We regularly chastise our representatives about politics, but it is we who voted them in, yet once they are in office, we often abandon them to the “wolves of Washington.” I’m assuming we vote for people who have the same values we have, but politics have a way of changing people, even though they may struggle against it. Our representatives are only human, and they need us to keep them on the promised path; after all, are they not our representatives? So, don’t let them down.
Write to your representatives on a regular basis; they need to know if they are representing your interests as promised. After all, you are their employer, are you not? You pay taxes to support them while they are in congress. If they are too busy to reply, there are a number of ways to find out how your representative is voting and protecting your interests. Writing to them directly does not always garner a response, and if it does, it is often too late or too little. As one who likes to see and act upon what is going on in DC, I like to not only write to my representatives just to check up on their responses, but I like to see how they vote. Action speaks louder than words.
And action is what I find at the govtrack.us site. This site tracks congressional voting records by individual, so you can select your representatives and receive immediate access to find out if they are voting as promised. Think of it is a performance appraisal. We all got them if we worked outside the home.
An appraisal is meant to inform us how we are performing in relation to the goals we set. If our representatives are not performing as promised, we need to let them know. If they continue to perform poorly, we need to let them go. So, please, don’t let them down!
Side note: Govtrack.us wants to increase awareness of U.S. legislation through “… more and better legislative information …” and improve government transparency. Isn’t that what we want and need?
There is a lot of information on government sites (:gov), but it is not available in an easy-to-read format by representative. It is overwhelming and convoluted, just like our government. Together, Thomas.gov and govtrack.us make it much easier to check in on our representatives and provide immediate feedback when necessary regarding upcoming legislation.