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Voices Question

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Public Employees: Do you think it is important for public employees to contact their elected officials about funding for public services? Why or why not?

Comments: 96

Yes I do. Public employees are both taxpayers and consumers. We generally have more direct knowledge of public works: more than elected officials and more than taxpayers who are not public employees. In short, our opinions or insights can be more informed because this is our work.

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Edward Fludd
Maryland Professional Employees Council
Montgomery Village, MD

If we do nothing, the corporations win and we will lose everything that workers throughout history have fought hard for, and America will lose services that people take for granted and depend on. So young and old need to fight back for the America we all want and what the rest of the world's workers deserve.

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William Glover
Kansas State University Employees Association
Manhattan, KS

ABSOLUTELY! As citizens and taxpayers we have an interest in ensuring that critical services are provided to meet the ever-changing needs of the public. Decision-makers also need to hear from public employees - the very same people who provide those services - about the most cost-effective and efficient ways to deliver those services. Public employee unions and their members play a vital leadership role, working with our partners in progressive coalitions, to ensure that the voice of the working class and lower-income, vulnerable groups is heard as a counterbalance to corporations and the wealthy.

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Michael Tracy-Ireland
Public Employees Federation
Schenectady, NY

Yes, I do. Public employees know best where the money should go and why. Without that knowledge elected officials could inadvertently be swayed by others (called lobbyists) and make mistakes. I feel it is part of the responsibility, to taxpayers and their own reason for pubic service, of each employee to speak up and share their expertise.

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Jane Leatherman Van Praag
Bartlett, TX

Public employees are on the front lines providing state services and are the eyes and ears of their elected officials. Elected officials should hear from all of their constituents.

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Robert Greenwood
Kansas Organization of State Employees
Coffeyville, KS

Sometimes. It depends on how well we understand the issue and how it relates to the big picture. It's important to pick your battles.

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Marissa Weiss
Providence, RI

Yes. I believe that employees who work in the public sector should contact their elected officials to tell them that they should vote for funding for public services. I always thought that is a part of government, to approve funding for services to the public. Too much of the time, these same elected officials are supporting legislation that benefits the rich and does nothing for the middle and lower classes of our population.

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Earl Huston
ifpe local 4408
Hillsboro, IL

These elected officials represent us. Their decisions should represent where we believe our money and our interest should go. A good portion of the time, their votes will impact our future, and our family's future.

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Michael McCaughey
Local4700Mt Federation of State Prison Employees.
Butte, MT

It's vitally important to raise this concern with an elected official. How else will they know that there is a problem that needs addressing. Elected officials are not all knowing. It's up to the individual to share the concern and give voice to the matter.

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Maddie Shannon-Roberts
PEF 4053
Albany, NY

No brainer.

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James Carlisle
Local 4053
Conesus, NY

It is imperative that public employees make their voices heard to their elected officials. Who better to know what the impact on services to the public are or will be than those who provide them?

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Terry Reed
IFT
Springfield, IL

I think it is very important that public employees have as much input as possible. They are on the front line all the time. They can give you direct areas of improvement and safety.

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FRED TESTER
Dover Plains, NY

It's a means to influence things for the better.

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George Mata
Public Employee Federation
Albany, NY

Public employees, more than anyone, know the benefits and problems related to those public services in which they work. They as citizens are also the benefactors of those services when they operate as expected. To support the common good, they should contact public officials when they are aware of services which support the common good and or need support in their communities.

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Evelyn Foreman
Detroit Federation of Teachers
Detroit, MI

If public employees don't provide justification for the continuation of funding public services, we are hurting ourselves. It's not "featherbedding." It makes sense to promote public access to all the vital services a city, state and county has available & to keep them operating!

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Peter Lamprakos
Perth Amboy Federation
Edison, NJ

No, because as a single voice, no one listens.

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Joseph Allen
4035
hauppauge, NY

As public servants we have a duty to the taxpayers to provide them with the maximum bang for the buck. If management has no idea how to do this, then we as union members need to contact our elected officials and make our voices heard! Paying mileage for Training and Meetings outside of the local offices is crazy and wasteful in this time of high technology. Mileage and or car rentals is extremely wasteful! It needs to stop. Too many chiefs and not enough indians also makes no sense but is very common throught the state.

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Lisa Lindsey
PEF
Syracuse, NY

I do think it is important for public employees to contact their elected officials about funding for public services and more. We are their constituents and their job is to listen to us and get our votes. Maybe it's just a numbers game, but we should play it.

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Corrine Fortune
PSA
Providence, RI

Of course. When in the hiring process did public employees give up their rights as citizens?

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John Grzywacz-Gray
aft1835
Simi Valley, CA

Yes, it lets our elected officials know that there are concerned citizens advocating for the rights and best interests of our society and the people in it.

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cheryl herzog
mattydale, NY

I think that it is extremely important for public employees to contact elected officials about funding for public services, as well as to enlighten elected officials regarding other important issues related to public services and the operation of public agencies. It is incontrovertible that public employees have firsthand knowledge of both the operation of the public agencies where they work and a bird's-eye view of the impact that funding--either adequate or inadequate--has on the operations of those public agencies, which are ostensibly established to serve the needs of the citizenry.

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Stanley Lemel
Dobbs Ferry, NY

Of course, because the public employee can describe from his/her experience what is needed, what happens when funds are cut, how money could be better spent. The employee viewpoint is crucial to budget decisions; it is the real world knowledge and experience that elected officials need to hear.

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Christine Pedreschi
Christine Pedreschi
Endwell, NY

Certainly, we should use our right to contact elected officials. We should tell them to be prudent with how taxpayer money is spent. Certainly, as a taxpayer, I am concerned about the waste of money in government. Hard choices need to be made. Total transparency is necessary to know where money is going, and if it is being spent with good result. Unfunded governmental mandates need to be addressed.

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Ron Tunison
PEF New York State
Horseheads, NY

Yes. Elected officials are there because of the voters. They will listen when significant numbers of constituents contact them about important issues.

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Rob Bower
PSA@RIC Local 3302
Hope, RI

Public employees must first vote out the incumbent politicians--then contact the newly elected politicians to voice concerns about current and planned funding. Our reprsentaives must learn to live within reasonable budgets that include reasonable public funding as an integral part.

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C Moeske
PEF
Castleton, NY

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