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Your Letters: Let's keep in touch

A critical aspect of my job as your Congressman is keeping in touch with the people I am privileged to represent. It is an obligation I take very seriously. Six months have passed since I took office, and I would like to provide you with an update on the various ways we can connect.

One concept that is proving to be very popular is our adoption of mobile offices. Members of my staff are visiting communities throughout the district every Friday, except those associated with federal holidays. The purpose of these visits is to listen to constituent concerns and to receive direct feedback from the people of the district. That information is relayed to me, and I carefully consider it when forming a position on a particular issue.

Conducting public town halls has been extremely important and helpful as well. So far, I have been able to meet with people in Brainerd/Baxter, Mountain Iron, Cambridge, Walker, Princeton, International Falls, Ely and Little Falls. The direct feedback I receive at these public gatherings is very beneficial and I plan to continue to hold them.

Equally important, but less publicized, are the round tables and meetings I have conducted with community and civic leaders, small business owners, and senior citizens. The importance of these face-to-face gatherings and the insight they provide into the issues affecting all of us cannot be overstated.

One exciting idea that has been around for several years, but that we are now just bringing to the district, is the use of telephone town halls. This technology enables me to reach thousands of constituents at a time. In minutes I am able to first relate issues before Congress and then take questions from individuals on the line.

I also have three Constituent Services Offices in the district. My main office is located in North Branch, and the other two are in Duluth and Brainerd. Anyone with a question or concern -- or if you would just like to offer an idea -- is urged to contact any of these offices. For contact information, I encourage you to visit my Congressional website at

Responsive and effective constituent service is a goal I strive to meet every day. As we move into the summer months, I look forward to visiting with you at the many fairs, festivals and parades scheduled throughout this beautiful part of the state. It is important to me that we keep in touch.

Rep. Chip Cravaack

R- 8th District