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Writing to Congress

Many of us are angry and despairing at the political landscape, especially with the recent unprecedented threats to democracy itself in the United States.

Let's pool our brains and amplify our influence! Letters and phone calls to our elected officials make an impact, even if they don't always do what we ask, since they're ultimately concerned about "reelection, reelection, reelection".

Especially with help from our friends, it's not difficult to write letters calling for specific actions and telling powerful stories. We can share talking points, drafts, and letters we've sent, as well as problems we encounter and replies we get.

(The title refers to the U.S. system, but you're welcome to share how you're communicating with your elected officials in any country.)

Members: 10
Latest Activity: 52 minutes ago

Discussion Forum

Robert Mercer's psyops behind the extremist takeover

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Apr 12. 4 Replies

Two hundred years ago the founding fathers created three branches of government, assuming that one party wouldn't dominate all three at once, and assuming that the legislative and executive branch actually wanted to govern the country as a…Continue

Tags: changing beliefs, white supremacist takeover, data analytics, psychological warfare, bio-psycho-social profiling

How are we doing ? As of February 17, 2017

Started by Joan Denoo Feb 17. 0 Replies

block H.R.958 elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency - Wasteful EPA Programs Elimination Act of 2017, 115th Congress (2017-2018) | (Became law)block Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court (Hearing is set for March 20)cosponsor and support S200,…Continue

Tags: support, confirmation, oppose, campaign, writing

How To Write Letter to Congressional Representative.

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by k.h. ky Feb 16. 3 Replies

This is a little different, but not much, from how to write letter to Senator.  Again, this info is from wikihow.  There is overlap with the Senator letter writing concept.…Continue

Guide to how to write letter to your senator

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by Daniel W Feb 16. 7 Replies

If we write letters, but don't do it correctly, we might undermine our well-meaning efforts. Here is a simple guideline from wikihow.  Briefly from…Continue

Action alerts and talking points

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by Grinning Cat Feb 14. 3 Replies

Where do you find useful information on issues to communicate with your legislators about, or talking points you might not have thought about for calling or writing them?Continue

Tags: representatives, legislators, congresscritters, senators, political actions

Finding addresses/phones for your Senators and Representative

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Feb 8. 3 Replies

A few places where you can easily find where to write or call your members of Congress:Official starting points:www.senate.gov - "Find Your Senators" in the upper right (choose your state)…Continue

Tags: phone numbers, legislation, tracking legislation, phones, addresses

Comment Wall

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Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner 52 minutes ago

Today's Senate letter:

I urge you to cosponsor and support the Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act (Affordable Medicines Act), S. 771. Our system allows big pharmaceutical companies to rip off hurting seniors and working families. Congress can stop pharmaceutical price gouging and allow Medicare to negotiate fair drug prices and lower costs for seniors. I'm outraged by investors who are buying up drug companies and jacking up the prices 10-fold or worse

After the all-senators briefing on Rod Rosenstein’s testimony, Sen. Lindsey Graham  said the briefing made clear to him the FBI's investigation into Russia's election meddling had transitioned from being a counterintelligence probe to being a full-fledged criminal probe. I urge you to support Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr’s statement that Flynn should be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate. "All I've asked him for is documents. I don't know how you can plead the Fifth on a document request", Burr said.

I urge you to oppose Dept. of Interior nominee David Bernhardt. His lawsuits against the department and lobbying are conflicts of interest. He’s another “deconstruct” choice, intended to destroy rather than serve the people, who is quite clear that Trump’s opinions matter more than science. 

I urge you to oppose S. 1094, the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017. This is another Orwellian-named bill which has the opposite effect. Labor leaders say it would discourage VA whistleblowers from coming forward if supervisors can fire them for little reason and they have a much shorter window to respond. An apolitical civil service is a critical pillar of democracy, and this anti-worker bill is deliberate attack on the nation’s 2.7 million civil servants.

I urge you to oppose Trump’s two climate-denying nominees, Robert Powelson and Neil Chatterjee to the Senate & Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). No new FERC commissioner nominations should be approved until there are Congressional hearings into FERC’s abuses of power, law and people’s rights, and action taken to enact reforms.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner 53 minutes ago

Today's House letter. If your representative is Fitzpatrick delete the last paragraph, as he sponsored the CLEAN act.

I urge you to oppose H.R. 2431, the Davis-Oliver Act, which would substantially increase the capabilities of federal and local immigration enforcement, including empowering state and local law enforcement to enact their own immigration laws and penalties. I urge you to oppose H.R. 2406, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Authorization Act of 2017, which would increase the number of deportation officers (mandatory hiring of 2,500 more) and ensure that each one has access to an M-4 rifle “or equivalent.”

