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For every other job in America, we get a job description that describes our duties. Congress is not one of them. A lot of people feel like their elected officials do not understand that their primary responsibility is to serve them. I want to tell you what I think this job description is so when you vote for me you know what to expect.

I understand this job well having worked with Congress while in the Executive Branch, having worked in Congress on a Committee, and as a graduate school instructor on a course about Congress.

A member of Congress has two principal duties:

  1. Serve Constituents
  2. Represent Constituents

I have the knowledge and experience to be effective in performing both duties.

Serve Constituents:

A member of Congress is in a position to help navigate a host of challenges a constituent may face.

  1. Establish a capable office in the District to support constituents on a day-to-day basis
  2. Assist constituents in accessing Veterans Affairs or Social Security benefits (as well as other benefits)
  3. Direct constituents to a federal program or benefit
  4. Provide advocacy for constituents and District interests in Committees, on the Floor, and in other meetings in the House of Representatives
  5. Engage federal agencies on behalf of constituents when they are non-responsive
  6. Participate in local events and meetings throughout the District to stay in touch with its needs and views
  7. Take meetings from 8th District constituents in the Washington DC office
  8. Draft letters of recommendation for 8th District students’ applications to military academies and other purposes
  9. Other ideas? Tell me what you want from your member of Congress.

Represent Constituents

Washington 8th District Map

A member of Congress is a representative of constituents. An independent has the ability to be very responsive to the District in voting compared to the major political parties that apply significant pressure to vote with the party on all issues. An independent shares many priorities with a Democrat or Republican, but can provide a direct voice when the major political parties are not in sync with the District’s position.

  1. Represent the “District First” on all issues directly affecting the District and pushing for 100% satisfactory solutions.
  2. “Principled Compromise” should maximize benefits to the District within the framework of any agreement and ensure that the 8th District is not receiving unfair treatment relative to other Districts.
  3. The “National Interest” is always considered but should never, without explanation, override District First.

Innovative Interactive Tools:

Unconstrained by the party apparatus, an independent can use different tools to communicate with you on how they represent your interests:

  1. Real-time Input on Votes. Registered voters in the 8th District can sign-up to participate in real-time votes. Along with my staff, the outcome of these online votes will advise how I vote. You need simply register your position through my Congressional website on a vote as “yea,” “nay” or “present.”
  2. Voting Explanation Forum. As an independent, I can explain votes without providing the political party talking points. A brief daily forum will be held online so I can answer your questions about my votes for the day. You deserve to know why I voted a certain way.