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Open Letter to Representative Capuano

With 311 million citizens and 435 US Representatives in America, that is over 710,000 people per Representative. It's no wonder talking to them feels like a fool's errand. Here is my experience.

 

Earlier today I attempted to contact my representative in Congress, Mike Capuano, by phone (instead of by sending an email) and was essentially denied the chance to voice my opinion.

This has been going on for some time now with the following sequence of events:

  • Submit a comment to his website regarding an issue.
  • Wait a few weeks.
  • Nothing happens.
  • Submit another comment regarding a different issue.
  • Wait a few weeks.
  • Nothing happens.
  • Repeat.

 

This tells me one of two things:

  1. Since I never ask for any political favors, I merely ask for his position on the views I express, his office is ignoring constituants.
  2. There are many people like me doing the same thing, which means his office is overwhelmed.

 

The first option is unacceptable because his office is the lowest level of Federal Government for any citizen (and is frequently touted as the "voice of the people" or something similar).  The fact that opinions aren't even acknowledged strikes me as suspect.

The second option means that his office has too much influence in our daily lives and the number of calls are a self-inflicted condition.  What is the fix?  His office should do less so we don't feel the need to constantly ask for permission to live our lives.

With that said, I offer my latest letter here for the knowledge that it will see the light of day, and to describe my experience with our lowest level of Federal Government representation.

Mr. Capuano,

I am writing to express my displeasure at the person answering phones in your DC office on 21 December, at 2:30PM.

I called to express my opinion regarding an issue in your latest E-Update newsletter and to ask a question.  I explained this in my first sentence to the person on the other end of the phone, and then proceeded to express my opinion about the issue in the newsletter.

I would assume you would like to hear from your constituents regarding issues from time to time as you are my representative in Congress.   I did not call to ask for any favors, I did not call asking for money, I simply expressed an opinion. 

As soon as I broke my speech to receive a response from the operator, he simply spoke as fast as he could that he would pass along my opinion and then he proceeded to hang up.

I understand everyone is pressed for time, but this did not allow me to ask my question (that I expressed my desire [for] at the beginning of the phone call).

So, I called back and said that I did not appreciate the manner in which I was hung up on, and I was hung up on again!

So, I called once more and was sent to voicemail immediately.

Mr. Capuano, I'm not sure what kind of office policies you have in place there, but either:

- You have directed your staff to stonewall those that may express a dissenting voice 

or

- You do not condone such actions, yet your staff is doing what they want anyway.

I'm not sure which is better, but neither seem acceptable to me as a citizen, and I hope you are ashamed at these actions.

Thank you.

Has anyone else had luck contacting their representative?  Is it just me?  If our voices can't be heard at that level, or at least acknowledged, then what is it all for?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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