Trump’s immigration actions are already shredding the fabric of civil society. He stated on multiple occasions that he wouldn’t target undocumented immigrants indiscriminately, but would focus on those with criminal records—the "bad hombres,” to use his words. The claim that seventy-five percent of those taken into custody have criminal convictions is misleading.  It’s not clear how many of those were for crimes that might be considered minor, or for crimes that are the result of being an unauthorized immigrant in the U.S., such as driving without a license in a state that doesn’t permit unauthorized immigrants to get drivers’ licenses.  Just 6 percent of those arrested that between January 29 and April 22 had been convicted of violent crimes such as homicide, rape, kidnapping or assault. Fearful undocumented immigrants are refusing to visit doctors or to engage with the police in any way, such as to report crimes, act as witnesses, or seek help even in times of dire need. This not only hamstrings policing, it creates an entire class of unprotected victims, guaranteeing rising hidden crime that makes everyone less safe. When criminals are freed to rob, rape, cheat and kill anyone who they think might be undocumented, without restraint, civil society suffers.

I urge you to oppose H.R. 2407 the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Authorization Act, would shift the focus of USCIS (which oversees granting of visas) and permanently reactivate the flawed “E-Verify Program” despite known system errors. The impact would be a severe reduction in visas for immigrants, with negative impacts on the families, communities, and workplaces who count on new immigrants to support and contribute to them.

I urge you to cosponsor and support the Citizen Legislature Anti-Corruption Reform (CLEAN) Act H.R. 145, bill which mandates Congress consider single issue legislation. Too often, unrelated provisions are inserted into must-pass legislation, like funding bills, instead of being debated and voted on separately.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner 21 hours ago

Today's House letter:

In World War II, 420,000 U.S. citizens died fighting to preserve our freedoms of speech, assembly and the press. But now in 2017, Trump’s administration and GOP controlled states are trashing constitutional liberties, disrespecting our nation and our own heroes.

The federal prosecutor’s office in D.C., by the influence and directives of the Sessions Justice Department, is now engaged in an all-out repression of dissent, sending the message across the country that “we are going to crush you.” 214 demonstrators arrested on masse on Inauguration Day were charged with felony riot, without evidence. In April, prosecutors filed new charges against the protesters, again without evidence, that included felony “inciting or urging to riot,” “rioting,” “conspiracy to riot,” “destruction of property,” and misdemeanor “assault on a police officer.” The precedent of charging peaceful protestors with up to eight felonies, for which they could end up facing up to 75 years in prison, is unimaginably horrific.

Under this administration, brutal police state actions are already emerging within three months. From the police all the way up to the prosecutor, this is a systematic attack on the First Amendment rights of these people at a time when the First Amendment couldn’t be more important.

Meanwhile, civil liberties are rapidly being eliminated on the state level as well. Nineteen states are leading the deconstruction of freedom, with bills under which attending a protest, or being anywhere near one, means risking a long prison term and financial ruin – and even life itself. Bills in North Dakota and Tennessee would exonerate drivers from murder if they “accidentally” run over protesters! Even in Pennsylvania, state senator Scott Martin introduced a proposal to attack freedom of speech and assembly. Jeff Sessions’ memo directing federal prosecutors to charge suspects with the most serious possible offenses is part of this dangerous trend. I urge you to sponsor legislation protecting U.S. citizens from this attack, defining freedom of speech, assembly and press in such a way that state legislators and administration stooges can’t abuse laws against racketeering or terrorism to strip liberties from us. Can’t you see how unpatriotic, how treasonous, and how evil this assault is?

I also urge you to oppose the anti-justice bills which are part of this assault. Oppose the “Protecting Access to Care Act,” H.R. 1215, which would take the unprecedented step of pre-empting a broad swath of state laws on medical malpractice, although medical malpractice has always been left to the states. By changing the ways damages and fees are determined, this bill protects doctors who sexually assault, nursing homes which harm patients, and doctors who negligently prescribe drugs and devices.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner 21 hours ago

Today's Senator letter:

In World War II, 420,000 U.S. citizens died fighting to preserve our freedoms of speech, assembly and the press. But now in 2017, Trump’s administration and GOP controlled states are trashing constitutional liberties, disrespecting our nation and our own heroes.

