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Thank You Postcard Underground!
JRLC's recent trip to International Falls (thanks Pat for a great meeting!) got me thinking about one of my mentors, David Krogseng.
David grew up in the Falls where his father, Peter Krogseng, served as mayor. David was raised to be a citizen-leader and rose to prominence as state chair of the Republican Party in Minnesota. He was a respected public affairs consultant, and in the 1980s, served as volunteer President of the Mental Health Association of Minnesota where he led effective organizing and legislative advocacy. David taught me the art of organizing road trips — connecting with the people of the state for common purpose, for the health of our democracy and for the benefit of everyone. I loved the way he bounded into the main street newspaper office, barber shop, post office, or coffee shop.
David was big on expressing thanks to those serving in the public arena. No doubt he had a close-up view of his dad taking lots of phone calls at home dealing with people unhappy about one thing or another. He probably noted that his dad was more eager to help those who were polite and thankful while making their demands. Simple lesson.
I try to emphasize the power of thanking elected officials whenever I give "how to lobby" presentations — intellectually, this makes perfect sense — people are more apt to work with and champion the causes of people who give them affirmation and respect.
At JRLC, the power of "thank you" just got clearer. For the past ten days or so the daily mail delivery includes one or two thank you postcards. The Postcard Underground (I wish I knew more about this stealthy group!) mobilized its network to send JRLC thank you notes on wonderful postcards. Each card has a handwritten thank you message and artwork on the reverse that ranges from kitschy to beautiful to provocative. It's been a real lift and our whole office is even more charged up to champion our interfaith causes.
Krogseng told me, "you can't thank legislators enough." Good advice. And thanks to the Postcard Underground for making this clear!