AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
New Mexico's legislators have opened their special session. Gov. Gary Johnson has unveiled his plan for private-school vouchers. A legion of lobbyists has landed.
All that's missing is you.
For reforms as contentious and controversial as the public-school debate portends, the voice of the public is more sorely needed than ever.
You could travel to the Roundhouse to exercise that voice, but beware: Special sessions can achieve warp speed, and your legislator may resemble a blur.
Even worse, because of an office shuffle between the Roundhouse and the state library next door, legislators who aren't in leadership positions won't have any office staff, may not have a personal office and won't be able to receive incoming calls (outgoing calls, however, will still be feasible).
You can go in person and knock on your legislator's office door, but your best bet may be to visit the first-floor office of the legislator's respective leader and ask for help. An even better bet: convey your thoughts in a letter, an e-mail or a telephone message.
Sure, it will take work. But that's what living in a democracy is all about.
Here's how to be heard amid the chaos.
GET IN TOUCH
* Call legislators via the Roundhouse switchboard at (505) 986-4300. Ask for the legislator you're trying to reach and you will be routed to the office of the Democratic or Republican leader of the proper chamber. Staffers will run your message to the legislator you're calling. The switchboard will be in operation from 7 a.m.to 11 p.m. each day of the session.
* To reach legislative leaders directly, dial (505) 986-4 plus the three-digit extension listed for each.
* Send faxes to (505) 986-4610.
* Send mail to your legislator in care of the State Capitol, Legislative Council Service, Santa Fe, NM 87503.
* If your legislator doesn't have an e-mail address, you can still send an electronic message by addressing it to either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, andit will be delivered to the recipient.
Senate President Manny M. Aragon
Democrat, District 14