As a representative of the organization to which I belong, I make regular trips to Washington, D.C., to lobby our elected officials on bills that are before Congress.
I always know in advance when the Washington trip will be, and I make specific appointments to meet with our congressmen and legislators.
I arrive at the office of my representative at the appointed time, after having traveled to Washington, and then gone through the vigorous security checks. In almost every appointment that was made weeks ahead, the congressman was not there and instead I met with his legislative aide. The aides are in their early 20s and only minimally versed on the topics that I am there for.
In six trips to Washington, I have not met my congressman, Brian Higgins, even one time. The same with Louise Slaughter, Eliot Engel and several others that I had appointments with. The only congressman who took the time to meet with me, discuss the bill in person, listen to what I had to say and then actually changed his vote was Chris Collins.
Despite the media portrayal of him as aloof, I found him to be warm, interested and knowledgeable.
I would rate Collins Western New York’s best congressional representative, and hope the voters of NY-27 re-elect him to Congress.
Roy DeFrancis, DPM