Lytton planning regular e-memos to update constituents on legislative business

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With the 2013 legislative session kicking off in just a few days, state Rep. Kristine Lytton (D-40th, Anacortes) is asking constituents who want to receive regular electronic updates from Olympia to provide her with their e-mail addresses.

“Just as most Washington families have had to look closely at their budgets,” Lytton explained, “members of the state House of Representatives are trimming expenses wherever possible.  We’ve voluntarily reduced the amount that each lawmaker is allotted for official postage and printing, and many of us have decided to eliminate, or at least cut back on, the paper newsletters that representatives have traditionally relied on to keep in touch with constituents.

“And frankly,” she added, “I’m not sure how effective those printed mailers really are.  They’re expensive to produce, it can take weeks between the time they’re written and the time they reach a constituent’s mailbox, and I suspect that a lot of them go straight into the recycling bin without being read.”

Lytton noted that she can come out of a hearing on an important or controversial piece of legislation, climb two flights of stairs to her office, and quickly draft an e-memo to bring constituents up to speed on that issue, or several.  The information can be in thousands of 40th-district e-mail inboxes within minutes, at essentially no cost to taxpayers.

Lytton stressed that she’s hoping to build her e-memo distribution list with addresses that have been submitted by citizens who request the e-mails, rather than buying e-mail addresses from a vendor.

“Unwanted, unsolicited e-mail – spam – is one of the daily frustrations of everyone with an e-mail address.  I don’t want to add to that problem, and that’s why I’m asking 40th-district constituents, regardless of whether they voted for me, to contact my office and tell me to put them on the e-memo list.  We’ll only use these addresses for legislative information; they won’t be shared with anyone, especially political parties or election-related organizations.

“I encourage everyone to follow the Legislature in their local newspaper, on TV and radio, and on the Internet,” Lytton said.  “But I’m also hoping to share my perspective via e-memo with as many constituents as possible throughout the legislative session.”

Clicking on this link will take constituents directly to Lytton’s sign-up page.  They can also contact her office for any reason by e-mail (kristine.lytton@leg.wa.gov), by phone (360-786-7800), or by snail-mail (Rep. Kristine Lytton, P.O. Box 40600, Olympia WA  98504-0600).

The 2013 legislative session opens Monday, January 14, and is scheduled to continue for 105 consecutive days, adjourning April 28.

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