|Subject:||An Open Letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein.|
Dear Senator Feinstein,
I have just returned from attempting to visit your San Francisco office to drop off a petition, on behalf of Democracy for America and roughly 56,000 of your constituents, in support of health care reform that includes offering a federally administered public insurance option. Such reform is, according to multiple polls, supported by two-thirds to three-quarters of all Americans, including roughly half of rank-and-file Republicans. It is also heavily favored by essentially all moderate and liberal economists, and was an element of the health plans offered by all three major Democratic presidential campaigns in 2008.
I say "attempting to visit," rather than "visiting," because a staffer there rather brusquely refused to ask the One Post Plaza office tower's lobby security guards to admit me, saying that visitors are admitted by appointment only, thus making a waste of the hours I spent travelling to and from your office. I am unclear what, exactly, is more important to your staffers than your constituents' Constitutional right to petition. This is no way to treat a grassroots activist.
If they are overwhelmed with phone calls today, I am sympathetic, but I would think that it ought to count for something when somebody cares enough to come visit in person -- that you would be more interested in hearing from the in-person visitor. I fully intended to be respectful of your staff's time; my visit to Rep. Anna Eshoo's Palo Alto office, earlier in the day, took perhaps three minutes. I identified myself, to your staffer who answered my call from the security lobby, as a California State Party Delegate, acting for the day as a representative of DFA, and I told him that I just wanted to drop off the petition and ask a couple of quick questions. I would've taken no more time than a caller.
Based on my experiences with other legislators who have served as my representatives over the years, and with their offices, I do not believe that any of them would tolerate a staffer treating a constituent so rudely, either at a campaign office or a (taxpayer funded!) legislative office. Neither should you.
R.M. 'Auros' Harman, M.B.A.
Delegate, A.D. 21, California Democratic Party State Central Committee
Treasurer, CDP Business & Professional Caucus
ETA: I just realized I had the number of constituents wrong; I was multiplying 90 lines by 156 pages, but I also should've multiplied by the four columns of names... Fixed now.