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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Making an Impact, Part I

How can we, as educators, impact legislation, whether at the local, county/parish, state or federal levels? Furthermore, can we have an impact on legislation?  

I found a group of researchers who state that public policy is being influenced mainly by highly paid lobbyists, large corporations, “deep-pocketed donors,” and organized groups. Compared to economic elites, average voters have a low to nonexistent influence on public policies,” (Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, November 14, 2014).  What a depressing thought that the only way we get the “good stuff” is if some elusive “Mr. Big” decides it’s in his/her best interest to “throw us a bone” occasionally through a “pork barrel” project or because our legislators happen to need the same thing we do.

When I think about this, my immediate reaction is, “Well, of course we can.”  We need to discuss issues and policies with our officials; write e-mails, texts and letters to them; make phone calls to their offices and speak to their staff. All we need do is get the ear of an official, and our voice will be heard!”

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