The US Congress is filled with heroes and three-headed hydras. You must ensure your state is represented by heroic data-driven change agents.
“HEROES VS HYDRAS” SERIES
This fifteen-part series introduces you to the heroic partners you and your community will require to survive and thrive during pandemics and economic disruptions. The articles also provide tips on avoiding the three-headed hydras of apathy, envy and fear, those people in positions of power who are fighting to keep a broken status quo.
How can we support our representatives staying above the fray and making positive change at home?
US Senators and Congresspeople
Each state sends senators and congresspeople to Washington D.C. to support the state’s residents, at least in theory. Why does it all start to appear like scenes from The Hunger Games, in which the impoverished districts must pay tribute to the totalitarian, militaristic, wealthy capital? What can we expect at the federal level, notably from your representatives? I say, “Tons.”
Congress was once a body that managed to send us to the moon and create a universal single-payer plan for those 65 and over called Medicare. These were significant accomplishments. We have heroes in Congress. And, yet they have to sit next to colleagues who are less than supportive of ensuring that all residents have access to the services for surviving and thriving. Instead, in the middle of a global pandemic, many leaders focused on bailing out industries like cruise ships and airlines.
From access to timely health care to the vulnerability of our children, our national lawmakers don’t lack for problems to solve. As the economy goes over the cliff and entire industries evaporate, we can hope that our US senators and congresspeople can find resources to bring home.
Convening. Brainstorming. Solving.
One thing our heroic congresspeople and senators can do in their home state is immediately convene experts to discuss how we navigate a post-pandemic society in economic free fall. We will benefit greatly from an ongoing series of US-leader sponsored podcasts, video series, virtual roundtables and articles that dare to pose tough questions and pitch bold answers.
Convening experts to address our pandemic readiness and capacity to thrive during economic disruptions is no small thing. Such highly publicized convenings, streaming across the net and hosted by US senators and congresspeople, could address the following in each state:
Topic: Designing local crisis-readiness programs to prepare for the next pandemic, ensuring we are ready for something far more lethal
Topic: Creating a state system to ensure timely and accessible medical and mental health care
Topic: Designing a system to support subsidized training for jobs that will exist in the future
Topic: Ending the digital divide that marginalizes those without access to web-based health care, job training, placement and careers
Topic: Creating a cost-effective way for localities to ensure all residents can access the vital services for surviving and thriving.
In our current state of colliding crises and unprecedented challenges, we will benefit from US senators and congresspeople collaborating with state and local lawmakers to focus on the process of very public brainstorming and problem-solving.
How do I meet my state’s US representatives and senators — or at least their aides?
Ultimately, it’s about relationships, so you have to get to know your congressional representatives and their staff. Yes, many people are vying for your senator’s or congressperson’s time, so you will need a strong message, a reason to connect and a plan to pitch. If you are reading this article, you have access to a book with a well-reasoned, data-driven plan.
All congresspeople have aides who are responsive to constituents, and some have pretty sophisticated websites that allow you to leave messages on particular topics and ask for responses. Like all elected leaders, they are charged with being responsive, and of course they have their keen interests. Your job is to connect with aides to assess alignment of your work and theirs.
Our representatives serving in the nation’s capital are important resources to tap as they know where the money is and the dance needed to access it. Some are the biggest heroes you will ever have the honor to meet. Those are the champions to connect with.
The future is what we make it. Join the evolution.
Please excuse any typos as I construct an article at 3am on only one cup of Joe. These stories are mine and mine alone. I do not represent any organization here. If one of my illustrations looks like a real human or three-headed hydra, that’s total coincidence. Words and images ©Dominic Cappello but share with everyone you know. Any questions? The future awaits: www.tenvitalservices.org