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Edward KocheEdward Koche
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service-oriented member of Congress. But that comes from the fact that as a district leader and as a city councilman, that was my role. And because I had those two roles, people continued to think of me not only as their Congressman but as their district leader, as their councilman, and they call me instead of calling a district leader or a councilman. They call me about a stop sign or some matter that may be more in the area of a district leader or a councilman, and I never say no. And my staff is geared to it. In fact, when I run for election, I tell them: “I see the role of a Congressman in the following way. There are three areas of interest. The first is national legislation. I am a national legislator. I promote legislation that we need. The second is the quality of life in the neighborhood. If I can't improve the quality of life in my own constituency, on your block, then what good does it do you if I improve the quality of life in the rest of the country? And the third area is to speak out in controversial matters, where others won't go in because they're afraid. This could be on marijuana or amnesty or the gays or prisons, where there is no real constituency because those people don't necessarily vote, and they need a voice. I'm that voice.”

I've made that speech in somewhat better style on different occasions since I've been in office, and I think I'll always make it, because I honestly believe that that's my role.

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