Last night our branch of the American Association of University Women held a Candidates Forum. It was unusual in that we asked candidates for our local county legislature to send us answers to six questions we asked relating to women’s economic security. The questions were related to local child care, pay equity and women’s educational issues. We felt that by not having to appear we would be able to present the thoughts from all the candidates from a Legislative District. The responses from all parties were supportive of meeting these needs.
Interestingly though, only half the candidates responded. Several came to give their answers in person. The candidates were contacted by people living in their Districts. Why did some answer and others not? We determined that the major factor was personal contact. One Legislator running for reelection indicated that establishing relationships with his constituents was important to him.
Your legislators are elected by you. They hold office because you vote for them. They want to be reelected themselves or to have their party’s candidates elected. They need to know what you think. Anyone can call at their offices or make an appointment to talk with them. How can they know what you want if you don’t tell them? You visit the doctor, the repair shop, etc. to live a better life. Why not add those you elect to the list. Their decisions affect you life too. You are the important ingredient in making the government reflect your beliefs. Vote and let your voice be heard in legislators’ offices the rest of the year.