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How to fix Congress? Citizens get involved

The Charlotte Observer

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Limits on filibusters, nonpartisan redistricting, open primaries – those and several other possible political reforms got a mention Thursday night as two former members of Congress spoke in Charlotte about how polarized and paralyzed Washington has become.

But the theme running through just about everything former Sen. Olympia Snowe and former Rep. Dan Glickman told the audience of 600-plus was this: Don’t sit around waiting for Washington to fix itself. Change will only come when many more average citizens get engaged and speak up.

“It’s going to require pressure from the public to get involved and … hold them accountable,” said Snowe, a Republican from Maine. “I think many people underestimate the power of their voices and their input.”

Added Glickman, a Democrat from Kansas who later served as secretary of agriculture: “The people need to speak up, first and foremost.”

KEYWORDS: DAN GLICKMAN, OLYMPIA SNOWE, CHARLOTTE