March 28, 2012

The Good and the Bad

There is a deluge of Members that have talked to me about setting up visits with their local CAP agencies. I think more than anytime during the last thirty years, more Members have expressed interest in doing this. I don’t know if it is related to election pressures. It could be a response to how angry voters are toward Washington. Members assume visits with our agencies would be a safe route to meet with constituents. Some of the Members I work with on a fairly regular basis are asking to me to go with them to their visits. In terms of explaining what Community Action is all about, we have an unprecedented opportunity opening before us. Both Republicans and Democrats are reaching out to me. I find this encouraging. I hope in a little way it reflects the good relationships we have with Members these days.

It is a positive that despite an extremely negative political environment, our agencies are considered inviting places to visit. On the negative side, this extremely hostile political environment is frustrating Members. I hear it a lot right now, from a lot of good Members. They feel Washington is broken. These frustrations will be expressed in the 2012 elections. I worry though that we will see a number of retirements in 2014 as a result of increasing disappointment with how bad Washington is. 

Congress goes out for a two week recess at the end of this week. Members will be back in their districts, particularly House Members. This is an potentially important time, for them and for us. Members want to connect with their constituents and I hope our members take advantage of the opportunity to visit with them. 

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