The Mailman Cometh

My Senator gets tons of mail. From the moment he was sworn into office, everyone warned him about the amount of mail he would receive, and they were absolutely, 100% right on the money. We get truck loads of mail. 

My Senator reads all of the letters, notes and requests from his constituents. My Senator says that a letter which is hand written by the individual leaves the best impression, as opposed to the form letter that sounds exactly like the dozen or so he might have received the day before. Makes sense. Perfect example, this morning, my Senator received over 150 separate emails concerning a single education issue. Yesterday, the total was 15 for this same issue. It is safe to assume the quantity varies from day to day!

My Senator also responds to his mail in a very orderly fashion. If he gets an email, he responds with an email. A letter that arrives by mail, receives a written response in return. And, if the request comes by phone, the lucky caller will get a call back.

I honestly do not know how my Senator has time to answer all of his mail, but I do know he has a very capable assistant who helps facilitate this process. As you might imagine, this leaves little time to comb through all the magazines and newspapers that arrive on top of the mountain of mail. So, my Senator brings them home to me, because I like have nothing else to do.

I enjoy reading the periodicals.

Arriving in the last batch of postal goodies was a publication by the National Conference of State Legislatures ( NCSL for short). There was an interesting article in there entitled: 15 Tips for Being an Effective Legislator.

Here are their top 15:

1. Honor the Institution
2. Take the High Road
3. Master the Rules
4. Know Where to Get Help
5. Manage your Time
6. Develop a Specialty
7. Vote Your Conscience
8. Don’t Burn Bridges
9. Keep Your Word
10. Be Careful What You Agree to
11. Don’t Hog the Mike
12. Stay in Touch
13. Be a Problem Solver
14. Work with the Media
15. Stop and Smell the Roses

My Senator liked #9, but thinks all newly elected officials need to be aware of #10. My favorite hands down was #1.   

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone adhered to these words of wisdom?  
If you could offer up a tip for effective legislating, what would you say? Seriously. I want to know.
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