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Please begin with an informative title:

Even though we're being governed by a corporatocracy, we still have (mostly) freedoms of speech, assembly and press.  These give you the only power you still have as a citizen, though they give you NO power if you don't put them into action.

In recent years, I've made two trips to Capitol Hill to do work as a Citizen Lobbyist, one totally on my own, and another as part of an organized effort.

I've also had plenty of in-person contact with my congress critters' local offices.

Why?  Because democracy is not a spectator sport.  An active and knowledgeable citizenry is crucial to the whole concept of a democracy.

Marches around the Capitol are ok, but the critters are not even in town on the weekends when marches take place.  I participated in a march around the Capitol once, and was left with the feeling that it didn't do a damned thing.

Far better it is to go into the office buildings during weekday hours, when the problem critters are there.

So, I'm ecstatic that, right now, we have a very active Citizen Lobbyist effort taking place. BRAVO! to RLMiller,  Something the Dog Said, SwordsandPens, MinistryofTruth and everyone else who is taking back Congress from the corporatocracy.

Intro

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Once we have thousands of Citizen Lobbyists in the congressional office buildings, effectively pushing back against the corporatocracy, we will be able to elbow aside the corporate shills, i.e. paid professional lobbyists.

I'll keep this diary brief, because I'd like to share two diaries I previously wrote on the subject of doing Citizen Lobbyist work, both on the Hill, and at your congress critters' local offices.  If you've never visited the local or Hill office of Senator Procrastinator or Representative Donothing, there are plenty of practical tips for organizing what you're doing which result from my own experience.

Visiting the local and Hill offices of your critters is, for me, an educational and gratifying experience.  If you've never been to any of their offices, I don't think it's a bad idea to start out with the local offices, since they are nearby, and thus more accessible, take less time and money out of your pocket, etc.  It's usually easy to get an appointment; just call and ask for one.  Take an appointment with a staffer, if that's the quickest and easiest, and turn it into an opportunity to get another appointment with Senator Sternwheeler hisself. (I'm no one who's important, and I've been able to get two face-to-face appointments with the senator.) Or, you can do what I once did: just go to the office, knock on the door, identify yourself, and ask to come in and talk.  Some preparation is always a good idea so that you can make most effective use of the time you will have, which you'll hear a lot more about in these two diaries.

My practical Citizen Lobbyist info is in these two diaries:

Congress: Call? Write? March around the Capitol? Here's MORE choices

10 - 2 - 2010 Rally, And More Ideas

I'm tied up with other matters right now, so I'll check back and reply to comments later today.

If you've visited your critters' offices, locally or on the Hill, puh-lease share your experience and what you think works.

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