By Jim Sacia
As we totally immerse ourselves into another legislative session, I need to “clear the air” on several issues that have come to my attention.
More and more of you contact me by e-mail. Every one that I receive at firstname.lastname@example.org first goes to Sally, my legislative aide. Sally gets rid of the Viagra ads, off-colored jokes, the hate mail, and prints every other e-mail for me.
Yes, I personally read and respond to every one. Fault me for killing trees, but it’s a very efficient system for Sally and me, realizing that we receive over 100 per day in many cases. I just received an e-mail from an angry person stating I didn’t respond, but rather Sally did. E-mails from Sally’s computer are identified as coming from Sally, but the response is from me.
I never send a form letter to you unless that is what we received from you. Often, on significant issues, we will receive upwards of 1,000 identical letters or e-mails. You will receive a similar response.
Bottom line, every one of you who contact me personally hears from me personally. Much like your phone calls to me, you will receive my personal call. It may take several weeks, but I always respond. Be patient. I am writing this Saturday at 2 p.m., and I have been responding to e-mails since 5 a.m. (I write my response, and Sally sends it out the next business day.)
In fairness, there are three of you to whom I will no longer respond. You know who you are, and you certainly know why.
Sally always tries to help you when you call or e-mail. Some of you are insistent about talking only to me. That’s fine, but if it’s a liaison issue or a matter involving a state issue, Sally has daily contact with all of our state agencies, and she is very good at it. You finally get me after several days or weeks. I listen carefully, then must tell you, “I’m going to put Sally back on the line.” Let her know your issue when you call in, as it truly may speed up the process.
For what it’s worth, I never read the blogs. I understand there are cheap shots at me from time to time. You are wasting your time if you are hoping I’ll see them.
Any time someone sends a form letter without signing their name, it isn’t worth the time it would take to read it, and that’s obviously why newspapers publicize no letters without identifiers. Blogs mystify me; why would anyone publish them?
Never forget, the purpose of my office is to be responsive to you and to advocate on your behalf. There are times when we philosophically disagree. Issues such as the death penalty, my pro-life stance, my support of the Second Amendment and concealed carry are issues that have formulated my strong commitment based on life experience.
I have always mentioned it’s acceptable to disagree, but not to be disagreeable. I try hard to live up to that.
As always, you can reach me, Sally or Barb at (815) 232-0774 or e-mail us at email@example.com. You can also visit my website at www.jimsacia.com. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you.
Jim Sacia (R) is the state representative for the 89th District in Illinois.
From the April 20-26, 2011 issue