Remember to Thank Elected Officials This Holiday Season

Thanking elected officials

The holiday season is always a blessed and thankful time of year. It reminds people of the important things in life. Family gatherings, acts of kindness, and fellowship (and football, of course) set off the spirit of the season. The ability to reflect on life’s joys during this time of year helps people recharge and grow.

During the holiday season, it is important to give thanks to those who perform sometimes thankless work. Elected officials and their staff carry an immense burden and usually have a lonely existence.

Reflecting on this past year’s advocacy for people with disabilities, our efforts were filled with many ups and downs, losses and victories. Unfortunately, politics and policymaking are sometimes a zero-sum game. People will win and people will lose.

Regardless of this year’s outcomes, advocates came together beautifully to work on behalf of people with disabilities. Elected officials listened to advocates, both proponents and opponents, balanced competing priorities, and ultimately made some decisions benefiting people with disabilities.

Elected officials typically serve thousands of people from many different walks of life who will each be impacted by government differently, and represent all people in their constituency, regardless of who voted for them.

Elected officials and their staff also have the tremendous responsibility to meet with constituents to hear ideas and concerns, gather reliable information, and work diligently to make informed decisions, decisions that will have consequences for thousands of people.

During this holiday season please take a few moments to contact your elected officials about something important to you and to thank them for their work. Thanking your elected officials and disagreeing with their policy positions in a respectful manner are not mutually exclusive, you can do both.

Providing thanks and constructive ideas or criticism about public policy issues will lead to a positive discourse and good public policy outcomes for people with disabilities.

With the New Year comes new congressional and legislative sessions, and new policy ideas (and some old ones too) to consider. Please visit www.mosaicalliedvoices.org to find your elected officials contact information, advocacy opportunities, and to stay up-to-date on public policy issues impacting people with disabilities.

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