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Sat Jan 26, 2019, 10:35 PM

Important message for those fortunate to have GOOD senators and reps:

I am very fortunate to have two wonderful senators: Wyden and Merkley. Senator Wyden did a bunch of town halls when he was back last week. I always go to his town halls when I can. He loves doing them also; it is very important to him to be accessible to his constituents. He does them in every county in Oregon every year, but has been doing them more often since the 2016 election, I assume because people are much more anxious.

He said they are constantly working to try to find ways around all the obstruction and essentially (my words) do damage control. It really struck me how exhausting it must be for them; they are working double time and a half just to try to keep up with the chaos and everything constantly shifting.

In 2017, shortly after this current administration started, I asked both Wyden's and Merkley's staffers if it was important to call even if we agree with what they are doing, and they said YES. They need to know they have constituent support to back them up in Congress. AND his staff has told me it really helps to know they are appreciated. So every month or so I call and ask their staff to tell them how much I appreciate them and how grateful I am to have senators who actually represent me. Staffers are ALWAYS very appreciative.

So at the town halls, they give numbers to anyone who wants to ask a question and then draw them randomly. For the first time in the two years, I've been going to these, my number got called to ask a question. I started by saying how much I appreciate all the town halls he does and I always feel better about the state of our country when I go to one, and how much I appreciate him and Senator Merkley and the quality of leadership they provide. I said sometimes I call and talk to his staff just to say that because I think he needs to hear it. Then I asked my question about McConnell and the shutdown.

This town hall wasn't as well publicized as normal because it was scheduled on short notice due to things in DC being so chaotic, so it was much smaller than usual.
Usually, when one of his town halls is over, there is a throng of people around him waiting to talk to him, but not this time. I walked right past him, and he said, "Thank you for what you said. It made my day." I said thank you; we are so fortunate in Oregon to have you and Sen. Merkley. But his words made me acutely aware of the importance of letting them know that what they do is noticed and appreciated.

THEN I talked to a staffer on my way out and she said it really helps the staff too when people call and express appreciation. She said interns will sometimes ask why so many people don't like the senator (because his regular staff all really like him), and permanent staff has to explain that people tend to call when they are unhappy and not so much when they are not.

So my point here is hopefully obvious. If you are one of the fortunate ones to have good representation, call and thank them. Or email. Or whatever you do to let them know that you know they are working extra hard for us these days and that you appreciate them. They need to know we support them, now more than ever.



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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Important message for those fortunate to have GOOD senators and reps: (Original post)
Amaryllis Jan 2019 OP
fierywoman Jan 2019 #1
Amaryllis Jan 2019 #2
TalenaGor Jan 2019 #3
fierywoman Jan 2019 #6
spooky3 Jan 2019 #4
Amaryllis Jan 2019 #21
vercetti2021 Jan 2019 #5
BigmanPigman Jan 2019 #7
Cha Jan 2019 #8
bdamomma Jan 2019 #9
NoMoreRepugs Jan 2019 #10
Hermit-The-Prog Jan 2019 #11
Name removed Jan 2019 #12
KentuckyWoman Jan 2019 #13
Wounded Bear Jan 2019 #14
The Velveteen Ocelot Jan 2019 #15
NastyRiffraff Jan 2019 #16
sheshe2 Jan 2019 #17
srobertss Jan 2019 #18
calimary Jan 2019 #20
calimary Jan 2019 #19

Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 10:49 PM

1. Thank you so much for this! I live in WA, so same "problem" !

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Response to fierywoman (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 10:50 PM

2. Yes, you have good ones too! The Left Coast.

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Response to fierywoman (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 10:52 PM

3. yes 😁

I work in HR and sadly this sort of thing is a problem across all workplaces - people don't hear positive reinforcement they only get bitched at when things are bad..... It's something most of us in HR try to change....

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Response to TalenaGor (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 10:56 PM

6. And thank you for writing this, too. I felt somehow I didn't want to bother them, they must be so

busy. You two have turned my head around about this. With all the darkness we are living through, it's a way we can contribute some light. Love it -- thank you both.

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 10:54 PM

4. Very good points! We're lucky in VA to have two good ones, too--Sens. Kaine and Warner.

When on TV, Warner has looked exhausted many times during this administration. I think it has been very difficult emotionally and mentally, as well as physically, to try to prevent Republicans from destroying everything. He sent out a constituent email recently asking for our views, but I think he really also wanted support and thanks, which he deserves for working very hard for us. So I sent mine. Have also thanked Kaine at other times.

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Response to spooky3 (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 08:37 PM

21. I've seen that in their faces as well when they are on TV- exhaustion on so many levels

That was one of the reasons I felt so strongly that they need appreciation and support to buoy them up.

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 10:54 PM

5. You're lucky to have them

Meanwhile I'm stuck with Cruz and Cornyn. Fucking Texas needs to finally flip

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 10:58 PM

7. Thank you for posting this important message.

I call GOP senators and congresspeople who are in GOP states since mine are Dems. I call the other states' reps to complain and I pretend I am a constituent and it works too. I also call the Dem reps in my state and particular ones from other states depending on the various timely issues. I call them up to say "Thank you for your work" and the staffers are always so surprised. I know that they do not hear it that often but I know it is important.

I was a teacher and positive reinforcement is not only needed in the classroom but throughout adult life. People are so busy and self absorbed and the small amount of effort it takes to be polite is something that has been declining. Writing or calling to say "thank you" or "good job" takes very little time and effort but it is so beneficial. It gives encouragement and pride to people and the work they do. My niece was a volunteer staffer who answered phones in DC for my congressman and she said hardly anyone ever called to say "thanks" and that was really disappointing to hear.

