See also: Government

There are lots of ways to make you voice heard. One of the ways is to influence your Congresscritter. Now that the SupremeCourt has ruled on Eldred v. Ashcroft, the best way to get Copyright Law reform is to get congress to change the Sonny Bono act.

If you’re in America, you’ve got two senators and one representative. Find ’em here:

Once you’ve found yours, give the local office a call. You -don’t- want to talk to the congressperson. You will want to ask for the “staffer who handles ‘technology and the internet'”. This person may be in DC. The staffer is the person who helps shape the ideas of the congressperson.

When you reach that person, introduce yourself. Get to know them. Tell them about your background and interest and offer to help them with any technology issues. Ask for their direct line and their e-mail address. Become their buddy.

Keep in regular contact with this person. You should be regular enough that they recognise you. Give them a call once a month, and/or send them interesting e-mails or webpage urls every two weeks. Ping them whenever you hear about a technology issue in the news. Try to give them good ‘technical’ advice. Let them know your position. You’re the IT expert and the staffer will appreciate your input because it makes their job easier.

Here’s a thought: invite your congresscritter (through the staffer) to your User Group Meeting. Give him a certificate of appreciation, and take a picture of him at the meeting and put it on your website. Politicians love stuff like that. Meanwhile, your voice will be taken more seriously. As the staffers are exposed to more and more voices, the message will filter to the bosses, the parties will eventually realize that this issue is important, they’ll work the media, the media will tell Joe and Jane Sixpack that this is important, and PRESTO, Bono is history. At least that’s how the political process is supposed to work in theory.

Remember, Disney may have dollars, but you (and your friends) represent local votes. House members are elected every two years, and elections are sometimes decided by small margins. Your vote does matter and your constituent voice will be heard.

Congratulations, you’re a citizen lobbiest! Sadly, you don’t get an expense account…

TakeDown.NET -> “Congress