Monday, October 02, 2006

Kucinich: A Politician Who Cares About Issues

(Caveat: This isn't really an urban planning entry, but I thought it worth mentioning).

As you may know, policitians are in the habit of sending follow-up letters to constituents who contact their offices. If you doubt me, go ahead and call up your Congressional rep with some concern X and wait about six months. Trust me, you'll get a letter thanking you for contacting them about X (whatever X may be).

A few months ago, I tried to arrange an interview with Dennis Kucinich, the rep for my district. Sadly, his staff was not able to arrange a time for us to meet. They (the staff) assured me, nonetheless, that Kucinich did indeed want to meet with me and was eager to talk about the interview subject (his 1977-1999 mayoralty of Cleveland). "Ah well," I figured, "at least he still cares about the subject, even if he's too busy for an interview."

I figured that was it. Apparently, however, Kucinich's staff stuck my name on a list for follow-up letters. Though I'm used to getting such letters, his is beyond the pale. Rather than make any (even oblique) mention of the subject of my original communication, his form letter conveniently omits any possible reference to actual subject material. It reads like something out of Kafka. I'll let the letter speak for itself:

I'm tempted to send a reply, but what would I say? How about:

Dear Congressional Representative:

Thank you for your communication. I am happy that issues and events are indeed important to you. I look forward to communicating with you in the future about events, and possibly discuss this in more depth. We could even address that, if you have the time.


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