The federal prosecutor’s office in D.C., by the influence and directives of the Sessions Justice Department, is now engaged in an all-out repression of dissent, sending the message across the country that “we are going to crush you.” 214 demonstrators arrested on masse on Inauguration Day were charged with felony riot, without evidence. In April, prosecutors filed new charges against the protesters, again without evidence, that included felony “inciting or urging to riot,” “rioting,” “conspiracy to riot,” “destruction of property,” and misdemeanor “assault on a police officer.” The precedent of charging peaceful protestors with up to eight felonies, for which they could end up facing up to 75 years in prison, is unimaginably horrific.

Under this administration, brutal police state actions are already emerging within three months. From the police all the way up to the prosecutor, this is a systematic attack on the First Amendment rights of these people at a time when the First Amendment couldn’t be more important.

Meanwhile, civil liberties are rapidly being eliminated on the state level as well. Nineteen states are leading the deconstruction of freedom, with bills under which attending a protest, or being anywhere near one, means risking a long prison term and financial ruin – and even life itself. Bills in North Dakota and Tennessee would exonerate drivers from murder if they “accidentally” run over protesters! Even in Pennsylvania, state senator Scott Martin introduced a proposal to attack freedom of speech and assembly. Jeff Sessions’ memo directing federal prosecutors to charge suspects with the most serious possible offenses is part of this dangerous trend. I urge you to sponsor legislation protecting U.S. citizens from this attack, defining freedom of speech, assembly and press in such a way that state legislators and administration stooges can’t abuse laws against racketeering or terrorism to strip liberties from us. Can’t you see how unpatriotic, how treasonous, and how evil this assault is?

I also urge you to oppose the anti-justice bills which are part of this assault. These misleadingly-named bills passed the House on party-line votes. Oppose H.R. 985, the “Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017.” Oppose H.R. 725, the “Innocent Party Protection Act.” Oppose H.R. 720, the “Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act.”

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on Saturday

Today's senate letter if for both parties:

It’s vital to national interests that we not lose all nonprofit citizen advocacy organizations. Our courts are being abused as weapons to attack free speech. Strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) lawsuits by a multi-billion-dollar logging company Resolute Forest Products to bankrupt and shut down Greenpeace, establish a dangerous precedent. SLAPPs aren’t just random meritless lawsuits. They are lawsuits that directly attack First Amendment rights. Greenpeace’s statements about Resolute’s practices destroying forests are based on scientific research and protected under well settled U.S. free speech law. The goal of plaintiffs in these cases is not necessarily to actually win the lawsuit, but to drag their critics to court and bury them under a pile of attorney’s fees and lies. SLAPPs have become an all-too-common tool for intimidating and silencing critics of businesses, often for environmental and local land development issues. Resolute is also trying to use the RICO Act, claiming that Greenpeace’s advocacy work is criminal like the mafia. There are already two copycat lawsuits using RICO charges in the same way.

I urge you to sponsor "anti-SLAPP" legislation, and include heavy penalties for meritless RICO lawsuits targeting citizen advocacy nonprofits.  An "anti-SLAPP" law is meant to provide a remedy from SLAPP suits. Under most such statutes, the person sued makes a motion to strike the case because it involves speech on a matter of public concern. The plaintiff then has the burden of showing a probability that they will prevail in the suit -- meaning they must make more than allegations of harm and actually show that they have evidence that can result in a verdict in their favor. If the defendant prevails on the motion, many of the statutes allow them to collect reasonable attorney's fees from the plaintiff.  

This broadside against free speech endangers democracy far more than terrorist attacks. If these meritless lawsuits succeed in bankrupting Greenpeace, corporations across all industries and sectors will be emboldened to go after all kinds of advocacy organizations, to silence their critics.

 

I urge you to oppose the Regulatory Accountability Act, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, the Midnight Rules Relief Act, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, and the Early Participation in Regulations Act. These titles mask their true intent: To give industrial polluters the upper hand and forever tilt the playing field against the American people. The bills would stop the federal government dead in its tracks from ever issuing another standard, rule, or safeguard to make our water or food safer, our lands or air cleaner, our homes or buildings freer of toxic chemicals, and our wildlife and oceans more sustainable.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on Saturday

In today's House letter the last paragraph is individualized. To see if your representative signed the EPA letter see here.

It’s vital to national interests that we not lose all nonprofit citizen advocacy organizations. Our courts are being abused as weapons to attack free speech. Strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) lawsuits by a multi-billion-dollar logging company Resolute Forest Products to bankrupt and shut down Greenpeace, establish a dangerous precedent. SLAPPs aren’t just random meritless lawsuits. They are lawsuits that directly attack First Amendment rights. Greenpeace’s statements about Resolute’s practices destroying forests are based on scientific research and protected under well settled U.S. free speech law. The goal of plaintiffs in these cases is not necessarily to actually win the lawsuit, but to drag their critics to court and bury them under a pile of attorney’s fees and lies. SLAPPs have become an all-too-common tool for intimidating and silencing critics of businesses, often for environmental and local land development issues. Resolute is also trying to use the RICO Act, claiming that Greenpeace’s advocacy work is criminal like the mafia. There are already two copycat lawsuits using RICO charges in the same way.

