Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Legislative Snobbery?

I thought the way it's supposed to work is that when "we the people" have valid concerns about things happening in our state, were supposed to contact our legislature who address them. That has not been my experience here in Oregon. Sure; I've contacted them, but far too often they've ignored both me and my concerns.

In the past 4+ years I've made several efforts to interact with our elected officials in an attempt to bring about system reform around people with developmental disabilities. As someone who has been involved with this population for over 24 years through family and professionally, I figured they would want to hear my thoughts. Apparently that's not the case. They only want to hear from insiders, who are mostly paid with state dollars. This is far from what my understanding of the definition of "democracy" is.

I have gone through my computer and tallied these attempts and the results with our legislature. The left hand column lists the names of those I've contacted. Beside that is the number of times I have contacted them. On the right is the number of times they've gotten back to me.

Representative Gary Hanson 9----------3
Representative Steve March 6---------0
Representative Billy Dalto 10---------2
Representative Carolyn Tomei 3---------0
Representative Jean Cowan 3---------0
Representative Tina Kotek 11---------2
Representative Bob Jenson 3---------0
Representative Vic Gilliam 3---------0
Representative Ron Maurer 3---------0
Representative Andy Olson 3---------0
Representative Mary Nolan 3---------0
Representative Sarah Gelser 10---------2
Senator Margaret Carter 13---------0
Senator Kate Brown 7----------0
Senator Kurt Schrader 11---------0
Senator David Nelsen 3---------0
Senator Avel Gordly 10---------1
Totals 110---------10

I don't know what you think, but I think this is really bad.

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