I'm trying out a new method to keep me connected to my congressional representatives.
It's a free, web-based outfit called POPVOX.
In today's anti-business environment driven by our extremely socialist President and socialist-leaning Senate we in agriculture need more than ever to connect with our employees -- those public servants who consider themselves our "leaders."
In fact, I believe much of the current problem with excessive government was allowed to creep in because these people were so far removed from us that we could not reasonably keep an eye on them and their actions.
I'm hoping POPVOX will help me do a better job of that in the future.
I like what I've seen so far so I'm sharing it with you right now.
I have not mastered this platform and I'm still unsure whether it will improve my communication with Congress. But it is not focused on single issues and the system of email "blasts" that appear in my e-mail box just seem to be a list of new bills and a brief summary of what they entail.
It's a fairly new endeavor, having just been started in 2010, so I expect it is an evolving business.
The POPVOX website claims, "Constituent communications are flooding and overwhelming Congressional offices."
The company says it "verifies, aggregates and simplifies communication with Congress on an open and trusted (and nonpartisan) common ground."
That may well be true but for those issues really important to me I'm still writing emails or calling my representatives.
Other claims the company makes are these:
Advocacy organizations, trade associations, unions and other groups send their members to POPVOX to take action on bills pending before Congress.
Congressional staff and lawmakers log into POPVOX to measure the pulse of their district.
POPVOX provides a curating interface for anyone — including Congressional staff, the public and the media — to access and understand the voice of the people.
My own use of the platform so far has been primarily to watch the alerts coming into my email and occasionally to log into the site and look at new proposed legislation.
When you sign up for the newsletter you can list interests and they will channel some news to you based on the interests you claim.
If a bill catches your eye you can click and follow it. There is a "trending" list of what has been hot that week.
Unfortunately, I am not prepared to be your tour guide on this site but I think it's worth experimentation by more people than just me. If you find a good way to use it, share it here with other readers or email me and I'll upload your discoveries.