Many people have reached out to me to ask “how, as an ordinary person, can I have a say on what is going on in Annapolis?”. This is a great question that I have answered many times, so I thought I would share it with you.
Your Legal & Constitutional Rights
First, there is no such thing as an ordinary citizen; we are all citizens and we all have the right to speak to our representatives, this is part of citizenship. You have the legal and constitutional rights to petition your government for redress. That is what a representative form of government is about. It’s your right to contact your elected representatives to let them know how you feel regarding certain issues and/or legislation.
How To Find Your Representative
“Okay Ed, but how do I find out who represents me?”. That is easy, Maryland has a website that does all the work for you. All you have to do is put in your physical address of where you are registered to vote, and the website does all the hard work! It tells you who all of your elected representatives are from the Governor down to your state delegates. Here is the link:
Tips on Outreach
Once you find out who your elected representatives are on the state or federal level, send to them emails on what you feel strongly about and let them know your position. A few key points to remember, be nice and respectful! You will always catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Be concise in your arguments or the points that you are trying to make. Our legislators are extremely busy and have a lot of constituent mail to go through, so it is easier for them if your correspondence is concise and to the point. Please leave a manner in which the representative can back ahold of you; either an email, physical mailing address or a telephone number.
Make Your Voice Heard
Remember, as citizens we have the right to petition our representatives for redress. It is an important part of being a citizen and it gives our elected representatives an opportunity to hear from their constituents so that they know how you feel on the issues.