February 24, 2010 by Daniel Stack
Sadly it didn’t seem to make a noticeable impact in the news, but over a million people marched on Washington, D.C. today.
Five hundred of them marched physically, some marching form Philadelphia in honor of Melanie Shouse, an Obama volunteer and health care advocate who died due to not having insurance and being unable to get needed treatment for breast cancer.
Over a million people called their senators to demand they finish the job they started and enact health care reform in a massive call-in organized by a variety of progressive organizations. I participated, calling the Washington offices of Massachusetts’ two senators, John Kerry and Scott Brown. It took quite some time to actually get through. I spoke with a Kerry staffer and left a voice mail message for Brown. To be honest, I tend to doubt Scott Brown, who campaigned specifically against Obama’s health care reform, will be too receptive to my message. Which I think makes it all the more important — at the end of the day he represents the people of Massachusetts, not the Republican party. And phone calls to elected officials do get their attention. It is an individual act of political lobbying. It is saying “this issue is so important to me that I as an individual am going to call you to talk about it.” I think more people should do it. Sending written communication is important too (and I do that as well) but I believe the phone call shows even greater passion.
I hope this does get more coverage — I’m trying to do my small part here to draw attention to it.
While this specific organized effort is over, it is always useful to contact your elected representatives. They work for us. They represent us. Though I agree with Edmund Burke who said:
Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
However, it is still vital that your representative do know your opinion — it should be a factor in his or her judgment. And to be frank, I question the judgment of any elected representative who believes the status quo or minor tweaks are adequate to the problems we face in health care.
Links of interest: