Lawmakers Afraid to Face Constituents

For a number of years, members of Congress have held town hall meetings with their constituents during the summer congressional recess. It was an opportunity for them to listen to the concerns of the voters in their districts and to tell the voters what they felt the priorities were.

However, this year, many politicians have cancelled scheduled town hall meetings and others are refusing to even try to schedule them. Those that have held meeting have found themselves confronted by an angry public that demanded to know what they were going to do to help them find jobs, keep their homes and feed their families.

One of the frequent complaints expressed by voters is that their Representatives and Senators are out of touch with the people. Politicians seem to vote according to their own personal interests and bank accounts and not according to the will of the people. At a time when voter approval of Congress is running at the lowest level in history at only 13%, the need for communication with constituents is greater than ever before.

But rather than trying to meet and listen to the people they represent, politicians are using excuses to avoid the uncomfortable experiences. Some are using security concerns stemming from the January shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, AZ. Others are placing the blame on various Tea Party and other grassroots organization for causing disruptions.

The result is a greater disconnect with the public than ever before which can only further deteriorate what little trust and confidence remains. My recommendation is for those of you who have politicians that do not hold some king of public meeting with the voters in your area, to flood their offices with e-mails, phone calls, letters and faxes. If they won’t come to you, you need to go to them. Make sure they hear from you not just once, but repeatedly and let them know how you feel on any and all major issues addressing you and the nation.