Some weeks ago, the House Democratic freshmen became part of an online competition where members of Congress compete against each other in social media. We are ranked based on the number of new likes we pick up on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube during a period of time.
I love finding new ways to engage with constituents — so I immediately thought “sign me up!â€
In this day and age, it is particularly critical for people in Congress to remain in constant contact with their constituents. I live by this rule. I made a commitment to my family, friends and constituents that I wouldnâ€™t “go Washingtonâ€ on them — that I would stay close to my roots and in communication with the people I represent.
This week, our engagement rate on Facebook reached an all-time high of 70 percent. Iâ€™m sure not many in Congress can claim that. It makes me happy to know that people at home in Texas are reading my Facebook posts and tweets.
Itâ€™s pretty amazing how much technology has changed just in my lifetime. Now, modern telecommunications brings the voices of Texans â€“ whether in rural or urban parts of the 23rd District of Texas â€“ directly into the halls of Congress.
Recently, I hosted a Facebook town hall meeting. During the meeting, I engaged with constituents of 23rd District of Texas via an open forum question and answer chat. The town hall, which lasted about an hour, was a great way to communicate with a lot of folks. We received close to 70 questions. I answered as many as I could and am now working through the remainder.
Iâ€™m already looking forward to my next Facebook town hall meeting.
I think Facebook town hall meetings will soon be a recurring item on my schedule. And to think that pay phones and fax machines were modern ways to communicate not so very long ago. Just imagine whatâ€™s next.
I constantly drill into my staff the importance of being responsive. It can be tough to do.
We represent and work for over 700,000 people. Many people communicate with us by Twitter, Facebook message, e-mail, phone call or in person. We receive hundreds of each. Since taking office at the federal level, my iPhone has seen thousands of e-mails come through my email accounts.
We love staying in touch â€“ itâ€™s how we keep abreast of things in a district that takes in nearly 24 percent of the land area of Texas and is bigger than 29 states. We put great effort into all our social media platforms. So, next time you are online, make sure to like my Facebook page, Tweet at me, view the YouTube page or follow me on Instagram.
As always, thank you for letting me serve you. Itâ€™s truly an honor.
And about that competition I mentioned . . . it isnâ€™t over until Monday, July 21. If you can log on to Facebook and like our page www.facebook.com/CongressmanPeteGallego, we would greatly appreciate it!
For more information on U.S. Rep. Gallego, visit gallego.house.gov. Learn more about U.S. Rep. Gallego by liking his Facebook page or follow him on Twitter.
U.S. Representative Pete P. Gallego, D-Alpine, represents the 23rd District of Texas, which includes all or parts of 29 counties in southwest Texas, stretching from San Antonio to El Paso. He serves on the House Armed Services and House Agriculture Committees.