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How Elected Officials Get You Government Help


Joseph Bartlett, Member House Of Delegates, State of Maryland Jean Talley, Legislative Assistant

  Interview Highlights

They both take pride in how they are able to assist people in their district receive help from government programs or help with problems they are facing in life.
For example:
Unemployment problems.
They help people go thru the unemployment process to insure they receive the benefits they are entitled to and will even contact the Maryland office that runs the program to insure the case was handled properly
She keeps a list of personal contacts at most of the Maryland government offices who she can turn to.
99% of the time she calls a government office the people are very receptive in helping her.
They are able to solve 99% of the cases that come into their office. They cannot guarantee that they will solve every case but they can guarantee that they can get the answer for you on why it can't be solved.
When it is hard for someone else to work up the phone chain we can get to the top of the chain faster.
We steer people in the right direction to get them the information they need to solve a problem.
They feel their job is to help people get what they need from state government. They have been at this for 12 to 16 years and they have learned how to make the system work for you.
For example they can help with housing problems from being being homeless, to people who need help with mortgages to people who need help buying their first house.
She likes to contact the head of a government department or agency and have that executive contact their constituent directly because they will know best what is available for the constituent and how can can apply for it.
They also help businesses. She just received a request from a small business owner who business is in trouble because of the bad economic client and is looking for help.
She will also investigate federal help and will contact the local congressman's office contact the person.
They get hundreds of requests like this a year. When people call here they are usually at a loss.
She has a case pending now where she is getting legal help for the person in trouble.
Jane uses Delegate Bartlett and has him get involved when doors start closing on her.
She spends 75% of her time handling problems from constituents.
She help a young who walked in the office with a DWI change and had trouble getting his license back from MVA. She was able to find the right person and get the problem solved. He even had an attorney and the attorney was very grateful the she was able to solve the problem.
Another person had big medical bills that she could not pay and they were able to do a lot of research contacting the right people and appealing to them on her behave and were able to get her bills reduced to a small fraction of what they were.
A mother with 3 children received a letter that they government was going to terminate her benefits and she was devastated. They were able to contact the right offices and get her benefits reinstated and also get the wages garnished from the children's father so she has even more to support her children.
What to try before you contact your elected official:
Contact the system first yourself because most of the time it will work. When it does not work or you run into problems, come to us and we can help.
The most important thing to remember in dealing with government offices if to treat the people you are calling with respect.