few minutes of time, your voice can have an impact on politics in Washington. You can look up your state’s senators and members of the House of Representatives online and make sure to contact them about the issues that matter to you.

Joe Frank is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Want politicians to hear you? Call them”

  1. David Hunt 1990 on February 7th, 2017 6:40 am

    Engagement is good; I encourage it.

    But INVESTIGATE before you contact your Congresscritter. Take the time to put, side by side, evidence and articles from both – all – points of view.

    This is how I shifted from being anti-gun to pro-Second Amendment. I had been told ALL MY LIFE that guns were evil, horrible things that needed to be banned. Then my policeofficer neighbor encouraged me to get one. This didn’t add up. I investigated, requesting information from both sides. I checked, cross-checked, and even contacted academics on both sides of the issue. And I found that, systematically, the gun control side was deceptive in ways that could ONLY be deliberate.

    I have a natural aversion to people lying to me. I changed my mind based on new evidence. So I challenge you – even if you end up confirming what you believe, investigate and cross-check.

  2. Emmi on February 8th, 2017 12:37 am

    Love Senator Casey!!!

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