Good communication is essential for every relationship. It was nice that some Members of Congress sat next to each other during the State of the Union 2011 speech, but as you know, the United States Congress has not been communicating very well for several years and the entire population suffers as a result.
In an effort to improve communication, it is proposed that:
112th CONGRESS BUILDS A HABITAT FOR HUMANITY HOME IN WASHINGTON, DC.
Only elected members of the US 112th Congress (sworn in January 2011) would be permitted to volunteer their time to work on the home within the "Beltway." Habitat is a trustworthy charity and would provide a neutral location for members to get to know each other. It would be required for half the volunteers to be "liberal" and half "conservative" during each shift, example: 10 volunteers needed so 5 would be Democrat and 5 would be Republican. Independent party (Tea Party)-unaffiliated members of Congress would join the political party that they vote with the majority of the time. Technically, conservatives currently outnumber liberals so one extra Republican per shift would be permitted.
No cameras, microphones or cell phones would be allowed on the site. The goal is to construct a home for a deserving family and build personal relationships in Congress. Donations to the project would be anonymous, as to avoid corporate sponsorship or influence from lobbyists. The goal is to complete construction before they get busy with the next election.
Each Senator and Representative would assist for several shifts (the exact number depends upon the specific house). If they were physically unable to help due to an injury or physical condition, would serve their shift in the hospitality tent and serve coffee and snacks to the workers. If they are unable to assist with hospitality, they could send their Chief of Staff (no other exemptions are permitted). The Caucus Office of each party could schedule shifts with DC Habitat office. Building a home takes several months so there is ample opportunity to schedule a shift.
Members are not permitted to take on extra shifts or substitute for someone. The point of this effort is to create a shared experience for ALL MEMBERS OF CONGRESS. It won’t work if only a few folks participate. Many members have already helped at homes in their local district or even in DC but the 112th Congress effort is unique. Perhaps they will get along better if they hammer nails along side of each other. Habitat for Humanity of Washington, DC has already indicated a willingness to do this project. To learn about their organization, visit www.dchabitat.org for more information.
Post a comment and let me know what you think of this idea.