The *Updated* Eclectique Citizen

\"Freedom of Speech\" by Faith Ringgold

This page is being actively updated with new resources and tools for Eclectique Citizens to stay engaged and get involved. I will be testing some of the voting information in anticipation of the upcoming 2010 elections. [Updated July 1, 2010]

BILLS AND VOTES
Track votes in Congress on key legislation and more at Congress.org, a site managed by Roll Call.

FINDING AND CONTACTING A SENATOR
Use the U.S. Senate site to find a Senator and the committee(s) he/she serves on. This site is kept current by the U.S. Senate.

FINDING AND CONTACTING A MEMBER OF CONGRESS (U.S. House of Representatives)
Use this link to locate your Congressional Representative and their committees. The site is maintained by the U.S. House of Representatives and is kept current.

Roll Call also has tips for writing a member of Congress. For specific interests and issues, organizations and individuals may set up on-line forms with suggested language for letters or an on-line petition. I understand the individual letter in your own words is the key attention grabber.

TWITTER FEEDS
And if you want to read “tweet nothings” from the Congress, follow Congressional 140’s Tweet feed.

For additional inspiration, watch this Schoolhouse Rock PSA from the 1970s. Very little’s changed in the process of moving legislation:

CONTACTING THE PRESIDENT AND HIS STAFF, AND THE FIRST LADY
A contact form is available on the whitehouse.gov website.

Snail mail can be sent to:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Note: It takes at least two weeks to process any and all mail addressed to the White House. The mail is processed at a separate facility. A staff of volunteers read the President’s mail which is how the 10 letters are selected each week for the President to read and personally respond.

The WH telephone works too:
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461

TTY/TDD
Comments: 202-456-6213
Visitors Office: 202-456-2121

THE DECISION MAKERS – THE PRESIDENT’S CABINET
National Journal has a good directory (with profiles and phone numbers) of the President’s key staff and cabinet at this link. Of course, the profiles are sprinkled with commentary, but it’s good to have a handy cheat sheet of who’s who.

WHAT IS THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE DOING?
The Executive Office is the President, Vice President, and anything and anyone inside the White House. I added this Politico calendar to an earlier post. It deserves a place of honor on this page as well.


Update:
Election Night – Tuesday, November 4, 2008. Read my Live Blog – Election Night at Busboys and Poets.

2010 MID TERM ELECTIONS
Civic participation is a 24/7 life.

The following websites have been recommended and verified by the Eclectique Citizen for election and voter information:

www.866ourvote.org – nonpartisan Election Protection coalition. Good resources for looking up your State Board of Elections for specific voter information. This group also has a Voter Protection hotline – call 1-866-OUR VOTE (1-866-687-8683). Log this on your cell phone before you go to the polls. Report any problems you may have at your polling location.

www.canivote.org – maintained by the National Association of Secretaries of State. Good resource for checking your voter registration status.

Common Cause www.commoncause.org – a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization that serves as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

Early Voting Information Center at Reed College http://earlyvoting.net. Find out which states have early voting and requirements.

Video the Vote http://www.videothevote.org/ – a national initiative to protect voting rights by organizing citizen journalists to monitor the electoral process. This is a 2008 project, but an interesting example for future citizen election monitoring.