I happen to live in Arizonas 5th district; and am currently represented by Harry Mitchell.
Representative Harry Mitchell and I disagree about a lot of things. Abortion, social security and government health care, school choice and education policy, many economic issues, government intervention and regulations in general, and the overall wisdom of his party leadership and the DNC...
However, I have to give the man credit, he has generally been good on energy policy, and on guns since he came to congress (as a local politician his record on guns was mixed). He was also against the auto industry bailout, against TARP, and especially against the unconstitutional TARP bonus tax. He's even reasonable on national security issues, and veterans affairs.
I believe he has ably represented the interests of his district within the congress; and bucked the leadership when he thought it was best for the district (if perhaps not bucking them enough outside of issues of direct interest to the district).
Today, he voted against his leadership, choosing to vote for the greater good of Arizona, and of the nation, against the Waxman cap and trade bill.
Last week, and again this morning, I urged congressman Mitchell by telephone to both his offices, and by email to vote against the bill; as it was against the interest of both the district, and the nation. This evening, having found out how he voted, and reading his statement on the issue, I called to thank him.
We may disagree with our elected representatives, we may have voted for the other guy, we may think they are the wrong person to be in that chair; but once they are there, they are OUR representatives. The peoples representatives.
Letting them know how you feel about something, how important it is to you, what benefit or harm it will do you personally; it works. It may not seem so much of the time, but most congressmen really do care about what the people of their districts think; if for no other reason that it improves their chances for reelection.
So participate. Let them know. After all, it can't hurt; and it just might make a difference.