Mix It Up on January 25
Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 12:21PM
Karen Rugg in Blood Boilers, Inspire, bipartisan, state of the union, udall

Senator Mark Udall (Colorado) has circulated a letter to his colleagues in Congress asking Members to put aside their party labels during the State of the Union and sit amongst each other instead of on opposite sides of the hall.

When I watched the State of the Union in January 2010, I couldn't listen to Obama's words. All I could focus on was how petty and infuriating and mean and juvenile it looked for one party to sit while the other stood. And the other sat while the other stood. And the only bright moments were when, once in a while, a few Republicans would applaud, in spite of themselves. Or vice versa.

I was seething by the end of the address. How much it must have hurt Obama's heart to see that continue.

I think that Udall knows what a difference it would make to the country to see their representatives sitting together. To find it harder to pick out the things that separate us.

What a gesture ... what a "I can be better" ... what an uplifting ... moment that would be.

Udall's letter has to get signatures on both sides of Congress to have "any traction," as we say inside the Beltway. With Boehner's lame "they can sit wherever they want to sit," I don't know if it will happen. Even if it doesn't, the idea and the goal have been planted.

If you read this in time, please write to your federal elected officials and ask them to sign on to Senator Udall's letter that urges bipartisan seating during the State of the Union on January 25. Through one of my former clients, the Afterschool Alliance, you can easily find your officials and send them emails. Go to their Web site, enter your zip code in the "Contact Congress" box at the middle right of the page and your three (2 senators, one House member) will come up. Click on "Email" and then select "Compose Your Own Letter." Write the letter and provide the info the form asks for. Submit and then repeat for your other two elected officials. At the end of your letter, it's always good to thank the Member for their service.

If seeing that disheartening sight every year has started to get you down, too, please write.

This would be a welcome change that we could all celebrate.

And thank you, Senator Udall, for your service.

(Here's a link to his blog entry on the letter, which gives the entire text and an up-to-date list of Members who have so far signed on. It will really come down to leadership, so if you are a constituent of Majority Leader Reid, Speaker Boehner, Minority Leaders McConnell and Pelosi, please write to them in particular. Even if you're not a constituent, go ahead and see if you can contact them.)


Article originally appeared on Karen Rugg Blog and Music (http://www.karenrugg.com/).
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