Good Government Starts With Listening

The first and most important job of a Representative is to listen to people and understand their issues and problems.

Most politicians have talking points. They go on news shows and radio shows and expel their talking points onto the public.

Instead of talking points, what if they had listening points?

What would it be like if candidates for office asked for input on issues rather than tried to sell their platform? A government by the people is effective precisely because people understand their problems best. They experience issues every single day. Doctors and patients come in contact with a broken healthcare system daily. Teachers and students grapple with shortfalls in the education system every day. Who better than the people, to inform our public servants on issues?

Only with support from the people can a public servant craft good policy.

Actions speak louder than words, so let’s get to work!

My First Three Listening Points

1) The Economy

It’s no secret the economy could be better on many fronts. Overall growth is sluggish, and the benefits of economic growth are going disproportionately toward very rich individuals. The financial crisis destroyed pensions and blew up the national debt. The cost of college and housing continues to rise, and many Americans find themselves unable to make ends meet. We can do better!

Tell us what you think about the economy. What was your experience during the financial crisis of 2008? How has your work life changed since then? What have politicians done poorly? What would you like to have seen? What do you think about our current tax system? How can it be better? What is your experience with jobs? Do you feel prepared for retirement?

2) Education

When you fix education you prevent crime, economic trouble, environmental damage, and a host of other issues. Education has the potential to help us make the greatest strides, but we’ve seen it fail to produce those results for decades now. Meanwhile, prices of education continue to rise. We can do better!

Help us understand. How was your experience in the education system and learning outside the education system? Where has your education failed you? How do you believe education can be improved in our country? What are the most important things to teach these days? Do you feel that education is accessible and affordable? Are you burdened by the cost of education, and how do you feel about your job prospects?

If you’re a teacher or a student we would love to talk to you about this issue.

3) Healthcare

Healthcare is critical. It’s the single most important issue for many Americans, and the system is failing us. With an aging population, healthcare costs rising, and millions of people still uninsured, or at risk of losing their insurance, we face an incredibly complex challenge.

We want to understand it from all angles. If you’re a doctor or nurse, tell us about your experience from your standpoint. Where can the medical system be improved? If you work in health insurance, what’s been going on since Obamacare came into play? Are things better, worse, different? Tell us about it. If you’re a patient or the caretaker of a loved one, share your story with us. How can our healthcare system be better?

More Issues…

These are three issues that consistently affect all American lives, but there is much more that we need to be listening to.

What other issues should I be focusing on? What problems do you face in your community? How have politicians failed you? How has our government faltered and where can we do better?

How to talk to us about your experience

We want to listen to as many people as possible on these issues and more over the course of our campaign. Here’s how to engage in that conversation with us:

  1. On Twitter @IdeasAndAction
  2. On the “Listening First” form on our website:
  3. Email or call us directly: | (516) 945–9951
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.