It’s Earth Day, time for Legislature to harness power of social media to communicate with constituents and save tax dollars, paper and ink-filled cartridges from landfills
In celebration of Earth Day, Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville), the driving force behind passage of Proposition 2 to allow digital copies of bills to suffice, today announced he has a new mission: save tax dollars and the environment by having the Legislature stop producing taxpayer-funded legislative mailers, known as “frank mail.”
Each year, Assembly members are given a budget of about $39,000 for legislative postage and printing – much of which goes to sending direct mailers that look similar to political campaign advertisements to thousands of constituents in each of the 150 Assembly Districts.
Tedisco has not sent a single bulk frank mail piece since 2010. The Legislature could save millions of dollars each year by following his lead.
“It’s time for the Legislature to stop the frank mail and send a tweet and meet in person to reach out to their constituents. I don’t use bulk mailers because I harness the power of social media to communicate directly with the people I’m fortunate enough to represent via Facebook, Twitter, email and through the web. Most importantly, I listen to constituents the old fashioned way – through personal contact at coffee shops, supermarkets, community events and meetings – which is a great way to talk with people who may not be on a computer,” said Tedisco.
“You can get feedback and have a conversation with people online and in person and hear their concerns, you can’t do that with a mailer,” said Tedisco.
“Now that the legislature has gone digital, it’s time lawmakers stop wasting money, paper and all the ink-filled cartridges on stuffing the mailboxes of millions of New Yorkers with taxpayer-funded direct mail propaganda that ends up in the circular file within seconds of opening,” said Tedisco.
“Some correspondence to constituents through the mail is appropriate and some of the frank mail has informational value but spending tens of thousands of tax dollars on slick, puff pieces that are virtually indistinguishable from campaign season election mail is a waste,” said Tedisco.
“Let’s keep Mother Earth smiling on the New York State Capitol by returning the frank mail to sender and going digital as fully as possible with our communications by using new social media combined with good old human contact,” said Tedisco.