e-mail to a Member of Congress has the greatest impact when it is:
- From a constituent, with a name, full address, and zip code included;
- In the constituent's own words, not copied from a form letter or Web site;
- From an individual, not an intermediary organization or Web site;
- Regarding a single issue, not a group of unrelated issues;
- In an easy to read format, with a clear purpose stated in the first paragraph;
- Not attempting to begin a dialogue, which is better conducted on the phone or in
- Directed to the appropriate office: committee business to the committee, and
constituent business to the Member's personal office.
E-mail has the potential for a profound and positive impact on our democratic system.
If effectively utilized, the public - including interest groups - could engage in a more
open and informative dialogue with their elected officials, improving communication, and
potentially reducing the cynicism and common misperceptions that currently weaken
public confidence in government. It also offers Members of Congress the opportunity to
find new ways to fulfill the Founders' dreams of a transparent, responsive, yet
deliberative, Congress. Unfortunately, grassroots activists, the general public, and
congressional offices all have misperceptions about how to effectively use e-mail that
are limiting the value of this important communications tool.
Grassroots activists' practices of encouraging and enabling citizens to send messages
to all Members of Congress are akin to flying any interested person in the country to
attend a Member's town hall meeting. The public's expectation to receive responses
from Members who do not represent them is like their showing up at the town hall
meeting and demanding to be treated like a constituent. Members' inefficient and
unresponsive e-mail practices are akin to keeping constituents waiting in long lines for
hours before letting them into the town hall meeting. Instead of fostering democracy,
these conflicting practices and expectations of all the parties are fostering cynicism and
eroding trust. This predicament requires that grassroots activists, the public, and
Congress all find new approaches to their online communications. The Congress
Online Project recommends the following.
First, grassroots activists should adopt a code of conduct to engage in electronic
lobbying practices that:
- Target individuals' own Members of Congress - and only their own Members of
- Send meaningful messages, not "electronic postcards;"
- Avoid sending duplicate messages from the same person;
- Encourage people to speak in their own words;
- Does not foster the expectation that citizens should correspond with - and expect a
response from - any Member of Congress with whom they choose to communicate;
- Provide complete identification information, including name, address, zip code, and
Second, citizens must recognize that congressional offices are not, and cannot be,
capable of responding electronically to every American and limit their e-mails to
communicating with only their elected representatives.
Due to the large and growing volumes of e-mail congressional offices are receiving,
electronic communication should be confined to Member-constituent communications.
|How to effectively communicate with
Members of Congress electronically.
|If you have a consumer complaint about a company
which is located within the same State in which you live,
File a complaint with your
State's Attorney General's Office.
Writing a letter to share your views with the media,
company, can be very
empowering for the Family Caregiver.
If you have an idea about how to solve a problem, or a
consumer complaint, let your voice be heard.
Some time-saving links are listed below, to help you
e-mail some of your concerns.
Scroll down below list of representatives and find widgets for
some legislation presently debated in
the House and Senate, which you may want to e-mail
|Family Caregivers are In Good Company is a website
with links to articles and products on
hundreds of websites
on the World Wide Web.
Although the sites linked to
Family Caregivers are In Good Company
by family caregivers,
the presence of a link does not represent an
endorsement of the site by
Family Caregivers are In Good Company.
Keep Medicare Fair Right now, Congress has an opportunity to enact a fair solution
to Medicare and prevent older Americans from paying even higher premiums and out-of-pocket
Information at link above.Although they provide a form letter,
please write your own e-mail letter to your Congressman.
KnowledgePlex organizes and presents the most up-to-date, comprehensive collection of
publications from all of its partner organizations. By browsing or searching KnowledgePlex,
users can find highly relevant research, case studies, best practices, scholarly articles,
opinion pieces, and other material related to
the affordable housing and community development fields.
Family Care Safety Registry
Missouri's Family Care Safety Registry was established by law to protect children, elderly,
and the physically or mentally disabled in this state and to promote family and community
safety by providing background information on potential caregivers.
e-mail link is located on your representative's home page
|The job of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board is to make sure
that Recovery.gov fulfills its mandate -- to help citizens track the spending of funds
allocated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The Board consists of Inspectors General from about ten major cabinet agencies --
including the Departments of Justice, Treasury, and Commerce -- and one of its
duties will be to review the comments and questions submitted to the site
Contact Recovery.gov e-mail form
Reporting a Complaint
Bureau of Health Services Regulation
The following agencies may be able to provide assistance if you have
concerns with healthcare related issues not regulated by HSR:
- Healthcare professionals – Board of Professional Registration by calling
573-751-0098 or online www.ded.mo.gov
- Billing issues – Office of Attorney General by calling 573-751-3321 or
toll free 800-392-8222 or online www.ago.mo.gov
- Insurance issues – Department of Insurance, Consumer Affairs by
calling 573-751-2640 or toll free 800-726-7390 or online at www.
- Medicare or Medicaid issues – Center for Medicare & Medicaid
Services, Kansas City federal office by calling 816-426-2011 or online
- US Department of Health and Human Services Hospital Compare – a
quality tool for adults, including people with Medicare online www.
- General Information – Missouri State Operator by calling 573-751-2000
Kathie Thomas, MN, RN
Health Facility Nursing Consultant
Department of Health and Senior Services
Bureau of Health Services Regulation
1617 Southridge Drive
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102-0570
Phone: (573)751-6303 (573) 751-6303
Fax: (573) 526-3621
Jeanne M. Serra, RN,BSN, JD
Deputy Division Director
Division of Regulation and Licensure
Department of Health and Senior Services
3418 Knipp Drive, Suite F
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Phone: (573) 751-6069
Fax: (573) 522-1473
|Please support "Family Caregivers are In Good Company"
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