Many Americans feel helpless as they prepare to watch the government shut down over a battle for 1% of the nation’s discretionary funding. “What can I do?” they ask. At this point in the game it is difficult to say whether citizens can stop the government from shutting down but this is what you can do as a citizen to get a message to representatives in D.C.
Tell your story
One thing that the people in Washington need to hear is not only about the frustration of citizens about the government shutting down, they also need to hear the personal impact this shutdown has on families, on businesses and on communities.
The best way to do this is to email or call your local, state and federal representatives as well as your local political party branches and let them know how this shut down personally effects your life. It may not seem like this matters however in Washington DC personal stories hold a lot of weight.
In addition to calling elected officials also call in to radio talk shows, take opinion polls and write a letter to the editor to your local paper. The more places that citizens share their personal experiences the greater an impact they can have on the issue. So share everywhere.
Groups and associations
Are you a member of a group or association? Perhaps one that has a political action committee? Use the power of this influence to get your message out about budget priorities. Voices amplified in numbers are heard much better than a single voice alone.
When Civil Citizens use the tools afforded to them by their governmental system they can make an impact. This is true with the budget as much as any other issue.