making your voice heard
Earlier in the week, I went with a small group of concerned constituents to meet with Ted Cruz's senior staff to discuss the Affordable Healthcare Act and other issues related to healthcare. Prior to the meeting, one of the attendees asked me what I was hoping to get out of the meeting.
I have been asked this type of question a lot, often in the form of people feeling that it is useless and a waste of time to call or write our elected officials, as we know we aren't going to change their minds.
I told him, nothing, really, other than exercising my right to have my voice heard by my elected representatives in government.
As I've reflected on the meeting over the last few days, I realized that there is a different question that I think is more important:
What is the alternative?
Should we just acquiesce and stay quiet, waiting it out until the next election? Should we go about our lives accepting it as terrible legislation is considered that will harm us and our fellow Americans? Should we keep our heads down and pretend that everything is ok?
I'm not ok with just sitting down and shutting up, and I don't see myself doing that any time soon. I believe that if we keep speaking up, we can move the needle. Agonizingly, slowly, it can be done. But we must keep speaking out.
I think back to what Susan Collins said during the last healthcare vote, that a single story changed her mind, and with that, changed the course of history.
Every time we stop Congress from repealing and replacing the ACA, millions of people keep their coverage. Thousands of people are able to continue to get their necessary medications and treatments. And some people's lives are saved. This effort, to save people's lives, is necessary.
So, yes, I'm going to continue to protest. I'm going to continue to write letters and faxes. I'm going to continue to make my phone calls. And I'm going to keep showing up at my elected representatives' offices.
I hope you will join me.