Marlys and I went and visited Senator Dennis’ Jones office the other day and it was a very positive experience. I had never done one of these visits and was not looking forward to it, just one of those "I've never done this before" nervous challenges. We had an appointment with his assistant, Doris Burns, because the senator was out of town.
Mrs. Burns was very welcoming and was aware of the Ombudsman Program. She had lots of good questions and took notes. She already had a good impression of the program, but was surprised at how much we do. She gave us plenty of time and I felt that I was able to give her quite a bit of positive input about the importance of the program. One of the points I stressed was that we are the voice for the resident, a role not filled by any other agency. I also discussed the importance of the program’s autonomy. I felt that I was heard and that she would pass on my points. I left her with a copy of our 2009-2010 Annual Report.
Having visited a legislator's office for the first time and finding that it was a privilege and a pleasure will make it much easier to make my next visit with my Representative, Larry Ahern. I hope that the other council members will see their legislators, too, and give a positive and professional face to the program.