I urge you to sponsor "anti-SLAPP" legislation, and include heavy penalties for meritless RICO lawsuits targeting citizen advocacy nonprofits.  An "anti-SLAPP" law is meant to provide a remedy from SLAPP suits. Under most such statutes, the person sued makes a motion to strike the case because it involves speech on a matter of public concern. The plaintiff then has the burden of showing a probability that they will prevail in the suit -- meaning they must make more than allegations of harm and actually show that they have evidence that can result in a verdict in their favor. If the defendant prevails on the motion, many of the statutes allow them to collect reasonable attorney's fees from the plaintiff.  

This broadside against free speech endangers democracy far more than terrorist attacks. If these meritless lawsuits succeed in bankrupting Greenpeace, corporations across all industries and sectors will be emboldened to go after all kinds of advocacy organizations, to silence their critics.

 

Seventy House members sent a letter to Scott Pruitt, Head of the EPA, objecting to his dismissal of scientists from the Board of Scientific Counselors. I wrote to you about that, yet you failed to sign it!  You failed to defend science.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on Friday

Letter to Democratic Senator (1st paragraph is unique to Casey):

Dear Senator Casey,

Thank you for calling for a special council and an independent commission. Thank you for raising questions about the President’s respect for FBI and law enforcement independence. Thank you for raising a voice of resistance to the administration with the New York Times. In this time of national crisis your stand for integrity means a lot to your constituents. I urge you to support Sen. Lindsey Graham’s position that the FBI's investigation into Russia's election meddling had transitioned from being a counterintelligence probe to being a full-fledged criminal probe.

I view Trump’s “deal” with Saudi Arabia - advanced weapons for a $200 billion investment in swing states Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin - as collusion with a foreign terrorism-friendly theocracy to secure his re-election. It seems as if everything he does as President is self-serving.

I urge you to oppose the diversion of $10.6 billion from a host of student-friendly programs into federal programs to expand corporate charter schools and vouchers for private schools. It’s is essentially class warfare in education. The budget proposal calls for a net $9.2 billion cut to department spending, or 13.6 percent of the spending level Congress approved last month. Funding for college work-study programs would be cut in half, public-service loan forgiveness would end and hundreds of millions of dollars that public schools could use for mental health, advanced coursework and other services would vanish.

I urge you to oppose Joe Lieberman for FBI director. The fact that his law firm represented Trump for years is an immediate disqualifier. He's too political for the post and doesn't have the experience needed to take over the embattled bureau.

The Trump administration is trying to trick the public into thinking that it’s cracking down on Wall Street with their so-called ’21st-century Glass-Steagall Act’. I urge you to call out Steven Mnuchin’s double-speak in the legislature and in public.

Is there nothing the senate can do to oppose David Clarke’s joining the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as assistant secretary in the Office of Partnership and Engagement? While the post doesn’t require Senate confirmation, Clark is clearly unfit for any office. Just a month ago a grand jury recommended charges against several staff members at one of Clarke's Milwaukee jails, where an inmate died after he was deprived of water for a week. The Department of Justice was going to investigate Sheriff Clarke. There’s widespread outrage at Trump handing him a top spot at Dept. of Homeland Security.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on Friday

Letter to Republican Representative:

I urge you to oppose Rep. Trey Gowdy to chair the House Oversight Committee. He’s the last person qualified to oversee the sensitive investigation into whether President Donald Trump pressured the FBI to drop a federal investigation of Michael Flynn, given his history chairing the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Gowdy would be easily pressured to clear the president. Freedom Caucus Rep. Jim Jordan, known for his fierce interrogations of Obama administration officials is similarly too partisan to be trusted to be an honest watchdog. When the base turns against Trump, only an unbiased, nonpartisan chairperson will weather the political storm and protect GOP’s legitimacy.

The Trump administration is trying to trick the public into thinking that it’s cracking down on Wall Street with their so-called ’21st-century Glass-Steagall Act’. I urge you to call out Steven Mnuchin’s double-speak in the legislature and in public.

I view Trump’s “deal” with Saudi Arabia - advanced weapons for a $200 billion investment in swing states Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin - as collusion with a foreign terrorism-friendly theocracy to secure his re-election. It seems as if everything he does as President is self-serving.

