Today, Monday August 18th marks the start of the most important week in 2008 for American democracy. That's right, this week -- this measly little, mid-August, "why can't I get anyone on the phone" week.
It doesn't seem like such an auspicious week, does it? And yet, it will make all the difference for what Congress and even the Presidential candidates have to say in the coming months.
I recognize that most people would give the honor of "most imoprtant week for democracy" to the week of November 3rd, when citizens across the country will be voting in the Presidential election. Or maybe they'd give it to the week of August 25th or September 1st when, depending on your party, delegates gather to select a president.
What they're missing is the fact that this week represents the last opportunity for citizens to connect with their lawmakers at home before the national conventions and the end of the 110th Congress.
Why is that important? Traditionally, the views expressed by constituents during what's known as the "August district work period" dramatically impact Congress' policy agenda and schedule for the remainder of the year. This impact increases exponentially during a presidential election year.
In short, members of Congress will go to the conventions and back to DC with hearts and minds full of what they are hearing back home. So if citizens really want elected officials to listen up, whether it's on the economy, gas prices or the regulation of industry X, Y or Z, now's the time.
If you want to be most effective in your communications, stop by our Article Vault or FAQs page for more ideas on how to be a truly great advocate -- and happy advocating!