wDec 1, 2005

On Contacting Your Representatives.....

There is a debate going on in the Wisconsin State Legislature regarding an amendment banning gay marriage and "any identical or substantially similar status to marriage between unmarried individuals." Basically, Wisconsin would like to ban not only gay marriage, but also civil unions, and anything like it.

I won't rehash my views on gay marriage because I've done that a number of times, so instead I'll link to previous blog posts of mine, and you can reread yourself, if you'd like.
On gay marriage
On homosexuality
So yeah....really the only legitimate reason I can see people being upset is because of the tax breaks people receive when they're married. "Should my tax money be paying for that?!" Guess what! Your tax money pays for shitloads of things that you don't agree with. Everybody's does. I don't want my tax money going to the Senator from Alaska's friend so they can paint some uglyass thing on the side of a huge airplane. I would rather that we wouldn't spend trillions of dollars on the military - upgrading and a sizeable amount is fine, but honestly, their budget allotment is ridiculous! I would rather for many things, as would many others, but I think that infringing on the rights of others just so you can have your 'druthers (ooh, a rhyme!) is a bit ridiculous.

So did I decide that to fight this, I would complain about it in my blog? No! I contacted my state representative, who I happen to know disagrees with me, and voiced my opinion.

The man I spoke with on the phone was extremely nice - at the end of my tirade peppered with his interjections, he even thanked me for being respectful! I was kind of surprised that he tried a little bit to counter my arguments - in Green's office, we never did that - our job was to articulate the feelings of the constituent to Mark, but definitely not to try to defend Mark's view - that's his job, not ours. It was a refreshing surprise for me, though. It's easier for me to come up with more reasons and to sound more intelligent when I'm having a discussion and not delivering a soliloquey.
So, blog readers of mine, why do I write about this in here? Because I know that the majority of you live in Wisconsin. I feel that this is a pretty important issue, and I think that letting your representative know your thoughts is extremely important. I know that a lot of people feel as though politicians will vote a certain way no matter what, but they really have no way of knowing what their constituents are feeling unless we tell them. Having answered phones in Mark Green's office all summer long, I can definitely tell you that the majority of people who regularly call their representatives are elderly. Is it fair that the only voices that are articulated to government representatives all belong to one voting bloc? No! Looking up the number combined with the phonecall took me 5 minutes. I have a ton of stuff to do today, including basically writing an entire paper for tomorrow. But I think we can all spare 5 minutes. Make your voice heard! Seriously, what have you to lose?
All you need to do is give your name and address (so they know you're a constituent, and in some cases, so they can reply with a letter explaining the representative's opinion), say that you're calling regarding an issue, and state your opinion. Obviously, the more reasons you have to support yourself, the less you sound like an ass.
If talking to a live person is an issue for you, then call after hours and leave a message. If they do what they do in Green's office, then someone will check the machine and your comments will be treated the same as if someone had been on the other line with you (ie, the opinions are shared with the representative and someone contacts you on his behalf, with a form letter probably written by him).
Additionally, emails are also treated in the same fashion, so this way you don't even need to speak at all. Be sure to include your name and address (again, so they know that you are in fact a constituent from their district, and so they can reply).

If you don't know who your legislators are, or don't have their phone numbers, email addresses, etc., you can go to this page and type in your address, and it will tell you your state rep, state senator, both Senators in the US Congress, and your House rep. along with phone numbers. Googling the name also usually brings up their website, at which you can find emails, etc.

Making your voice heard to your representatives is obviously important in every proposal on which you feel strongly.

Seriously, though, with this one....I'm not a huge fan of Doyle, but I'd rather not have Wisconsin's current Congress run unchecked under a Republican governor, :/ But on the other hand, I don't want my opinions regarding just one issue to determine how I vote for someone who I truly believe is an honest and good politican. That being Mark Green, who's running for governor in 2006.

I think it's really sad that our government is wasting time trying to inhibit people's freedom (in terms of population standards, how many gay people are there, anyway? What statistics are there to show that they/their marriages are truly a "negative" thing for society?) instead of trying to do their jobs, such as solving the budget crisis, clearing up pollution levels that are reaching an all-time high here in Madison, or figuring out how to keep the cost of higher education in the UW system down to an affordable level.

EDIT: OMG, 25-cent Penny Arcade comic! IT'S MINE!
scribbled mystickeeper at 2:23 PM

You're my hero. I'm emailing my representative!

P.S., gay people's tax money goes to support straight people's marriages!! Why should they have to be taxed for something that they're denied themselves?

People don't make sense sometimes. And as you mentioned, there are many more important issues at stake here, ones that are more appropriate for the government to be handling. Seriously. Smoke and mirrors.

By Blogger Gretchen, at 3:46 PM, December 01, 2005  

Post a Comment