The Arizona Daily Independent reports on a scheme ostensibly devised to facilitate voters connecting with their legislators on pending legislation. It was sold to those on West Washington Street as having the additional benefit of freeing up legislative staffers from the grinding business of having to deal with answering the calls of those pesky constituents.
The ADI did the investigative work that reveals there is far more going on here than simply improving contact through an electronic system that works as a survey of public sentiment. The online newspaper names the schemers behind the system and details its deceptive practices.
The legislature’s own multi-faceted, direct system of communication remains in place. Any Arizona voters can contact their state House members or state Senator by clicking on these roster links. Their email addresses, office phone and Fax numbers —- along with each legislator’s bio, linked under their names—- are provided for ease of access. Toll-free numbers are even included for statewide constituents. For those who are unsure of their legislative district, this is the place to locate that information.
Do yourself a favor and read “AZVoices.gov is not what it appears to be.” Should you become aware of pending legislation you would like to share your views on, contact your legislator directly. Third party smoke screens and subterfuge are not how our system was intended to function.
We neglected to mention the Arizona Legislature’s own official page, which includes this Bill Status Inquiry and Request to Speak. It’s clear the Arizona Legislature is user-friendly and interested citizens don’t require intercession by or through any third party.