How can Congress know what constituents want from government unless members get to know them? The best way to do this is to live among them and visit them when Congress isn’t in session.

Former U.S. Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, lived in the district he represented, but in his first terms, he would fly back to Iowa so he could talk on weekends with the people he represented. I once flew back to the Quad-Cities on the same afternoon flight he was on and discussed various issues with him. He flew in coach in order to have talks with people from his district.

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, lives in an exclusive area far from where the people she represents live. How can she have any idea of what they want if she isn’t in touch with them?

I believe U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, visits every county once a year to keep in touch with the people who elected him. He listens to what they have to say. He listened to my opinion on an issue at a political rally earlier this year.

Congress should bolster legislation that requires congresspersons to live in the districts they represent. If this is not done, lawmakers might live outside the district they represent and feel they are still in touch with those who elected them because they can know their needs via social media. That will accelerate any false thoughts Congress has about opinions the people they represent have.

George Seaberg