Sunday, May 31, 2009

Power of Citizenship

in the office where i work, we receive daily announcements of the successes won by the environmental movement. i have recently been inspired by the current administration to take up writing letters again to elected officials, after a 10 year hiatus. i used to write to representative darlene hooley, rep for corvallis, when i was in college, and she always wrote me back. we talked about kenaf paper and other forest-related issues and solutions.
my last post reminded me that my sense of humor isn't easily accessible to strangers, or even acquaintances, which are basically the same thing, so i'll include the tidbit that the u.s. government counts a letter written and sent via snail (or regular) mail as the equivalent of two thousand citizens who concur with the author of the letter. the government's rationale is that two thousand of us feel the same way or would if we knew about the issue, knew how to compose an informed letter on the issue, or had any idea that writing a letter to an elected official meant something. it may seem like the simplest of things, sticking a self-adhesive stamp on an envelope and writing out the addresses, then walking to the mailbox. but for some reason* for many of us, the mind groans at the idea of such effort. this doesn't even include the composition of the letter, nor the research that must go into it. the internet allows comparatively quick research if one knows where to look. i suggest the websites of the major environmental groups as a start. you can use these to find out about atrocities around the world and begin forming what you would like to say about the issues you care most about. for those addicted to getting lost in minutia instead of acting, such as questioning the motivations of large environmental groups, you can still go further than their sites in your research and formulate your own letter; the point is to say something in writing and send it to an elected official, now, while there are still forests and whales.
having said that, i'm making a case again for writing letters to elected officials; now more than ever the administration in office is receptive, intelligent, and aware. as that fact stands, we bohemians, environmentalists, radicals, artists, etc. have a grand opportunity to let those serving in office know how we want them to handle the issues brought to the fore by greedy, mindless corporate polluters and destroyers. just think of the mega-million-dollar lobbying budgets (think it should be illegal? well there's your first letter!) the car, oil, gas, and logging industry (to name a few) have if you need a reason to get out of bed in the morning and write.
essentially, your voice counts, so please use it this month, year, whatever; just consider the natural resources, the purity of the fresh water supply, the undiscovered medicines, the dying native tribal survival wisdom, the stirring up of natural disasters by crazy resource and ecosystem destruction.
ok, so here is a direct link to finding the addresses of our reps and senators, and mr. obama himself. if you live in another state you can also find your elected officials by starting there.

*oh yeah, urban sprawl and the car insanity problem; but that's another story. StumbleUpon

No comments:

Post a Comment