You never know what may show up in political collections. Among some recently-acquired material, we discovered evidence of one organization’s rather optimistic effort to shake up Congress.
As a response to the news that only 14% of Americans in 2013 approved the performance of the United States Congress, the National Rose Garden in Sunnyside, New York, is offering The Congressional Disapproval Rose Commemorative Plate. For $75 you can sponsor a plate and have it sent to the Senator or Representative of your choice.
The program is non-partisan; as the Garden’s website explains: “Hand-crafted in an edition of 535 sets, for each plate purchased another will be sent to a representative of your choosing…. We are attempting to acknowledge the shared landscape and shared responsibility that exists in our representative bodies. For that reason our goal is to place one plate with each member of the 113th Congress. We ask that you choose a representative who has not been sent a plate.”
A letter accompanying the plate reads: “While we admire and respect all service in the public realm, this gift is sent as an acknowledgement of the growing distance between the American public and its representative body.” They hope the gift “will encourage thought on effective representation and our shared role in that process.” The letter closes with “We earnestly thank you for your public service and we hope that this brief intervention will illustrate our overlapping desires for a successful system of governance.”
The project is ongoing so the results are not yet known, but it’s probable that such an unusual endeavor will catch the eye of more than a few of our Representatives.