Making laws is only one part of my work in the Legislature. Another part is constituent service. People contact me about issues of concern, tell me their opinions of pending legislation or government policy. And they ask me for help resolving problems--local troubles, dealing with agencies, you name it.
Lately, in dealing with one particular situtation, I've learned a lot about access, and the power of a title. I don't know whether I've been helpful--yet--but I'm making every effort. Directors of agencies return my calls. They put me in touch with the person in charge.
I wish the people I'm trying to help enjoyed the same degree of access and immediacy of response. With complex issues, I have a lot of learning and info-gathering to do, I ask questions, make records of conversations, try to keep the facts straight. I'm so afraid of overlooking some crucial little detail.
And sometimes, like this week, there is an emotional toll. I regard myself as an optimistic person, but getting tangled in enough red tape and interacting with by-the-book people can dampen my spirits if not my hopes.
In the midst of these investigations, I've wrapped all the gifts--often re-tracing my London steps in my mind as I did so. And I imagine the reaction when the paper is pulled away. And I wish I could be there in person to see.
All the while I was listening to a Dublin friend hosting his radio show . . . all the way from Glenageary, thanks to the miracle of streaming audio.
Here's another of the Chap's photos: what I refer to as the "Smoochie Statue" at the newly renovated St Pancras station.
It's officially called, The Meeting Place. For an entirely different view (!) go here. When in London, one evening we watched a very interesting television programme about its creation and placement.
I'm waiting for things to calm down a bit, but the calendar keeps expanding. I've got back-to-back events this evening, an appearance at the State Employees Association holiday party (lots of SEA folks in my district) followed by an Environmental Services forum on the Rivers Study, related to flooding around the state. Because my district suffered greatly from the floods, I show up for any and all such gatherings.
We're expecting Strike Two in a one-two-three punch of winter weather. I drove through Strike One (sleet) last night after a diocesan meeting. Strike Two will be a snow event later tomorrow--I'll be battling it on my way home from another diocesan meeting. Strike Three is expected Saturday into Sunday, they say it could be big...I hope it won't hamper my planned festive lunch in the Capital City with friends.
I'm embarrassed to report that my beauteous tree--acquired on Saturday--is still devoid of any decoration but lights and an angel. Due to the crammed calendar and the wrapping/packing/posting extravaganza, the parties, the meetings and forums. Soon!