Issue: The key to a functional democracy is participation by the public. This is not achieved solely in the form of voting, but by civic engagement and the opportunity to interact with one’s representative. Unfortunately, we are living in a time where townhalls and constituent interaction in the district have become less common. This may play a large part as to why the current approval rating of Congress is only 13%.
And if there are townhalls, we can expect that many of them aren’t truly as “open” as we would like. Most upsetting however, is that time and time again we learn of fundraisers where a Member of Congress will attend, with tickets in the hundreds or thousands of dollars. We the people, who elected our representatives, deserve to have more interaction and accessibility to our Members of Congress, so that they can learn about the struggles we face and our opinions on policies, so that they can adequately represent us in Washington.
Proposal: While I know that in the world of politics, many have become disillusioned with campaign “promises”, I’d like to make an unequivocal pledge. As a student my whole life, I yearn to continually educate myself on all matters and I am eager to learn from all perspectives. I admit that I don’t have all the answers. That is why I want to work with you all so that we can collectively tackle the pressing issues of today. This is a team effort.
I pledge to you all, that beginning on January 3, 2019, if I am honored to have the most sacred privilege of representing the people of San Francisco, that I will spend every weekend in the district. At the close of business on Friday in Washington, I will take a red-eye flight (with my own salary and not on the taxpayer dime through the Members Representational Allowance) to SFO to spend all day Saturday and Sunday with my fellow San Franciscans.
I will hold open meeting town halls every weekend, with questions taken directly from the audience at community centers, public schools, and libraries. I’d also like to begin an educational program, called “This Week in Congress with Ryan” - where I would go through all legislation that was proposed that week and all votes that took place that week, to ask for your thoughts and opinions. Furthermore, I hope to create facebook polling before a vote, so that I know exactly where you all stand before I vote “Yea or Nay.”
We’re all in this together. We need to restore trust in our government, after all, the Constitution refers to these roles as an “Office of Public Trust.” I look forward to learning from and working with you all so that we can restore trust in our institutions and bring Congress back to the people.
If you happen to disagree with any of our proposed policies, or have any ideas on how to strengthen our platform, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan A. Khojasteh