It's one of those cold realities of our calendar: a few days after celebrating the promise of a New Year, our vacation evaporates and the real world beckons our attention ever so quickly. It's especially true for us as the General Assembly starts its "short session" in just a few days. We are busy preparing for the thousands of bills that will be filed and the more-demanding-than-normal-pace of the short session (almost as many bills, two less weeks). Because of that pace, and the importance of this session, we need your help now. But we're not asking a lot, only that you take a few seconds and:

Help us reach our goal of 1,000 Facebook friends by January 12, the start of the 2011 General Assembly!

All you need to do is click on the link above, sign in or register, and click "Like" on our Facebook page.

Success at the General Assembly depends on active and engaged constituents contacting their legislators on crucial votes in committee and on the floor. As much as we lobby them, constituents have the most influence. Currently, we have more than 800 Facebook fans. Not bad. But we are only as effective as the number of informed values voters who contact their lawmakers — and in order for us to maximize our collective clout, the timely communication of information is vital. Facebook is an essential tool to accomplish this.

Additionally, follow us on Twitter. With Twitter and Facebook, not only can you receive our instant notifications on important actions, it is easy to forward that information to others.

We also will continue to make great use of our YouTube channel. There, we will post videos of key committee hearings so that all is exposed and you can see for yourself how your representatives voted on major legislation — and where they can't hide behind procedural votes.

Of course, this blog will keep the public informed on all the goings-on during session. With our team of lobbyists, as well as key contacts and sources, no one covers the General Assembly online better than we do. After another record shattering year of readers, we hope you will continue to share our posts on your social media sites and via e-mail. 

But in the meantime, please go to our Facebook page, click "Like," spread the word on your social media sites, then sit back and get ready for all the breaking news from the 2011 General Assembly.