I urge you to oppose the diversion of $10.6 billion from a host of student-friendly programs into federal programs to expand corporate charter schools and vouchers for private schools. It’s is essentially class warfare in education. The budget proposal calls for a net $9.2 billion cut to department spending, or 13.6 percent of the spending level Congress approved last month. Funding for college work-study programs would be cut in half, public-service loan forgiveness would end and hundreds of millions of dollars that public schools could use for mental health, advanced coursework and other services would vanish.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on Friday

Letter to Republican Senator:

I urge you to support Sen. Lindsey Graham’s position that the FBI's investigation into Russia's election meddling had transitioned from being a counterintelligence probe to being a full-fledged criminal probe. I urge you to call for a special council and an independent commission to investigate Trump and his associates.

I view Trump’s “deal” with Saudi Arabia - advanced weapons for a $200 billion investment in swing states Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin - as collusion with a foreign terrorism-friendly theocracy to secure his re-election. It seems as if everything he does as President is self-serving.

I urge you to oppose the diversion of $10.6 billion from a host of student-friendly programs into federal programs to expand corporate charter schools and vouchers for private schools. It’s is essentially class warfare in education. The budget proposal calls for a net $9.2 billion cut to department spending, or 13.6 percent of the spending level Congress approved last month. Funding for college work-study programs would be cut in half, public-service loan forgiveness would end and hundreds of millions of dollars that public schools could use for mental health, advanced coursework and other services would vanish.

I urge you to oppose Joe Lieberman for FBI director. The fact that his law firm represented Trump for years is an immediate disqualifier. He's too political for the post and doesn't have the experience needed to take over the embattled bureau.

The Trump administration is trying to trick the public into thinking that it’s cracking down on Wall Street with their so-called ’21st-century Glass-Steagall Act’. I urge you to call out Steven Mnuchin’s double-speak in the legislature and in public.

Is there nothing the senate can do to oppose David Clarke’s joining the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as assistant secretary in the Office of Partnership and Engagement? While the post doesn’t require Senate confirmation, Clark is clearly unfit for any office. Just a month ago a grand jury recommended charges against several staff members at one of Clarke's Milwaukee jails, where an inmate died after he was deprived of water for a week. The Department of Justice was going to investigate Sheriff Clarke. There’s widespread outrage at Trump handing him a top spot at Dept. of Homeland Security.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on Thursday

Letter to GOP Senator:

Despite the appointment of Robert Mueller to head the FBI Trump/Russia investigation, I urge you to press for a separate, independent Congressional investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russia ties, and into Trump’s repeated efforts to thwart the FBI’s investigation. The special counsel investigation is solely criminal in nature and solely focused on Trump’s ties to Russia. It likely will not investigate just how far Trump went to shut down James Comey’s original investigation. It is up to Congress to investigate whether Trump’s actions constitute obstruction of justice. We do not have votes of no confidence or snap elections in this country. Our Founding Fathers relied on Congress to be a strong and independent branch, capable and willing to check the awesome power given to the presidency. The GOP is being tested right now, and we cannot let your party off the hook because the Department of Justice did its job. The GOP still needs to do its job.

GOP dirty laundry is already tainting everyone in party. June 15, 2016 House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin. “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy said, according to a recording. Speaker Ryan responded, “What’s said in the family stays in the family.” GOP leaders now cast the exchange as “an attempt at humor”. The Republican Party seems bonded to him in a political suicide mission.

In 2014, Trump said the thing he looks for most in an employee is loyalty. In the federal government, allegiance is sworn to the Constitution, and evidence is growing that Trump does not understand the difference. This is not only a political dilemma but also a moral one: a test of allegiance to the truth, to the law and to the traditions of government. So far, the GOP's 52 Senators have all voted in accordance with the Trump Administration's preferences at least 88% of the time. The dominant narratives of the Trump White House now  is the divide between those who are there to serve Trump himself and those who toil for the institution of the presidency. Trump is an "instinctive and reactive" leader, in the words of one aide, "unwilling or incapable" of hewing to a long-term strategy. He demands loyalty but gives none. Senator John McCain exhorted colleagues to stop carrying water for the President. I concur.

I urge you to oppose S.95, the Regulatory Accountability Act. The current rule-making process is already long, burdensome, and heavily favors industry. The RAA would make this bureaucratic process so much worse that process of protecting citizens would be completely paralyzed. Your constituents need functioning federal agencies to protect us from industry abuses in areas such as toxic chemicals, labor protections, disability access standards and consumer finance regulations.

 

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