By Mackenzie Weinger, Roll Call
Anyone in the country can now e-mail Speaker John Boehner.
After former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) passed the gavel to the Ohio Republican, his office launched
SpeakerBoehner@mail.house.gov for voters to easily contact him.
Members of Congress have long accepted e-mail from their constituents through Web forms, but theyâ€™ve typically blocked people from outside their districts or states from writing.
Boehnerâ€™s director of new media, Nick Schaper, said having a general address makes it easy for citizens to contact the Speaker online.
Schaper added that the â€œSpeaker Boehnerâ€ mailbox, which collects messages from both a Web form and direct e-mails, received about 150 e-mails over the weekend, with roughly 20 percent related to the Tucson shooting.
â€œItâ€™s our goal to make sure weâ€™re tracking every touch we have with citizens â€” calls, letters, emails â€” in a way that allows us to keep them informed on the issues they care about,â€ Schaper told Roll Call in an e-mail.
The all-access mailbox originated with Pelosi during her first stint as Minority Leader five years ago. She invited people to e-mail her at AmericanVoices@mail.house.gov. Staffers read and evaluate the e-mails, and they even respond to a lucky few.
â€œWe want to hear from everyone, not just constituents,â€ Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said. â€œItâ€™s an opportunity for people to have a way to weigh in on issues of the day.â€
According to Hammill, Pelosi receives reports on the trends and issues that are dominating the e-mail correspondence.
And just as the e-mail address operated during her tenure as both Minority Leader and Speaker, Hammill said AmericanVoices@mail.house.gov â€œwill continue to serve as her way to hear from people across the countryâ€ in her new role.
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