Well, according to my guest on Afflicted by Addiction, Mary Bono, it really is something you should do.
I met Mary at probably the most somber meeting of my life, in Orange County. There were about 60 parents there, about 50 of them had buried at least one child and several of them since then have buried children. At that time, in CA, we didn’t have a Good Samaritan Law. This is an important law that gives immunity to someone who calls 911 to report an overdose. After that meeting, Mary Bono Mack picked up the phone and worked and got this bill passed in California and it passed and was signed into law this year. It may be because of that meeting that this issue was pushed ahead. She heard the voices of the constituents at that meeting. These constituents are people are all fighting through their pain and suffering for the greater good.
“There is a bipartisan oblivion.” Mack says. “They don’t understand it until they do. The answers to problems don’t know party lines. Then there are divides in how to attack a problem. What is important that you come together to have the conversation. Regardless of party affiliation, conversation is key.”
So, they don’t understand it until they do.
You can help them understand. Here’s how:
Get the phone number of the member of congress who represents where you’re registered to vote.
Call the office. Ask to speak to their health care legislative assistant and get to know that person, see if you can get their email.
Coach them patiently and kindly. It is a relationship you are building. The more often they hear about the problem, the more likely they are to respond. When it comes up in their congressional setting they’ll have some information (provided by you!) and some background. Explain the pain, explain the problem.
You can call them weekly, monthly. You don’t want to become white noise because you want your communication to be received, but open the channels of communication with the person who is really managing this issue. They will react the same way that any person reacts. Understand what they are faced with.
“Your voice does matter,” she says.