Truth is, I've gained a whole new appreciation for people that work in politics over the past couple of years. Through the legislative changes that resulted in my work move in July 2010, I got an inside look on what really happens inside the State House. Let me tell you, the "School House Rock" on how a bill becomes a law doesn't even scratch the surface! There are subcommittees, committees, floor hearings, and so much going on behind the scenes that it's a chaotic atmosphere crackling with activity each and every day. Senators and House Representatives have so much coming at them that they find it difficult to keep up. In fact, I heard one Senator say that during a one year session, it wasn't unusual for over 10,000 bills to cross his desk. He said that the ones people talk to him about are more likely to get his attention, and to get appropriate votes, because he knows what the people it will affect are really thinking and understands how it will impact them on a day to day basis.
Many people I've shared this with are surprised, but it's true. In the day to day realm of hearing and voting on bills, what it really comes down to is knowing what the people think. They do want to know how it's perceived by the people it will affect and depend on people attending and speaking at subcommittee and committee meetings to help them gain a better understanding on what they're voting on. In fact, the first question I've always heard in these meetings is "how does this affect people and what's their reaction to it?"
Sure dirty business happens in politics, and this is what makes headlines. In the day to day realm, they're trying to make the best decisions they can with the information they have available. So don't be afraid to contact your representatives. The State Legislature has a website with everything posted, from bills for consideration to schedules for meetings to biographies of Senators and House Representatives. Let them know what you think and how proposed bills affect you. Prepare a case and speak at a subcommittee meeting (anybody can speak at subcommittee meetings). They need to hear from you. They want to hear from you. They depend on hearing from you so they can fully understand the impact of the decisions they make. You'd be surprised at the big impact just a few voices can have.
Yes, I have a new appreciation for politicians and even lobbyest. While I may not always agree with them and their decisions, I do have respect for their office and the responsibilities they face. I support them whether I voted for them or not because they are our appointed leaders, and they need our prayers for wisdom and strength every day so they can fulfill the responsibilities before them. I hope you will to.