[r79] In Lehman's Terms: Wrapping Up (5/10/2010)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Start Date: 5/10/2010 All Day
End Date: 5/10/2010
This Grand Experiment

Procrastination - the act of procrastinating; putting off or delaying or deferring an action to a later time. The word comes from the Latin word procrastinatus: pro- (forward) and crastinus (of tomorrow). 

For some time now I have been working on my Lehman's summary of the 2010 General Assembly session.  We ended in March and it is now May.  My statehouse media liaison, Laura Finch, has been politely nudging me towards a deadline.  It hit me last week as I walked home from voting in the primary election.  The issues that I was going to write about - unemployment, school funding, tax caps, etc. - are all very important issues. But there is one even greater: us.  It is who we are as a state.  It is who we are as a nation. 

As I've traveled around the district I've found many angry and discouraged people: people who don't feel that their voices are being heard. It is time that we, as elected officials, take our obligations seriously. We are sent to our respective chambers to discuss debate and decide on the issues that face us as Hoosiers as well as all of us as Americans. 

It is time to remember who we are and why we are here.  It is not about us, it is about you. We, as representatives, serve the people, not the other way around.    I truly am humbled every time I have the privilege to walk through those large Indiana native oak doors and walk though the marble and limestone hallways.  I am humbled every time I have the opportunity to represent my district by pressing the voting button. I think that what people want more than anything else is to know that democracy works, and that they can trust our leaders.  They want statesmen, not politicians. They want men and women who serve because they want to make a difference.  I am trying to be that servant.

However, one of the most frustrating feelings for an elected official is to hear nothing but silence from back in their district. I have held over a dozen town hall meetings since I became a representative, and most times only a handful of people turn out to tell me what they think. The great Edmund Burke once said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."  It is time for good men and women to step up and get involved. If you think the government is out of touch- get in touch! Talk to your elected officials, attend a town hall, call my office, or visit the Statehouse for a day. We may not always agree or even see eye to eye on an issue.  But one thing I will promise: I will always listen.

As I walked home last week from participating in this grand experiment that we call government, I had a lot of thoughts rolling around in my noggin. The final verdict was this: no matter what your feelings towards our government, democracy is still the greatest institution on earth.  No matter how frustrated you may be, remember that we have the ability to elect our leaders. We have the ability to directly affect change.

Once again, thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you in the Indiana General Assembly.  Enjoy your summer and don't be afraid to call my office for assistance. Sometimes the response may take some time because we have to contact other state departments and we are then at the mercy of their schedule. Or, the issue may be a local or federal one, in which case we can provide contact information for you to continue your quest for information.  Whatever it is, we will move to answer your questions as quickly and as thoroughly as possible.

Keeping things in Lehman's terms,

Rep. Matt Lehman