Jan. 31, along with several dozen folks — both Democrats and Republicans — I visited the Boise offices of Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch.
Crapo’s office door was wide-open, we were welcomed in, and Crapo’s staff member spoke with us for about 40 minutes. He listened, took notes, asked questions, and we left feeling that we had been heard.
In contrast, Risch’s office door was locked, with a sign stating that nobody would be seen without an appointment. The staff seemed unhappy to see us. After some confusion, our group was allowed in. The woman who met with us seemed on edge and defensive. She listened briefly to our concerns, responded with what felt like canned statements and then ushered us out — no questions, no discussion — and the door locked again behind us. We left feeling unwelcome, unwanted and unheard.
It is imperative that our senators make themselves available — even when we disagree. It’s important that they respectfully and honestly hear us out. That’s the way democracy works.
Thanks to Crapo’s staff for their warm reception today. I hope Risch’s office will follow suit. Now, more than ever, I need my senators to advocate for me in Washington.
Janene Thomas, Boise