Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How to change the system

Matt Yglesias, one of my favorite writers, recently and sarcastically said the following about politicians and those to whom we generally look for policy wisdom: "who better to solve the world’s problems than the people who benefit from the status quo?" I love the way he put this and don't think this dynamic gets enough attention. One way to look at this is that we can't just automatically count on our elected officials to make changes that will benefit people of different socioeconomic backgrounds. The current system got them elected, so what would motivate them to change things? You might have heard that a majority in the US Congress are now millionaires. If the current system not only got them elected, but also made them millionaires, we're likely fooling ourselves if we think they're overly concerned about making even moderate policy changes, even when the benefits to many are clear as day.

What to do? Well, while it's simple, contacting these representatives on a local and national level is really the best way to push for the changes we want. I think there's a small group of people, often with quite hysterical views, that do this quite often (and these people are quickly ignored). YOU, on the other hand (and it's understandable, we're all busy) probably haven't badgered your elected leaders much and you probably hold fairly moderate views. It's these busy, politically-middle of the road people that need to make their voices heard. (This goes double for the poor, who have been decimated economically the past two decades, but are often too busy making ends meet to write their public officials, let alone run for office.)

To help solve, this I'll use this post as the blog's elected-official contact HQ. While I'll show how to find your local representatives, I'll also post the email and twitter handles of local cities, politicians, and other people of interest (I've been using Twitter recently to ask local cities to follow SLC in subsidizing transit passes). One suggestion: try and show gratitude as well as encouragement on particular issues. And please let me know if you can help fill in any details!

Senator Orrin Hatch

Senator Mike Lee

See here to find your US Congressional Representative:

Rep Rob Bishop (1st District)

Rep Chris Stewart (2nd District)

Rep Jason Chaffetz (3rd District)

Rep Jim Matheson (4th District)

And most importantly, the people who can make a change locally:

SLC Mayor Ralph Becker

SL County Mayor Ben McAdams

Governor Gary Herbert

Click here to find your state senator and representative

Utah Senate
Gene Davis (D) - Salt Lake
House Minority Leader

Karen Mayne (D)
Minority Whip - Salt Lake

Patricia W Jones (D)
Assistant Minority Whip

Luz Robles (D) - Salt Lake
Minority Caucus Manager

Jim Dabakis (D) - Salt Lake

Wayne A Harper (R) - Salt Lake

Deidre M Henderson (R) - Utah

Brian E Shiozawa (R) - Salt Lake

Wayne L Niederhauser (R) - Salt Lake
Senate President

Aaron Osmond (R) - Salt Lake

Howard A Stephenson (R) - Salt Lake, Utah

Daniel W Thatcher (R) - Salt Lake, Tooele

Mark B Madsen (R) - Salt Lake, Utah

John L Valentine (R) - Utah

Margaret Dayton (R) - Utah

Curtis S Bramble (R) - Utah, Wasatch

Peter C Knudson (R) - Box Elder, Cache, Tooele
Assistant Majority Whip

Stuart C Reid (R) - Davis, Morgan, Weber

Allen M Christensen (R) - Morgan, Summit, Weber

Scott K Jenkins (R) - Davis, Weber

Jerry W Stevenson (R) - Davis

J Stuart Adams (R) - Davis
Majority Whip

Todd Weiler (R) - Davis, Salt Lake

Ralph Okerlund (R) - Central Utah

Lyle W Hillyard (R) - Cache, Rich

Kevin T Van Tassell (R) - Northeastern Utah

David P Hinkins (R) - Central and Northern Utah

Evan J Vickers (R) - Beaver, Iron, Washington

Stephen H Urquhart (R) - Washington

Utah House of Representatives
Ronda Rudd Menlove (R) Box Elder, Cache

David E Lifferth (R) - Utah

Jack R Draxler (R) - Cache

Edward H Redd (R) - Cache

Curt R Webb (R) - Cache

Jacob L Anderegg (R) - Utah

Ryan D Wilcox (R) - Weber

Gage Froerer (R) - Weber

Jeremy A Peterson (R) - Weber

Dixon M Pitcher (R) - Weber

Brad L Dee (R) - Davis, Weber

Richard A Greenwood (R) - Davis, Weber

Paul Ray (R) - Davis

Curtis Oda (R) - Davis - on Colbert

Brad R Wilson (R) - Davis

Stephen G Handy (R) - Davis

Stewart Barlow (R) - Davis

Roger E Barrus (R) - Davis

Jim Nielson (R) - Davis

Rebecca P Edwards (R) - Davis

Douglas V Sagers (R) - Tooele

Susan Duckworth (D) - Salt Lake

Jennifer M Seelig (D) - Salt Lake

Rebecca Chavez-Houck (D) - Salt Lake

Joel K. Briscoe (D) - Salt Lake

Angela Romero (D) - Salt Lake

Michael S Kennedy (R) - Utah

Brian S King (D) - Salt Lake, Summit

Lee B Perry (R) - Box Elder, Weber

Janice M Fisher (D) - Salt Lake

Larry B Wiley (D) - Salt Lake

Lavar Christensen (R) - Salt Lake

Craig Hall (R) - Salt Lake

Johnny Anderson (R) - Salt Lake

Mark A Wheatley (D) - Salt Lake

Patrice M Arent (D) - Salt Lake

Carol Spackman Moss (D) - Salt Lake

Eric K Hutchings (R) - Salt Lake

James A Dunnigan (R) - Salt Lake

Lynn N Hemingway (D) - Salt Lake

Daniel McCay (R) - Salt Lake

Jim Bird (R) - Salt Lake

Earl D Tanner (R) - Salt Lake

Tim M Cosgrove (D) - Salt Lake

Steve Eliason (R) - Salt Lake

Marie H Poulson (D) - Salt Lake

Ken Ivory (R) - Salt Lake

Keven J Stratton (R) - Utah

Robert M Spendlove (R) - Salt Lake

Rich Cunningham (R) - Salt Lake

Gregory H Hughes (R) - Salt Lake

John Knotwell (R) - Salt Lake

Melvin R Brown (R) - Northeastern Utah

Kraig Powell (R) - Summit, Wasatch

John G Mathis (R) - Duchesne, Uintah

Kay J Christofferson (R) - Utah

Brian M Greene (R) - Utah

Jon Cox (R) - Juab, Sanpete

Val L Peterson (R) - Utah

Dana L Layton (R) - Utah

Keith Grover (R) - Utah

Jon E Stanard (R) - Washington

Dean Sanpei (R) - Utah

Rebecca D Lockhart (R) - Utah

Francis D Gibson (R) - Utah

Mike K McKell (R) - Utah

Marc K Roberts (R) - Utah

Merrill F Nelson (R) - Western Utah

Jerry B Anderson (R) Northern/Central Utah

Kay L McIff (R) - East/Central Utah

Bradley G Last (R) - Iron, Washington

John R Westwood (R) - Iron

Michael E Noel (R) - Southern Utah

V Lowry Snow (R) - Washington

Don L Ipson (R) - Washington

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