Navigating The State's Bureaucratic Maze

By Anthony Cannella
Monday, March 13, 2017

Published at Ceres Courier

The pitch of politics seems higher than ever this year. That, however, does not change the core responsibility of elected officials to serve the residents of their district.

Since being elected to the California State Senate, I've gained a greater appreciation for the opportunity I have to serve my community. My first experience in elected office as a city councilman of Ceres also gave me a unique, local perspective on some of the important challenges facing the state today.

I became involved in politics because I was frustrated by the lack of responsiveness I saw in my government, and wanted to get something done for my community. I want to build a better future for my four kids just as other parents want for their children. I want them to have access to the same kinds of opportunities I've been blessed with.

The primary goal of any elected official should be to serve their constituents and do everything to help to improve their quality of life. Many times that means helping people navigate what can sometimes be a complicated web of government bureaucracy. No doubt it can be frustrating.

Although contacting your elected representative may not be the first thing that comes to mind, it could very well be the most effective. Every year, thousands of constituents call my offices with questions and complaints of dealing with one agency or another. Often it's as simple as giving them an appropriate phone number to call. On more complex issues, staff will reach out to their agency contacts to help solve the problem.

I took it one step further by offering mobile office hours in various communities throughout my district, just to make it that much more convenient to interact with your representative. These allow the public to receive personal assistance on a variety of issues, including help with the DMV, the Employment Development Department, or matters involving other state agencies or even state legislation.

That's what you do for those who elected you. Give us a try.

Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) represents communities throughout Fresno, Madera, Merced, Monterey, San Benito and Stanislaus counties. His district office is in Ceres at 2561 Third Street, Suite A and may be reached at 581-9827.