OLYMPIA, Wash. -- It’s been a long time since high school, and if they did teach us how to get in touch with our state representatives, I forgot.
We went to Olympia to try to figure out how you can actually talk with your voice in the state’s capital, but first things first, we had to do a little Google search to discover who that person even is.
If I lived in Renton, I would search the state Legislature's website for my representative, state Rep. Steve Bergquist. With just one click, I was able to email him and ask to meet.
While I waited for a response, I asked some people at Wagner’s Bakery if they’d ever contacted any lawmakers. Some had and heard back. Others didn’t out of fear they’d never get a response.
“Generally I figure that they’re busy taking care of everything that they have to do, so my email might get missed or my phone call might get misplaced and not ever really looked over,” says Brianna Haskell, a Wagner’s Bakery employee.
Bergquist says there is one surefire way to get his attention.
“If you say, ‘I’m a constituent and I want to talk to you,’ I’m going to try and move mountains to speak with you," he said.
Bergquist says he’s more likely to call people than responding back via email.
“They are our boss. The voter, the constituent. They are the ones that are directing what I’m doing with my time down here and where my priorities lie," Bergquist said.
Some lawmakers, including Bergquist, use an e-newsletter to ask for feedback and help generate conversations with their constituents. Find out if yours has one, or simply who your voice in Olympia is, by starting with a quick internet search.