Editorial: Information worth saving

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 30, 2007

As realistic members of the Fourth Estate, we don’t expect that many newspaper editorials are pasted in scrap books, displayed on refrigerator doors or even clipped and saved for future reference. As for how many go into the bird cage, well, we’d just as soon not know.

But with the N.C. General Assembly ready to reconvene on Wednesday, we feel confident in stating that this is one editorial you should save for future reference. We’re going to give you some simple information that can help you be a better citizen, and can help legislators be more effective lawmakers. We’re going to tell you how to contact your state representatives. While the information is readily available, judging from the number of calls to the newspaper requesting contact information for local legislators, it’s not something that most readers keep readily at hand.

We’d like to change that. Legislators rely on contact with the folks back home to keep them in touch with public sentiment on various issues. Some might even say they need the contact to keep them in touch with reality (although that seems more of a problem for Congress and the U.S. Senate). Whether you contact your N.C. lawmakers via e-mail (which many prefer because of the speed and convenience), phone or regular mail, legislators rely on contact with the folks in their district to help them stake out positions, set priorities and take up specific initiatives.

Here’s how to contact members of the local state legislative delegation:

Senate District 34

Sen. Andrew Brock (R-Davie)

E-mail: Andrewb@ncleg.net

Office phone: 919-715-0690

Personal phone: 336-998-3166

Mailing address: 1119 Legislative Building; Raleigh, NC; 27601-2808

House District 76

Rep. Fred Steen (R-Rowan)

E-mail: Fredst@ncleg.net

Office phone: 919-733-5881

Personal phone: 704-857-0857

Mailing address: 514 Legislative Office Building; Raleigh, NC; 27603-5925

House District 77

Rep. Lorene Coates (D-Rowan)

E-mail: Lorenec@ncleg.net

Office phone: 919-733-5784

Personal phone: 704-636-6976

Mailing address: 633 Legislative Office Building; Raleigh, NC; 27603-5925

As the session progresses, the Post will publish legislative news (and editorials) in the daily newspaper and on our Web site (www.salisburypost.com). Those seeking information on specific bills can also get updates via the N.C. General Assembly’s official Web page, www.ncleg.net. If you’re not sure which House or Senate District includes your address, you can plug in your nine-digit ZIP code and get the answer. And if you happen to misplace this editorial, the Web site also offers quick links to contact information for all representatives and senators.