Act 7. Enlist the Help of Your Predecessors
It would demonstrate a spirit of both courage and collaboration for a member of Congress to convene a council made up of his or her predecessors. Most states have three to four living former Senators, and most Congressional Districts have three to four living former Representatives. In most cases, the former officeholders are a mix of Democrats and Republicans.
A council of former office-holders would meet periodically with the member of Congress to discuss policy challenges and to provide support and insight. At the member’s direction, the council could lead special initiatives on specific issues, such as education, health or jobs.
Continuing public service after leaving office is already commonplace. More than 600 former members of Congress already participate in public service programs and initiatives at home and abroad through the Association of Former Members of Congress, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization. The idea of convening councils of former office holders would build upon this foundation.