Saturday, October 23, 2010

Constituent Mail

Bread for the World members in New Mexico generate a couple thousand letters to Congress as part of our Offerings of Letters each year.  We write these letters with the assurance that the appropriate staff will read our correspondence and pass on our concerns to our senator or representative.   

Sen. Jeff Bingaman's Web site reports that the senator received about 220,000 letters (not all from New Mexicans).  "Because of the high volume, we can only reply to New Mexicans," said Sen. Bingaman's office in Washington, in a note  entitled How does your office handle and respond to constituent mail?    
Sen. Bingaman at Bread Lobby Day reception in 1990s
In case you're wondering, churches in New Mexico generated 316 letters to Sen. Bingaman this year urging that he support efforts to strengthen and expand the Earned Income Tax.

In 2009, we wrote 652 letters to Sen. Bingaman in support of foreign aid reform.  In 2008, we wrote 659 letters asking that he support an increase in poverty-focused development assistance.

And in 2007 we asked our senator to back legislation that would create a more fair Farm Bill, reducing subsidies for large farm operations and addressing poverty in rural areas, among other things.

Year after year, Bread members in New Mexico have faithfully written Sen. Bingaman and our other congressional representatives asking them to support efforts to address hunger and poverty in our country and around the world.  And Sen. Bingaman's office assures us that our letters are read.  Here's an excerpt from the note in Sen. Bingaman's Web site,
Because of this variety and the high volume of mail we receive, we do our best to respond to each constituent’s questions and concerns in a personalized and prompt manner.  Senator Bingaman takes constituent correspondence seriously, so we try to respond to letters and emails within two weeks, though sometimes the necessary research can make that time longer.

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