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 10:58 PM

8. Excellent OP, Amaryllis! Thank

You for your activism in Oregon and letting your Senators know how much you appreciate them.

Very Inspiring!

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 10:58 PM

9. I am very fortunate

to have all Democrats (Reed, Whitehouse, Rep Langevin, Cicilline) Also it was great to see Senator Whitehouse in Active Measures.

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 11:41 PM

10. Love the weather here in Florida...

My senators (note lower case).. not one bit.

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 11:58 PM

11. I need to call

I need to call or email some Senators and Representatives. The only representation I have is in other states.

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 12:09 AM

13. I would like to add that right now a show of support for every Democratic party rep is in order.

They all held the line. They should be commended.

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 12:13 AM

14. Thank you for this reminder...

Just shot off emails to my Rep and 2 Sens.

I do have good ones, all Dems. Like the first response above, I live in WA state with Sens Murray and Cantwell and Rep Adam Smith, also a D. All good people.

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 12:15 AM

15. Thanks for the reminder. I, too, have good ones: Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith and Ilhan Omar.

I did have Al Franken, but don't get me started... Anyhow, I'm fortunate to have three progressive women representing me now, and I really should show some appreciation and not just relax because I don't have to complain!

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 12:47 AM

16. I'm lucky in Maryland

Senators Chris Van Hollen & Ben Cardin. I live right outside of DC and I see them often at various events, particularly Chris. I try to call their offices periodically and give them my thanks, encouragement, and also my views on various bills before the Senate. The staff is ALWAYS very appreciative. I asked them once if I called too often, Chris's staffer said "definitely not!"

Edited to add: I also call my great Representative, Jamie Raskin. I see him very often; he's active in the community.

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 01:23 AM

17. I live in MA.

Warren and Markey.

Love them both. I am in contact often.

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 01:37 AM

18. I do this also

Merkley and Wyden are my senators as well. I use Resistbot to tell them my views even when I know were aligned and thank them for their work. Most recently I let them know that Id be fine with a compromise on the wall rather than allow people to die in an air disaster. Luckily, Trump gave in before that happened.

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Response to srobertss (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 02:14 AM

20. Welcome to DU, srobertss!

You're so right - ANY time you can reinforce their good behavior, DO IT! They work for YOU. It's not the other way around. And you should always manage and steer them toward the direction in which you want them to go.

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 02:11 AM

19. This is a MOST worthy reminder.

We spend enough time letting 'em know when we don't like what they did. We DO INDEED need to call with an attaboy or attagirl when they do something right!

Positive reinforcement! Responsible parents know that, too. ALWAYS reward and reinforce GOOD behavior! It encourages more. Especially with our reps. They need to know when we have their backs. The bad guys are always yammering on about their damn base. Well, WE HAVE ONE, TOO!

We ARE one, and OUR base is BIGGER! Don't ever forget that! trump didn't win the popular vote, and he sure as hell won't win again it if he runs again. I tend to think the vote against him will be even more lopsidedly large if there is a next time.

Btw - I went to one of Wyden's town halls, too, several weeks ago, since we're Oregonians now. I was lucky enough to be able to ask a question, and I asked about leverage - as in - what, if anything, did he plan to do to use the leverage we just gave the Dems when we flipped the House, even if the CONS still hold the Senate. He said they're well aware of the new clout Democrats have since the midterm election, and there were several different ways they were, indeed, using that leverage, teaming up with House Dems more vigorously, taking advantage now that there was some advantage to be had. I was glad he was well-aware of that.

Our move meant one unfortunate thing: we had to trade the FANTASTIC Ted Lieu for something far less impressive, Kurt Schrader. He's a Gem, but kind of a DINO, really. He's in what I call the "Problem Caucus" (as opposed to the "Problem Solvers Caucus" because it often seems to lean toward some sort of capitulation to GOP positions). Our Indivisible group meets with Schrader's office staff once a month, and most recently, the staffer was an office supervisor. She was rather testy and defensive at times. There was this general sense that our concerns tended to be dismissed because we're seen as progressives, which gets us less respect with him and his staff. This staffer indicated that all we ever do is complain, and she scolded us a little bit. So I spoke up and said that's not true. Because I happen to be on the team that writes the weekly Call To Action emails that go out to our members and friends. There's an "ask" for every weekday, with details and links and suggested scripts, and a lot of local events posted as well (of ours, and of sister organizations in our county). I spoke up to tell her I KNOW this isn't true because from time to time we actually DO include "Extra Credit" items like "thank Kurt Schrader" for voting this way on some bill or co-sponsoring some other bill we think is important. And I looked her straight in the eye and told her flat-out - "I know this because I personally WROTE a couple of those just in the last few weeks." And she didn't have a comeback.

That felt SOOOO GOOD!

Another btw: A friend invited me to attend the Clackamas Dems monthly meeting last week, and I spotted this same Schrader office manager there. At the end, I made my way over to her, introduced myself and reminded her of our most recent office meeting. And I also gently reminded her that, YES, I wasn't pulling her leg, we really DO write up a Thank-Kurt-Schrader message sometimes. She was pleasant and seemed more receptive in this second encounter. Just reinforcing the good behavior. It IS important. And what you always want is somebody on that other end who IS receptive. You can get more accomplished that way.

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