I was with the group who visited Sen. Jim Risch’s office on Jan. 31 to present a letter urging him to reject the Betsy DeVos appointment. We were surprised when they refused to see us because less than an hour before, we were welcomed at Sen. Mike Crapo’s office. By the time we arrived at Risch’s office we had diminished from about 40 people to about 25. It was evident that the staff at Risch’s office was not practiced at actually dealing with average citizens. The two staffers who finally met with some of us seemed uncomfortable and, to be blunt, a little tone-deaf to our thoughtfully articulated concerns.
In contrast, Crapo’s communications director, Lindsay Nothern, graciously led us into a conference room and listened attentively while we aired our concerns. I doubt our orderly group felt like much of a threat even at that size, but Nothern is a professional. Crapo’s office clearly understands its job is to serve its constituents and to listen to them. When we left Crapo’s office I felt that we had accomplished a useful exchange of ideas, whereas I left Risch’s office with a bad taste in my mouth.
Mary Donato, Boise