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Make your voice heard!

Congress oversees current laws and makes new ones. If you don't like the way things are or the way things are headed, write to your two senators and your representative (they pay attention to the mail — no joke — they want to be re-elected, after all). To find out who they are and to track legislation of interest to you, click on opencongress.org.

After bills passed by Congress are signed by the president and become law, the executive branch writes regulations to implement them. The public is given time to comment before the regulations are finalized. For an easy way to track regulations and comment on them, click on regulations.gov.

But do you get discouraged, thinking there's no way to compete with big-money lobbyists? Here's what former Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., says: "Money is important, but votes will beat money any day."

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Citizen Cartwright