Hello! If you read my last blog entry then you know that I recently went to an event hosted by Cultivate SC. While I was there I met a woman named Carolee Williams who works as a Lowcountry Field Director for the group Conservation Voters South Carolina. While at Cultivate, Carolee and I discussed the topic of the “ban on bans” bill currently in the South Carolina Senate. We both agreed that this bill was outrageous and, if passed, would mean only bad things for our local environment and South Carolina’s waterways. Carolee told me that the best way to oppose things like this was to contact your local representatives. To which I responded with the usual string of excuses about politicians only listening to money, and Republicans only voting Republican, seeing the rejection letters first hand, and being only one person. I told her my doubts and how I thought it wouldn’t make a difference. Well, it turns out that Carolee Williams had with her some local Charleston postcards with beautiful beaches and grand oak trees on them. She told me, “Just write a short message. Say you support local government and not the ban on bans. You don’t even have to address it! Just write your home address and ill address it to your representative.” It was so easy that I couldn’t say no and this was something that I felt strongly about…so I filled out 2 postcards, one with my address and Carolee’s recommendation for wordage and the second with my parents South Carolina address and a similar message. I dropped the postcards with Carolee and went about my arts and crafts.
About a week or two later, my husband and I get a letter in the mail from the SC Senate. Man, were we sweating! What could they want? What did we do? Turns out it was our State Senator Sandy Senn writing with a response to my postcard. Here we go, I was ready for rejection when I read the following message….
For those of you who cant read the letter, ill retype the key lines.
“Thank you so much for reaching out to me. I agree with you and will oppose this bill. I believe in local governments and their ability to regulate themselves and will advocate for that position.”
WHAT?! Let me retype that one more time for the people in the back. She said, “I Agree With You and Will Oppose This Bill.” I don’t think a letter has ever made me happier. Okay, well it was up there in the surprise and happiness category. My senator not only took the time to respond to a postcard but she agrees with me and will fight for this outcome! Yes! It was an amazing realization that there are good guys and girls out there fighting for you and your voice and the environment and our planet. They are going against the popular vote and saying no to lobbyists with big checks and agendas. They are doing their job so now we need to do ours. They need more from us. More support. More good jobs. More critiques. More communication. More opinions. They need us to step up and speak up. So next time you’re out, grab a postcard or sit down and write a short email. Talk to your friends and neighbors. Make it easy on them. If it weren’t for a stranger in a bar handing me a postcard and offering to do the heavy lifting I would never have known that I am represented by a woman who cares about the same things that I do and I would never have realized how much my opinion matters.
So write a letter to your representative and if you ever find yourself in a bar with Carolee Williams, take the time to talk to her because she might just push you to find your voice.