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110404_Radio commentary_Connecting with your Government_#882

Wisconsin Family Connection
Week of April 4, 2011 – #882
Connecting With Your Government

Last Thursday, Wisconsin Family Council welcomed almost 200 Wisconsin citizens to Madison for our 2011 Day at the Capitol. People from all across the state heard from legislative leaders, representatives from Supreme Court candidates’ campaigns and from our staff about current events, about what to expect in the future and how to connect with their government.

As we’ve talked about recently on this commentary, we live in a representative republic, and that means that in order for our government to truly represent the will of We the People, We the People have to regularly and effectively interact with our government. That is our duty, our privilege and our right.

Our government is supposed to reflect our values, our principles and our interests. Our legislators need to know what is important to us. If you never contact your legislators, how will they be able to adequately represent and advocate for your values and your interests? Even if you disagree most of the time with your elected officials, it is still incredibly important that they know what is important to you.  It’s important that they know you.

That’s why we strongly encourage you to work on creating relationships with your elected officials. Contact their offices. Set up a time to meet them in your district or, if you can, at their office in the State Capitol. Get to know their staff.  Legislative staff assist legislators in their decision making, they keep them informed and really, they make it possible for legislators to do their jobs.  

After our Day at the Capitol program, our guests went over to the State Capitol to meet with their legislators and establish or renew acquaintances. Interestingly, while we were meeting that morning, the AFL-CIO held a joint protest with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin at the State Capitol. Please note the significance of that. It is so important that your elected officials hear from you, their constituents, and not just protestors and lobbyists who come to Madison.

Another point of connection is to let your legislators know that you are praying for them and for their families—if that is true or will be true. Let them know what issues are important to you.  Find out what your legislators’ priorities are, what issues they will be working on this session.

When you contact your legislators, ask to get a copy of the state Blue Book when it comes out this summer. The Blue Book is an invaluable resource for informed and involved citizens.  In addition to contact and biographical information for all elected officials, it contains a great deal of information on Wisconsin’s history, resources, cities, voting history and much much more.

Also, find out if your legislators have a weekly email update or some sort of newsletter and get on that list.  It’s a great way to keep up with your state government and keep track of your legislators’ priorities and activities while they are serving in Madison.

Finally, read the news.  Read local and state news, read alternative news sources such as blogs, listen to talk radio, follow your legislators on Facebook or other social media sources and also follow Christian news sources.

Wisconsin Family Council provides a weekly email update with information and our perspective on what’s happening in Madison, in Wisconsin and at the national level as it affects marriage, family, life and liberty. If you’re interested in signing up for that email, visit our website www.wifamilyaction.org and fill out your name and email in the Stay Up To Date! Get Connected! section.

Here are some phone numbers and websites to help you find out who your legislators are and how to contact them. Call the State Legislative toll-free hotline at 800-362-9472. Visit the state legislature’s website, legis.wisconsin.gov, and click on Who Represents Me? Or, call Wisconsin Family Council at 888-378-7395 and we will be happy to assist you.

Wisconsin Family Council’s Day at the Capitol is a great event, but connecting with your government, with your elected officials on a personal and regular basis is far more important.  Get connected today and have an impact on the future of our state!

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”