I applaud Rep. Stewart for holding a town hall with constituents (“Rowdy crowd greets Rep. Stewart at first town hall since infamous Chaffetz,” March 31). Your story showed some good questions by the audience; it seemed like he was listening. Constituents speaking to their elected officials has recently been shown to be the most important way to influence decisions, according to a 12-year study by the Congressional Management Foundation. Letters and phone calls from constituents both hold more weight than lobbyists. This is how the READ Act passed the House in January. It would help focus America’s efforts to help every child in our world get an education. With education, life expectancy rises, economic opportunity expands and conflict decreases. Thus trade opportunities increase and terrorism declines because people have hope. So follow through with calls and letters to your representatives; it makes a difference.

Willie Dickerson

Snohomish, Washington