Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Opening Doors in D.C.

Between the pundits, the politicians, the special interest groups, and shifting allegiances (Arlen Specter is going to be a Democrat?!), it's easy to feel like politics may be an arena that many of us are unwilling to negotiate.

However, from the economy to the environment to health care, issues directly affecting us all are being debated and decided in D.C. Of course, you can opt to just sit back and take what your lawmakers come up with, or you can take a more direct approach by sending emails or making phone calls to your representatives.

If you choose the latter, you can easily follow the progress of bills you care about, as well as the accuracy of statements made by politicians, by visiting and Project Vote Smart. FactCheck is a nonpartisan website that researches statements made by politicians and then verifies or dispels them based on the results. Project Vote Smart offers access to representatives' biographical information, voting records, positions on key issues, public statements, interest group ratings, and campaign finances. Visitors can also follow key votes at the national and state level.

Tracking down this type of unbiased information on your own can be daunting. These sites make it easy to learn, and speak out, about issues that matter to us most.

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