By Brian Bearden
ALLEN, TEXAS – A full house gathered around the lunch table in Mimi’s Cafe on Wednesday to hear about what their local representative was doing in Washington, D.C.
While many in Congress race to get in front of TV cameras, Congressman Sam Johnson has his staff focus on what’s important to the people back home around the Plano office. Gabriella Pate of the Friends of Sam Johnson told the Collin County Lincoln Society what services were available from the Congressman’s office.
Pate made several suggestions if you want to get your message to your Congressional representative:
* Before your appointment with the Congressman, reach a consensus on your targeted issue
* Carefully research your issue
* Keep your group small (3-4) and designate a spokesperson
* Present your position in writing to the Congressman’s staff as a reminder of your stand on your issue so that the representative knows your key points
* Follow-up by setting a legislative liaison with your group and the staff member handling your issue. This will help you work directly with the Congressman’s office
Sam Johnson serves the Third District of Texas, which covers much of Collin County including all or part of the cities of Allen, Anna, Blue Ridge, Dallas (Collin County), Fairview, Frisco, Lavon, Lowry Crossing, Lucas, McKinney, Melissa, Murphy, New Hope, Parker, Plano, Princeton, Prosper, Richardson, St. Paul, Wylie, and portions of unincorporated land in Collin County. The Plano office is situated in Suite 170 at 1255 West 15th Street.
Pate, a Texas Tech grad with roots in Albuquerque, N.M., she earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in English and Political Science. While in college, Pate interned in the Washington, D.C. office of Congresswoman Heather Wilson who represented New Mexico’s 1st District from 1998-2009. Pate also worked in the office of the Lubbock, Texas, mayor while at Texas Tech.
After pursuing graduate studies at SMU, Pate began her career working in the District Office of Sam Johnson as a staff assistant. She became Constituent Services Coordinator for the office, where she assisted in managing Federal casework and community outreach for the office before being promoted again to her current leadership position with the Friends of Sam Johnson.
Pate said Congressman Johnson and staff can help with:
Veterans Affairs (VA)
Going to Washington D.C., and want a tour? Ask the Congressman’s office for tickets. https://samjohnson.house.gov/webforms/tourrequest/
Tour tickets from the Congressman are all free and are distributed while available on a first come, first served basis. For White House tours, the number of tickets requested can not be increased once the request for tickets is made due to White House tour policy. All requests for White House tours must be submitted no less than four weeks out from the desired tour date. Tours are also available to Mount Vernon, the Library of Congress and the Capitol.
Johnson’s office in Washington D.C., is at 2304 Rayburn HOB. 202-225-4201. The Legislative office or “shop” as the staff calls it handles correspondence with voters back in Collin County, plus “flag requests.”
Pate said Congressman Johnson has much of his time focused on tax reform.
Did you know? “Top Gun” Sam Johnson was elected to represent District 66 in the Texas State House of Representatives in 1984.
Quick links for Constituent Services
March schedule change: The Collin County Lincoln Society meets next on the third Wednesday of March after Spring Break at Mimi’s Cafe on McDermott in Allen, Texas. … Regular meetings will return to the Second Wednesday of the month in April 2015.
Notable: Congressman Allen West will be in Richardson at the Canyon Creek Baptist at 7 p.m. Thursday at 2800 Custer Parkway. …
The Lincoln Day Dinner and Silent Auction will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21 at the Plano Centre, 1800 Spring Creek Parkway. Dinner: 7:15 p.m. Speakers for the Lincoln Day Dinner will be Congressman Will Hurd, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Vice Chair Amy Clark.
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