Federal Employees' Participation in Politics

The editorial "Go Slow on Voting Act," March 11, cautions against the passage of HR-20, a reform of the Hatch Act, on the basis that it would politicize federal agencies. But the reform would retain the law's ban on politics in the workplace and using federal employee positions to influence partisan politics. It would only free federal employees to get involved in partisan matters on their own time.

One of the most deeply ingrained lessons I've learned is that it is not only the right, but the responsibility, of every member of a democracy to participate fully in the democratic process. In this country, most of us have the right to do so in whatever way we please - using the telephone, going door to door, or participating in campaigns.

Federal employees, however, have been denied this fundamental right and responsibility ever since passage of the Hatch Act. In fact, virtually the only participation we are currently allowed is to cast our votes on election day. Eloise Kendy, Helena, Mont.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please fax letters to (617) 450-2317 or address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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