03 November 2010

"Take out the papers and the trash" --The Coasters

So, yeah, I voted. And the person I voted for won. I'm totally taking credit for that. *insert Rocky theme here* *dances around with fists raised*

Sadly, I could not vote in every state in the nation. Let's just say that, overall, and I hope I'm not being too analytical here, I found the broader election results "poopy." Yeah, "poopy" covers it.

Anyway, I got to thinking about a campaign commercial from years ago for a county councilman who was running for re-election. The commercial tells a story/endorsement in the voice of a citizen. The citizen talks about calling the councilman's office on a weekend to report that the trash people have left a mess and ask if something can be done. The citizen expresses his shock when, not only does someone promptly show up to pick up the trash strewn on his lawn, but it is none other than the councilman, himself, picking it up. This was the reason that the citizen was going to vote to re-elect the councilman.

First off, +5 points to the councilman for fixing the problem and doing it quickly.

Second, -2 points that the councilman had to do it himself. What kind of effective politician doesn't have staff to call on to solve problems?

Third, -25 points to the citizen for bothering the councilman because there was trash on his lawn. Why not call the trash collection people? Or write it off as the bummer it is and pick up the damn trash yourself?

All this got me thinking (anything to avoid work!)... I've signed petitions and sent emails to representatives to express my desire for them to take action on important causes. I've never contacted one to solve a problem that I'm having personally.

Which leads me to the question du jour: Would you call your elected representative (at any level) to solve a problem that affects you and nobody else?


Pauline said...

No. I've contacted my councilman about them threatening to cut my and many other peoples bus service. But that would have affected many people, not just me.

Mike said...

"pick up the damn trash yourself?"

Understatement there. But there are people that think like this.

As far as calling, it depends. Sometimes your problem might be part of a bigger problem that you don't see. And I wouldn't call the representative. That's what the county citizen service lines are for. If they don't help, THEN you call the rep.

Mac and Cheese said...

I'd feel like a bit of a tool calling my elected official to pick up trash. I think I'd be more inclined to send an e-mail to the general mailbox and wait. Maybe that's a Canadian thing.

Shannon said...

This reminds me of the high school kid a few years back who called a school board member's home phone to complain about not getting a snow day. The wife called him back and gave him an earful - and the kid went straight to the press.

Or, y'know, he could have just gone to school and quit whining.

The Bug said...

Back 24 years ago when my mom & grandmother were planning to visit me in Zambia Jesse Helms of all people (they lived in NC) helped expedite my grandmother's passport application so she could get it in time to travel. Still didn't cause me to vote for him - shudder...

Lusty Reader said...

we are diehard 911 and 311 callers in our 'hood in the inner city with all sorts of trash, recycling, drug dealing, fighting, shooting, homeless people situations. we've emailed cathy lanier directly...but never any other types of representatives, thanks for the idea! watch out dc coucil members!

also, yay voting! a fight broke out the place i vote in my neighborhood between random citizens voting for different ANC representatives. a woman involved in the brawl had to go to a hospital. i vote at a church, btw. ahhhh life in the city, so sweet.

Alice said...

ha! no it would definitely NOT occur to me. i'd bitch about it, then i'd clean it up my own damn self. :P

ellen said...

If no one else was affected the problem must not be any great shakes (unless it was worthy of a 911 call). Mostly I just wish my elected representatives were not a bunch of drunks and thieves. I sure wouldn't want to see one outside on my lawn!

repliderium.com said...

we're lazy in Canada. We just write a "letter to the editor" and then miraculously you start getting election pamphlets in your mailbox. Every day.

Liebchen said...

I've never personally contacted a councilman. And it's never actually crossed my mind for something like that - especially if it's a "just me" problem.

Toe said...

Working for the Government I've had many a call and sometimes an irate person in my face complaining about issues that just affect themselves. Ironically these are retiree's that have nothing to do during the day. Which always makes me wonder why they don't fix their problems themselves. But then I hear the proverbial "I pay your salary with my taxes; you work for me!" so many times that I want to punch them in the face.

lacochran's evil twin said...

Pauline: Sounds perfectly reasonable.

Mike: Eh, skip the middle men and call the President. He's not busy.

Mac and cheese: There's a general mailbox? Is it in the shape of a bass? We have those around here.

Shannon: I whine when I don't get a snow day, too. But not to anyone who could do anything about it.

The Bug: I wouldn't have voted for him either but this does explain a little about why he was so popular.

Lusty Reader: Wow. Voting is pretty dang peaceful here in the burbs.

Alice: I respect that.

ellen: Well, if they're drunks they might need a place to crash.

repliderium.com: Is that how that works? Huh.

Liebchen: Because you're a reasonable person, you are.

Toe: I look forward to being retired and cranky. Instead of just cranky.