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Our voices are not being heard in Washington, D.C. in the opinion of most voters by a 2:1 margin according to the “Congressional Institute Study: What Working and Middle Income Voters Want From Their Government”.

ARE YOU VALUED?

Do you feel that when you write to your representative that your concerns are actually reaching them or are they getting lost in the bureaucracy of Washington, City Council or your local School Board?  The following data is excerpted from a study that found that even when you voice your concerns to your representative it often falls on deaf ears.  But it’s not too late.  We live in a representative government and are guaranteed by the 1st Amendment of our Constitution that as individuals or as part of a group, our voice will be heard.  “…the right of the people to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

IS YOUR VOICE HEARD

Many believe our voices are not being heard in Washington, DC.  In the opinion of most voters by a 2:1 margin according to the “Congressional Institute Study: What Working and Middle Income Voters Want from Their Government”.  Concerns that Congress is not only not getting things done, but much of the legislation being passed does not reflect their priorities.  One voter in Pittsburgh cited: “My voice has not been heard, for the last eight years, maybe more than that.  It hasn’t been heard.  We’ve had meetings, and things have been changed, things have been done that I think would be harmful.  But it hasn’t been heard”.  The role of the media has been looked upon as unhelpful and contributing to national division.  One person noted that “it was hard to sort through the wheat and the chaff to know what is fact”. Although it was also noted that the media was not deliberately misleading, the problem was that they presented selective facts and an incomplete view.  Some said that they watched FOX and CNN to hear both sides interpretation of the news, and then attempted to discern the facts from opinions.  An Orlando Independent Voter said, “There is no true source of news.  So you have to either listen to both and decipher, or not listen to either, and just kind of figure out on your own what the heck is going on.  And it’s just really sad, I don’t trust anything anymore”.

...the media was not deliberately misleading, the problem was that they presented selective facts and an incomplete view.

 

CONCERNS ABOUT CONGRESS

The top concerns people have, according to the same Congressional study were rated on a scale of 1 to 9 with 1 being not concerning at all, 5 neutral and 9 extremely concerning.  The top 3 concerns are; the way Congress spends money (7.57), not getting things done (7.52) and the lack of accountability (7.50).

 

MOST IMPORTANT PERSONAL FACTS

In order to determine what voters are facing in their personal lives and households, voters were asked to evaluate from a series of sixteen possible outcomes, in terms of importance and rank them on a scale of 1 to 9, with 1 being important, 5 very important and 9 extremely important.  Overall, having a secure retirement (7.63), being able to obtain affordable quality health care that you need (7.61), and being safe from terrorism (7.61) ranked highest.  Other groups ranked not having to worry about whether you can pay next month’s bills (7.66) for people earning less than $50K, (7.68) people with some college and (7.93) for people with a High School or less education.  Economic and concerns about terrorism outcomes were ranked near the extremely important end of the scale.

MEASUREABLE PROGRESS

Many voters expressed that as part of the changes they were looking for, they wanted a measurable progress and expect detailed results to follow.  They were not expecting any significant change to occur right away, but do want to see progress going forward, especially about the economy.  One voter noted: “Just start to actually measurably see that progress happens – see the country actually turn around, see some jobs come back, or see new jobs created.  Those are things that to me are showing that we are being heard”.

 

While the frustration with Congress not getting things done, the feeling also exists among voters that Congress does not focus on the economy and jobs, which are the priorities of the voters, and this undermines the effectiveness of Congress.  56 percent of the voters feel that Congress is attempting to do too many things and don’t focus on their priorities.  36 percent of voters feel that Congress doesn’t work on enough issues.

           

...voters feel that Congress is attempting

to do too many things and don’t focus on

their priorities.

           

56 percent of the voters feel that Congress is attempting to do too many things and don’t focus on their priorities.  36 percent of voters feel that Congress doesn’t work on enough issues.

 

HOW VOTERS WANT TO BE HEARD

Considering the Constitutional role of Congress being closest to the people, voters hold their elected representatives responsible for having the largest role (43%) in whether their voices are heard – more than themselves (27%), the President (11%), or the media (7%).  Many voters said that due to their jobs and demands of their families, they do not have time to contact people daily to be heard so that their Congressman would vote certain ways.  Voters hoped that the Congressmen would act on the voters’ priorities.

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD

There are many opinions from “experts” who will tell you how you can most effectively communicate with your Washington or local representative(s).  Best advice is to listen to all methods and use the one that works best for you and your representative.  Understanding the inner-workings of your Congressman’s or City Councilman’s office, how their staff handles the thousands of emails, letters, tweets, phone calls, Facebook comments and any other means of communicating your concerns is important.  Often if you call their office someone can tell you what the best way to reach them will be.  Many representatives have direct phone numbers or email addresses to communicate.  Don’t be frustrated if at first you don’t seem to be getting through.  Keep trying but find the most effective means and use it.  Also, find out when your representative will be holding meetings in your area and attend.  Attend City Council or School Board meetings and see how they are working together.  Get involved with your local groups and work as a team to express your concerns.  Don’t give up!

 

https://winstongroup.net/2017/02/23/congressional-institute-study-what-working-and-middle-income-voters-want-from-their-government/

 

https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

 

https://originalfuzz.com/blogs/magazine/six-effective-ways-to-make-your-voice-heard-by-congress

 

https://www.upworthy.com/3-important-tips-from-a-former-congressional-staffer-on-how-to-get-your-voice-heard

 

https://www.columbus.gov/council/information/City-Council-Event-Calendar/

 

https://www.ccsoh.us/site/Default.aspx?PageID=1150

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