Josh Bergeron: Elected representatives should know your opinion
In American politics, elected officials hear from constituents far too infrequently.
We elect them to office and seldom call, write or check in. If it was a friendship, it’d be a pretty bad one.
Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, for example, received 1.42 million votes en route to his victory in the 2014 general election. It’s doubtful that Tillis or his staff has received some form of communication from 1.4 million voters in North Carolina since then.
So, here’s an idea: give your elected representatives a call or send them a letter. If you’re looking for a particular topic, I’d suggest starting with one that’s received a bounty of attention over the past week: gun control.
Whether you’re in favor of an assault weapons ban, universal background checks, mental health reform, or ensuring second ammendment rights are maintained, you should let your elected representative know.
Elected officials are supposed to represent the opinions and beliefs of voters, regardless of political affiliations. On an issues such as gun control — an undoubtedly controversial one — it’s important that the people who are paid to represent your interests know how you feel.
It’s not my intent to advocate for particular policy changes. Participation in the political process, however, should be an issue everyone supports.
So, whom should you contact? That depends on where you live, but the list should include a minimum of four people — at least one U.S. senator, one member of the U.S. House, one member of the state Senate and one member of the state House.
Pick only one if you must, but contacting four ensures your interests are represented at all levels of government.
The best and most centralized resource for finding your representatives can be found on the North Carolina General Assembly’s website: ncleg.net. The penultimate option on the menu bar says “who represents me?” Click on that and you’ll come to a series of maps that outline the boundaries of districts. Those maps allow you to input your specific address and identify your districts.
State Rep. Carl Ford, R-76, represents rural, east Rowan, China Grove, Landis, north Kannapolis Rockwell, Landis and nearly all of Rowan County located south of N.C. 152. Ford also represents parts of Salisbury and all of East Spencer.
Office phone: 919-733-5881
Office address: 300 N. Salisbury St., Room 608 Raleigh, NC 27603-5925
State Rep. Harry Warren, R-76, represents all of Rowan north of N.C. 150, or Mooresville Road. Warren also represents Enochville, Granite Quarry, Faith, Mount Ulla and Spencer.
Office phone: 919-733-5784
Office address: 300 N. Salisbury St., Room 611 Raleigh, NC 27603-5925
State Sen. Andrew Brock, R-34, has a multi-county district. In Rowan, it includes Landis, Enochville, Faith, Granite Quarry, a portion of rural eastern Rowan, East Spencer, Spencer, Salisbury and the remainder of Rowan located to the north and west of Salisbury.
Office phone: 919-715-0690
Office address: 300 N. Salisbury St., Room 523, Raleigh, NC 27603-5925
State Sen. Tom McInnis, R-25, represents the communities of China Grove, Rockwell, Bostian Heights, Gold Hill, most of southeastern Rowan and all of the county located south of NC 152.
Office phone: 919-733-5953
Office address: 16 W. Jones St., Room 2106, Raleigh, NC 27601-2808
Congressional representation more confusing than the state legislature. For now, all North Carolina residents are represented by the people voted into office in 2014 under the map recently declared unconstitutional.
Under that map, Rep. Richard Hudson, R-8, represents just about everything south of I-85 and China Grove, Landis and Kannapolis.
Office number: 202-225-3715
Office address: 429 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Rep. Alma Adams, D-12, represents Spencer, East Spencer, a large swath of Salisbury and stretches of West Rowan. Her district stretches like a snake across the Piedmont and was one of two that resulted in the state’s congressional map being declared unconstitutional.
Office number: (202) 225-1510
Office address: is 222 Cannon House Office Building Washington DC 20515-3312.
Rep. Virginia Foxx generally represents everything north of NC 150 or Mooresville Road, a good chunk of Salisbury and all other Rowan County communities located to the northwest.
Office number: 202-225-2071
Office address: 2350 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515.
North Carolina also has two senators that are elected to represent the entire state — Tillis and Sen. Richard Burr, both of whom are Republicans.
Tillis’ office number is (202) 224-6342 and his office address is 185 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510.
Burr’s office number is (202) 224-3154 and his office address is 217 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510.
Maybe you can’t contact all of your elected officials, but letting one know how you feel about gun control helps to ensure your opinion is reflected when policy decisions are made.
Josh Bergeron covers politics for the Salisbury Post.
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