By Ray Dunaway

I’m heading to Glastonbury to meet a new client, so all I have time for today is a quick item:

A lot of us feel and increasing disconnect between the governing class and regular folks like us.  A large number of polls confirm this.  We believe our reps don’t listen to our opinions, so we just tune the political noise out.  What’s the point, after all?  But as we learned in civics, that’s a bad thing.

Outgoing State Representative Pam Sawyer was a guest this morning on the show.  I asked her if elected officials can be influenced by their constituents, and she answered “yes”.  There are however, a couple of conditions.

Demonstrations such as we saw during the gun debate can have an effect, but only upon those members of the House and Senate that may be on the fence, and on some issues, there may be few of those.  Many may have already made up their minds.  That seemed to be the case in the instance.  But citizens, pro and con, lobbying their particular Rep. might cause him or her to rethink things, but only if that person represents your district. If you live in Newington, and charge into the office of somebody who represents New Hartford, you’re wasting your time, regardless of how passionate you are about the issue.

Pam also acknowledged that emails, phone calls, and actual letters can help your cause, with a couple of conditions:

Again, it has to be your representative.

The message cannot be a form letter.

And make that message coherent. The reflex to some ALL CAPS SCREED!!!  is to hit the delete button.

I know you’re probably thinking that I’ve lost my usual somewhat cynical outlook on things, but as there are some serious questions as to where we’re headed as a state, it might be worth it to start getting involved.  Maybe Rep. Sawyer’s tips might have an effect.

If not, there’s always North Carolina.



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