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February 17, 2009 3:37 am

Legislators need to hear our voices

Written by Tribune Staff

As the 2009 Wyoming Legislature nears the home stretch, it is clear that Wyoming citizens have a unique relationship with their legislators and other elected officials.

Wyoming, with its meager population, affords its residents an excellent opportunity to connect with the people making laws in ways others can't. Many of us know our legislators personally: They're old family friends, they worship at the same church, they live in the neighborhood. Even those who don't have personal relationships with a legislator can call or e-mail their senator or representative with the confidence that the message almost certainly will be returned.

And while we may not agree with the outcome of certain decisions in Cheyenne, it's important to know that our lawmakers do listen to and consider the views of their constituents. Legislators know they are likely to hear from both sides on an issue — both before and after the votes are counted — and it makes them all the more accountable for their choices.

More than in most states, Wyoming offers democracy in its purest form — truly “of the people, by the people, for the people.”

It's a privilege and an opportunity more people should take advantage of.