CONGRESSMAN JIM SENSENBRENNER - PROUDLY SERVING WISCONSIN‘S 5TH DISTRICT

Jim's Column

Answering Your Social Media Questions

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Washington, March 9, 2017 | comments
Since I was elected to Congress, I have been accessible to my constituents through a variety of mediums. I hold more than 100 in-person town hall meetings and office hours annually. My Brookfield and Washington, D.C. staff field many calls each day, and every constituent who would like individual responses to specific questions submitted by phone, email, or standard mail receive one in a timely manner.

Lively conversations also occur on my social media accounts, which are monitored each day. Questions, comments, and opinions are passed along to me and I take them into account as I review and introduce legislation. Although I don’t respond directly on social media, it’s important for my constituents to know that I see their post.

In that spirit, I have compiled a sample of posts from the past few weeks and addressed them below. Thank you to every constituent who takes the time to contact my office and/or speak to me directly at any of my many town hall meetings and office hour events. I look forward to continued discussions on important legislation and issues that affect the people of our communities and our nation.


“@JimPressOffice but you cannot call Sensenbrenner. Constituents cannot reach him.”
Posted on Twitter March 6, 2017 

My Brookfield and Washington, D.C. staffs answer phone calls from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday. Maybe I’m “old school,” but I want constituents to speak to a live person when they reach out to my offices. In fact, we do not utilize a voicemail system for this very reason. I think a two-way dialogue is a much more effective way to communicate. Sometimes all of the incoming lines are busy and a caller might hear a busy signal. When this happens, I encourage you to hang up and try again.

Additionally, I am easily accessible by email and standard mail, as well as my many in-person town hall meetings. Or, you are always welcome to visit my Brookfield office to leave your comments.

“Could you hold the majority of your meetings after working hours so that more people can attend?” 

Posted on Facebook March 3, 2017 

The majority of town hall meetings are held on Saturday and Sundays – often two on Saturdays at 9am and 1pm, and one on Sunday at 1pm. On occasion, such as this upcoming week, I will also host a town hall meeting on a Monday night at 7pm (March 13 in Wauwatosa.)

In addition to town hall meetings, I hold public office hours. These are often on Fridays in smaller communities throughout the district. They provide constituents extra opportunities to speak with me directly if they are unable to make a town hall meeting in their area.

“You need to hold meetings in larger venues. Your constituents can’t get in.”
Posted on Twitter February 27, 2017

My town hall meeting schedule is often set months ahead of time, allowing for the meetings to be publicized and worked around my duties in Washington. We work with the U.S. Capitol Police and local law enforcement to determine the safest venues for all participants. All meetings are held in public buildings, and we defer to law enforcement to advise us about safety. Additionally, larger venues, such as middle schools or high schools, are not easily secured and are typically booked with student activities.

I also don’t believe that tax dollars should be expended to secure venues, so if a facility requires a fee, we will not schedule our meeting there. I’ve been doing these meetings for 38 years and our venues have been more than adequate for the most part. Given the new challenges we are experiencing with larger crowds, I think we are doing a good job of addressing all the factors that go into a location selection.

“I do appreciate you com[ing] out to listen, does it ever make you change your mind on policy matters?”

Posted on Facebook February 22, 2017 

I listen to different viewpoints from constituents and take them into consideration when voting for legislation. One recent and relevant example of this is my support for allowing individuals aged 26 and under to remain on their parents’ health insurance. Initially, I did not support this provision, but after hearing the personal stories of many of my constituents, I changed my position. 

When it comes to legislation I introduce, I know it is most effective to reach across the aisle and work with a Democratic colleague to ensure all ideas and solutions to problems are considered. The majority of the time, a piece of legislation cannot become law without bipartisan support, and I believe that’s the best way to legislate on behalf of my constituents and the American people.

“Please hold [town halls] more often.”
Posted on Facebook February 12, 2017

I hold more than 100 public meetings annually. In fact, I hold more in-person meetings than any Member of Congress. All my upcoming meetings are posted on my official website, and I encourage anyone who wishes to speak to me directly to attend any of my upcoming events.
 
“What’s the point in posting a statement on FB if you can’t be bothered to respond to comments?”
Posted on Facebook February 5, 2017 

Facebook, Twitter, and other social media avenues are a great way to share information, and quickly and efficiently inform my constituents about the work I’m doing on their behalf. However, I don’t believe it would be an effective use of taxpayer dollars for me to watch social media accounts all day, every day. 

That’s why members of my staff diligently monitor conversations and comments on my social media accounts and pass along productive comments and opinions. I encourage every constituent who wishes to receive a response from me to reach out by phone, email, or standard mail, or attend one of my many in-person town hall meetings and office hours. 

“Whitewater is not on the list [of town hall meetings], even though we are in your district. I guess our voice doesn’t matter.”

Posted on Facebook January 22, 2017 

The views and concerns of all my constituents matter, and I make it a point to visit communities in every part of my district. I will be hosting a town hall meeting in Whitewater in my upcoming round of meetings in April, and I have held various meetings in neighboring communities in order to provide a forum for constituents in that area of my district. 

In addition to my many in-person meetings, I am easily accessible by phone, email, and standard mail.
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