Yesterday, your new Congress was sworn into office for the 112th time in America’s history. I was lucky enough to be on the Hill for the occasion, watching the ceremonies from a closed circuit television at a reception in the Library of Congress.
One of the most symbolic moments of the ceremony was when the House gavel transferred from the outgoing Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, to the new speaker. As John Boehner stood by, waiting for Speaker Pelosi to conclude her remarks and hand off the gavel, he was visibly nervous, fidgeting, and seemed anxious for his turn to offer his thoughts to the chamber. Not surprisingly, he was wiping away tears before he even began to speak.
Members of Congress aren’t that different from you or me. They have weaknesses, make mistakes, and often have only a surface-level understanding of the multitude of issues that cross their desk. This is why they rely heavily upon their staff, who in turn rely heavily upon experts to provide them with the best information possible. Hence, your expertise and awareness can make a difference in changing policy in the US. But in order for that to happen you must not be afraid to reach out to your representatives, tell them your story, and why they should listen. It could be the first step in improving our nation.