Rally on Capitol Mall

The Importance of Persistent Activism

“I call, write, and email my members of Congress all the time and I never get a real answer from the staff or intern who answers the phone.  I don’t see the point in contacting them and wasting my time. I feel like because I never get an answer, my voice is never heard.”

Does this sound familiar?

It is important to know that regardless of whether a staff member gives you a definitive answer, your ideas and concerns are being heard.

Here is what typically happens when you call a Congressional office.

The staff member will answer the phone and take note of your concern. Pithy, fact-based inquires about where your representative stands will always go further than yelling or resorting to abusive comments. If the staff member reveals very little information on where the representative stands on an issue, do not lose hope. Your voice has been heard.

Throughout the day, a staff member will receive hundreds of calls and emails on a variety of topics.  Staffs update and maintain a quick tally on the most talked about issues.  Depending on the quantity of those constituent interactions, the member of Congress, Chief of Staff, or Legislative Director will identify concerns that are also most important to a district.  If a certain issue reaches a particularly high volume of call-ins, a member will have no choice but to defend his or her position and issue a response.

Now you might be saying, “Well I track their actions in Congress, contact them on issues that they will be voting on, and still I receive no answer.”  This means more inquires about these issues are needed.  New names and addresses flowing into their offices raises the level of concern for those members. The staff will assume constituents are becoming increasingly educated on these issues and that the grassroots in their district is organized and motivated. When members lack control over the narrative in their district, they know the status quo has been threatened.

All jobs require persistence and dedication to achieve a successful outcome. Congressional accountability is no different. Calling, emailing, writing – these are all critical in the fight for lasting accountability.

Please Share Your Thoughts

8 thoughts on “The Importance of Persistent Activism

  1. good stuff…I do find when I call office they just take the info….not sure where it goes..but you are right…keep the pressure on!!!! thanx

  2. I’ve been emailing to my senators for years and I have always gotten his rambling form letter as if he was on the campaign trail but never addresses specifically my statement or Q. So I told McCain a couple of times to retire since I dont believe our founding fathers expecting congress to make a career out of their position And since he hasnt had obama (the terrorist that hijacked our White House.) arrested yet. Why hasnt the sgt of arms done???

    • When will we REQURE, IMPOSS, one 6 yr term for Congress and the President? The corruption, the compromises, would be cut by 80-90% AND the parasites would spend their time serving the American people, rather than “SELF” and their re-elections?

    • As a Constitutional scholar (?) I think he has dabbled with a few ideas he’d like to try, and then dare opposition to challenge. With Holder as AG it’s unlikely Obama would get touched. But doesn’t the House ‘sanction’ presidential moves that are unconstitutional? Just to choose one item: He has tweaked the Affordable Care Act after it was passed. How can the House allow him to do this? I do hope it’s because they know they are going to defund the whole mess in 2016!

  3. Pingback: The Importance of Persistent Activism » San Antonio Tea Party

  4. Biggest problem I’m seeing right now is people burning out, getting frustrated. We need to find a way to help them focus on the issue that grabs their passion and stay there for the most part. All of the constant alarmist activity that comes through the average person’s e-mail is overwhelming.

  5. I was just reading a little Hayek and found this: “…use the old words but change their meaning. Few traits of totalitarian regimes are at the same time so confusing to the superficial observer and yet so characteristic of the whole intellectual climate as the complete perversion of language, the change of meaning of the words by which the ideals of the new regimes are expressed.” Such words that come to me real fast are transparency, red line, you did not build this. Yet most of Mr. Obama’s supporter’s and opponents hadn’t realized this during his campaign for his second term, me included. “Congress-speak” has been the same for a long time.

  6. “New names and addresses flowing into their offices raises the level of concern for those members.”

    I’ll suggest you write a future column on practical ways to enlist “new names” into the effort. In my experience, most people have to be affected directly and repeatedly before they are moved to join political action. This is especially true of ordinary Americans, who are much less motivated than the Left by pure ideology. Thanks,

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