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Across the country and in Philadelphia, public life continues as usual for most congressmen, in spite of the recent Tucson, Ariz. shooting that called attention to the threats and dangers that come with being a public official.

Karen Warrington, spokeswoman for Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.), wrote in an e-mail that Philadelphia Mayor and Penn alumnus Michael Nutter’s “office and the police department have had discussions with the Congressman regarding better communication but no new security measures have been instituted.”

She added that there will be no decrease in the number of public appearances made by Brady.

The same goes for Nutter, his spokeswoman Katie Martin said.

“We live in a representative democracy, which means that our politicians need to speak to the needs and wants of their constituents,” she said.

Throughout the nation, congressmen have continued holding “Congress on Your Corner” events, such as the one hosted in Tucson by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at the time of the shooting.

“Congress on Your Corner” is a nationwide initiative that allows residents to voice issues and concerns to their respective congressmen in person.

In response to the shooting, Brady announced he would introduce legislation to make it a federal crime to threaten congressmen and their staff while they are on official duty.

Currently, federal law declares it a crime to threaten the president and his successors. Brady’s proposal would make that law more inclusive.

“This national tragedy should serve as much more than a wake-up call for those of us who engage in public service,” Brady stated in a press release. “This is a major alarm with all of the bells going off.”

Continued interactions between community members and their elected officials are tremendously important, according to Political Science professor Rogers Smith.

“It’s a loss for democracy if elected officials are not interacting freely with their constituents,” he said.

“There was a time in this country when the president would hold open office hours, one morning or afternoon a week, and any citizen could drop by and voice their concerns.”

On the other hand, in India — the world’s most populous democracy — no citizen can go near the main government buildings for elected officials, Smith explained.

“I fear that America is moving more in that direction, and it is a sign that in this respect, democracy is not working,” he said.

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