Friday, July 20, 2007

Day Twenty-Five - Let's Talk Politics

Write Letters to Your Representatives About Important Environmental Issues

This one requires a bit of research and a little passion to make it happen. But, supposedly, if I am to believe SchoolHouse Rock, this is how laws are enacted. You get a good idea and write to your senator,congressman, governor, county supervisor, et al. They take that idea and introduce it as legislation. If it's a good idea, it becomes a law. (I don't remember little "Bill sittin' on Capitol Hill" with a bunch of highly paid lobbyists, though, so I could be wayyyyy off.)

My first obstacle on this items was: (please don't laugh) I had no friggin clue who my representatives were. Yes folks, I really am your average American! Don't get me wrong, I know my governor, my congressman and a senator, but that's about it. Fortunately for me, the world wide web o' wonder saved my ass again. If you're as ignorant as I am, check out It lets you type in your zip code (if you don't know your 9 digit zip, grab one of those nasty pieces of junk mail you get -- they sure know your zip!) and get a list of your current officials from congressional, gubernatorial and state-wide positions. It provides you with links to their information, email and stats on how they have voted on major issues (scroll down that page to find the Environmental Heading). Another great site (which also gives you your local reps) is Again, just type in your address & zip and it will supply you with the names and emails of all your reps, right down to your local district supervisors.

If you see something you like (or don't like like) click on their email link and send them a note telling them how you feel. It doesn't need to be anything fancy, just the facts. Be sure to let them know that you vote (you do vote, right?!?!), that you live within their district, that you know their record and finally that you agree / don't agree with their voting record. If there is any current legislation pending, let them know how you would want them to vote on it. As the mayor in A Nightmare Before Christmas says "I'm only an elected official, I can't make decisions on my own!!!"

I was feeling all bottle-bill-ish after my last post, so I whipped off this email to my governor:

Dear Governor Kaine,

I am writing to you as a registered voter from Chesterfield
County. I understand that you have stated you would support a Bottle Bill if it
were brought before you. I moved here from NY two years ago where we did
have a bottle law and I can definitely see the difference it makes in roadside
litter. I would love to see a bottle deposit on sodas AND non-carbonated drinks
as well. I think it would only enhance the already natural beauty of the
Commonwealth. Thank you for your time and attention in this


Erin Coe

Not exactly Shakespeare, but it lets him know that at least one voter out there wants a bottle bill too, and that's the point of writing. If he, or any other elected official, wants to keep his "job" he needs to keep his voters happy. It's pretty simple. So make it a goal to write one letter a week about something to one of your reps. It only takes a couple minutes to do and you'll be participating in democracy while saving the planet. Ahhhh, feels good, doesn't it?


Unknown. Perhaps immeasurable.

Difficulty Level: 1 out of 5

Easy peasy, once you know who your reps are. If you really want to make it even easier, simply write a generic email and save it in a word doc so you can just copy and paste it to all your reps. Pick a new topic each week and let 'er rip. SOMEBODY must read them, right?

Note to Readers: Taking my lazy butt on vacation again! Getting back to nature by going camping this weekend with the family and eating s'mores. Will return on Monday!

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