James Foley

James Foley
Journalist James Foley. In loving memory.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Being a voice in your state legislature

Every day I hear or read about people who complain about something that their governor just signed into law or that their state legislature is discussing.

This week, Iowa's governor signed into law what many groups I support refer to as the ag-gag law. It is now illegal in Iowa for people to go undercover to report how animals are treated in slaughterhouses and animal production plants. And no, there is no live TV feed from these places that makes undercover unnecessary. The deal now is that we won't know of any inhumane actions against the animals unless someone breaks the law. If you have followed Mercy For Animals you know that inhumane acts occur on a daily basis in countless factory farms and slaughterhouses.

I called the governor asking him not to sign this bill. So did thousands of others. Democrats and Republicans. People of all faiths and of no faith. Veg folk and non veg folks.

The point of this blog post isn't really the ag-gag law. It's the idea that those of us who are a voice for the voiceless must use that voice in our state legislators. It's vital that we know who represents us in the state house and the state senate, that they know who we are, and that they know our opinions on what matters most to us.

I realize many activists don't vote and they each have personal reasons why they don't vote. I haven't missed an election, on every level, since I was 18. Yet you can be one who chooses not to vote and still be a voice in your state house or senate.

I'm not sure how many Iowans called their representatives to ask them to vote no on this bill. I'm equally unsure as to how many hard-core voices for the voiceless (whoever "the voiceless" is to you) know who represents them at the state level.

If you are interested in finding out, check out this website:

http://votesmart.org/


All you have to do is type in your zip code and the site will tell you who represents you from the local level to the national level. Once you find out who represents you, send them a nice email introducing yourself. Be prepared to not always be in agreement with those who represent you. What fun would that be!

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear what you find out about your elected officials!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for such an awesome post. I often feel like I'm a lone voice screaming in the wilderness. If we could just add a couple more voices, maybe something can actually get done.

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