One of the most common questions I get on social media and in person is: “What can we do between now and November 2019 to our elected officials to represent us?”
Believe it or not, it is really pretty simple. Many elected officials greatest fear is not being re-elected. So, when enough people in their district being to question and engage them on their votes or actions, it begins to make a difference. So, the answer is really simple: Be informed – Be engaged – Be vocal.
1. FREE SPEECH = All Mississippians (yes, even public school teachers and staff – outside of classrooms), have an absolute right of free speech and political speech. This is important to know because of the bills that have been introduced the last couple of years to try to punish and silence pubic school employees. These bills died a quiet death, as they should have. It was nothing but a scare tactic to have a chilling effect on free speech of those who disagreed with the way public schools have been treated by leadership.
2. ENGAGED & VOCAL = Every Mississippian, even public school teachers and staff, can write, email, call or visit any elected official, and can put signs in their yards and on their cars.
3. CONTACT: Download to your mobile device the app: “Electric Power Associations of Mississippi” – “Mississippi Legislative Roster. Know who represents you and make sure they know how you feel about pending legislation and budget issues. Even if they don’t open an email, they have to see it to delete it.
4. EMAIL: You can email all senators at one time with a single address: Senators@Senate.ms.gov
5. EMAIL: You can email all representatives at one time with a single address: Representatives@House.Ms.Gov
6. BILL STATUS: Save this link as a tab so you can immediately access any pending bill and read it for yourself, check the status, or see who serves on which committees: http://www.legislature.ms.gov/Pages/default.aspx
7. WRITE: Editorials in your local paper. People need to know that they are not alone in claiming the emperor[s] has no clothes. The more people know, the join ideas and take back the power vested in them.
Oxford lawyer Jay Hughes serves the 12th District in the Mississippi House of Representatives. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.