Letter to the Editor | Don’t forget to advocate for things that matter


By Megan Porter

So much is changing all at once, and it does not appear that “business as usual ” will be returning any time soon. What has not changed is our ability to appeal to those in positions of authority, those who represent us and our goals on federal and state levels, in order to advocate for the changes we want to see in our community and the changes we do not want to see.

If there is a new regulation or rule that is proposed, and you have strong feelings about it, there are periods of time open for comments from the public before it goes into effect. You can have your written voice heard, and yes, someone reads the comments. Unlike calling a representative or senator, where you may just receive a voicemail and a promise that someone will hear it and no guarantee it matters whatsoever, proposals are sent to the Federal Register or the Illinois Register so that the public can submit comments for or against it with their argument.

Comments are then reviewed by the federal or state agency the rule or regulation applies to, and if enough people with solid arguments are advocating, change can happen. Look at regulations.gov to get started. If there is a policy you have strong feelings about and which you can write a solid argument for or against, please take advantage of these commentary periods.

Anyone can do this — you do not need to have a fancy law degree or a political science major to submit your opinion. If we do not like something happening in our state or in the country, we can use our voice. Unfortunately, a passionate post on Twitter or Facebook, as good as it feels, is not entered into legitimate consideration by anyone other than followers.

Megan is a senior studying social work.