The story about how I got this guest post actually begins years ago. It was four years ago to be exact that a smart and confident young lady answered my email when I began searching for Nanny #2 on Sitter City. Although she had little experience with babies outside of her own family, I had no doubt that she knew what she was doing. Darling 1 was 8 months old and very attached to me. Annie was undeterred when he wailed nonstop for the first few times she came to nanny.
Over time, Darling 1 grew to love her. It was due to Annie's athleticism and smarts that Darling 1 learned to throw a ball so well as a tiny tot. Once, early in my pregnancy with Darling 2 on a day that Annie was there and I was quite ill, I awoke from a nap to find a note saying that Annie and Darling 1 had gone to her parents' house to play where her mother, a music therapist, had a studio filled with musical instruments, just so I would have a quiet house. One Christmas, when I was swamped with a work deadline and running behind in my gift buying, Annie and Darling 1 went shopping for me, armed with a wad of cash and a detailed list.
Annie was always dependable, responsible, fun and chatty. As we got to know Annie, we also got to know and love her whole family because to know Annie is to know her family. It's certainly not difficult to see where Annie gets her intelligence, charm and confidence. I now communicate with her mother more often than I do with Annie.
After 1.5 years of nannying, I knew I had lost Annie forever after she returned from an internship in Washington, D.C. I was not surprised that this young woman with so much passion, business savvy and energy had fallen for such a city. Annie is a person who will go far and do much in her life. Even though we part ways when it comes to politics, I would vote for her if she ever ran for any office.
After graduating from college, Annie, now known by her full, more formal name, Anne Marie, moved to D.C. and quickly landed a job on Capitol Hill. Anne Marie is now the Press Secretary for U.S. Representative Erik Paulsen (R-MN). Rep. Paulsen, in his second term, represents Minnesota's Third Congressional District, comprising the western suburbs of Minneapolis. When Annie heard that I was doing this post series on elected officials and constituency services she talked to Rep. Paulsen about writing a guest post for Motherly Law. And here it is:
The Guest Post
Connecting with Congress—An Inside Guide to Constituent Services
by Congressman Erik Paulsen (MN-03)
As a Member of Congress my priority is to provide the best representation and strongest constituent service possible. I have a plaque that sits on my desk that says “listen, learn, serve, lead.” And I truly believe this is the best way to approach my job. Listening to the families in my district is the primary way I learn about what is truly important to you and our community.
In this day and age there are so many ways to connect. I’ve made it a priority to use every medium of technology I can get my hands on to keep a dialogue going with families in the Twin Cities suburbs. The easiest way to contact me is by calling my Minnesota or D.C. office. I’ve also been known to use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, email newsletters, and telephone town hall meetings to stay in touch with the families in my district.
There are a number of reasons to get in touch with your elected representatives: you may want to inform us about legislation that will affect your family or business, you may want to tell us where you stand on issues currently being debated in Congress, you may be visiting Washington, D.C. or you may need help cutting through government red tape. In all of these cases, my staff and I will do whatever we can to assist you.
If you visit my website you will see the “Constituent Services” tab is the most prominent section of the site, and for good reason. As a Member of Congress, my staff and I can help with a variety of items including nominations to U.S. Service Academies, booking tours for various Washington, D.C. attractions, procuring flags that have flown over the Capitol, Congressional internships for students, and acting as a liaison between you and a federal agency. I have an all-star Constituent Services team that’s always ready and willing to help. For more information about how my office can help you, please click here.
Remember as your elected representatives we are here for you. If you are in the Third District of Minnesota, I’d love to hear from you so please keep in touch. If you are outside of my district I encourage you to visit the U.S. House of Representatives website to find your Member of Congress.
Thanks to Rep. Paulsen and Ms. Malecha for the guest post. On Wednesday, I'll be writing about contacting lawmakers and my experiences with that at both the state and federal levels. I'll also be providing tips and resources regarding who, when and how to contact if you have an issue that you would like to discuss with a legislator. Over and out...
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