When a Lone Constituent Visits a Senator

Letter from Senator Susan Collins. Obviously outdated. Shame on the office staff that sent this out.

Friday, May 31st – I sat with Mark Winter, State Office Representative for Susan Collins. This is what I experienced.

Unlike multiple phone calls I’ve made I actually spoke with someone. And unlike many videos I’ve seen of constituents receiving poor treatment from staffers at differing offices of Senator Collins, I was treated with what appeared to be utmost respect.

Mark and I sat together talking openly and candidly for over 30 minutes. He read through my letter to Susan Collins. We discussed Homestead child detention facility in Florida and the deteriorating condition along our southern border. He assured me that Senator Collins was against family separations and child detentions. “It goes against everything she believes in,” he told me. I thanked him for that and then asked him what she has done or is doing to end it. He looked totally stumped. He was totally stumped. Because she has done nothing.

So we discussed something she could do if she felt so inclined to actually put her actions where her mouth is. I told him about two bills I was asking her to cosponsor, S397 the Shut Child Prison Camps Act and S388 Families Not Facilities Act. I also asked her to please visit Homestead child detention camp in Homestead, Florida. He looked the two bills up on his computer and we both noticed how one, Families Not Facilities Act, sponsored by Senator Kamila Harris, had a half dozen or so cosponsors, all Democrats and Independents. We discussed how that lack of bipartisanship needs to end. He agreed. He promised me he would include information on this bill to Senator Collins and that I, a constituent, was asking her to be the strong voice she is, reach across the aisle, and raise this bill up by cosponsoring it. He didn’t see why she couldn’t do that. I seriously doubt she will. Why? Because for years she has ignored the people of Maine and voted against our interests over and over again.

Mark told me that Senator Collins does not support a lot of what Trump does. Yet her voting record would reveal the exact opposite. So if what he said is true, why does she vote the way she does and why is she so silent on such important issues such as fascism taking over our country? I wonder.

He took notes the whole time I was there. He gave me kind eye contact. He shook my hand and assured me something would be done. I wanted to believe him. More than anything, I wanted to believe him. But I don’t.

Reach across all aisles. Call your legislators. Tell their office staff how you feel about the events occurring in our country today. Then they can’t say they don’t know how their constituents feel about issues.

In solidarity,

Mary

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