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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: 11
Latest Activity: 9 hours ago

Discussion Forum

Action alerts and talking points

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by Grinning Cat Jun 13. 4 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

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 kathy: 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

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

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Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner 9 hours ago

Letter to Rep House:

What kind of free country do we have when students and clergy have to depend upon Anarchists and anti-Fascists to save their lives from neo-Nazis? Cornell West said that in Charlottesville, the police just stood by. “The next day, for example, those 20 of us who were standing, many of them clergy, we would have been crushed like cockroaches if it were not for the anarchists and the antifascists who approached, over 300, 350 antifascists. We just had 20. And we’re singing "This Little light of Mine,"…The antifascists, and then, crucial, the anarchists, because they saved our lives, actually. We would have been completely crushed, and I’ll never forget that.”

I urge you to support the resolution introduced Tuesday by Rep. Pramila Jayapal which calls for the removal of administration employees who have supported or encouraged support for White Supremacists. I urge you to call for the removal of White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, senior adviser Stephen Miller and national security aide Sebastian Gorka as targets of the resolution.

I urge you to push for the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees the Department of Justice’s handling of domestic terrorism, to hold hearings on the White Supremacy terrorism threatening our country. Push for immediate and separate action by The House Homeland Security Committee, which is downplaying the threat by lumping it into an annual “global threats” hearing scheduled sometime in September. Push GOP leaders to hold public sessions or launch inquiries, which they’ve been resisting. Statements of condemnation, by themselves, won’t stop a Fascist takeover in the US. Racist outlets like Breitbart must be ousted from the White House press corps!

Nancy Pelosi said, "There is only one side to be on when a white supremacist mob brutalizes and murders in America. The American people deserve a president who understands that." McCain said, "There's no moral equivalency between racists & Americans standing up to defy hate & bigotry.” Trump may rely on neo-Nazis to build and fortify his power, but you have more moral character, don’t you. Don’t you? Actions speak.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner 9 hours ago

Letter to Rep Senator:

I call on you to oust the White Supremacists infesting the White House under your Party’s banner! Racist outlets like Breitbart must be ousted from the White House press corps!

White supremacists like former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke were heartened by Trump’s remarks blaming "both sides" for the violent skirmishes, and incorrectly stating that marchers wielding torches and performing Nazi salutes were "protesting very quietly" the night before the violent skirmishes in Virginia.

What kind of free country do we have when students and clergy have to depend upon Anarchists and anti-Fascists to save their lives from neo-Nazis? Cornell West said that in Charlottesville, the police just stood by. “The next day, for example, those 20 of us who were standing, many of them clergy, we would have been crushed like cockroaches if it were not for the anarchists and the antifascists who approached, over 300, 350 antifascists. We just had 20. And we’re singing "This Little light of Mine,"…The antifascists, and then, crucial, the anarchists, because they saved our lives, actually. We would have been completely crushed, and I’ll never forget that.”

While Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chairman Chuck Grassley refuses to call for one focused on the events in Charlottesville. I urge you to push Grassley to investigate this domestic terrorism. Another White Supremacist named Jerry Drake Varnell was arrested as he tried to set off a truck bomb outside a bank in Oklahoma City, but his original intended target was the five-story building housing the Oklahoma branch of the Federal Reserve. In January, Fox News posted a video of cars mowing down protesters that urged viewers to “Study the Technique”. Donald Trump stood up in the lobby of Trump Tower and angrily defended the Nazis and Confederate sympathizers who protested and committed an act of domestic terror in Charlottesville last weekend. He dishonors the memory of every single American service member who fought and gave their life to fight these evils. Trump leads a movement to replace democracy with Fascism, and regardless of verbal condemnations, the GOP is complicit as long as they block congressional efforts to stamp out this domestic terrorism.

I urge you to sponsor a Senate resolution similar to the one introduced in the House by Rep. Pramila Jayapal which calls for the removal of administration employees who have supported or encouraged support for White Supremacists. I urge you to call for the removal of White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, senior adviser Stephen Miller and national security aide Sebastian Gorka as targets of the resolution.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner 9 hours ago

Letter to Dem Senator:

I call on you to oust the White Supremacists infesting the White House! Racist outlets like Breitbart must be ousted from the White House press corps!

White supremacists like former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke were heartened by Trump’s remarks blaming "both sides" for the violent skirmishes, and incorrectly stating that marchers wielding torches and performing Nazi salutes were "protesting very quietly" the night before the violent skirmishes in Virginia.

What kind of free country do we have when students and clergy have to depend upon Anarchists and anti-Fascists to save their lives from neo-Nazis? Cornell West said that in Charlottesville, the police just stood by. “The next day, for example, those 20 of us who were standing, many of them clergy, we would have been crushed like cockroaches if it were not for the anarchists and the antifascists who approached, over 300, 350 antifascists. We just had 20. And we’re singing "This Little light of Mine,"…The antifascists, and then, crucial, the anarchists, because they saved our lives, actually. We would have been completely crushed, and I’ll never forget that.”

While Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chairman Chuck Grassley refuses to call for one focused on the events in Charlottesville. I urge you to push Grassley to investigate this domestic terrorism. Another White Supremacist named Jerry Drake Varnell was arrested as he tried to set off a truck bomb outside a bank in Oklahoma City, but his original intended target was the five-story building housing the Oklahoma branch of the Federal Reserve. In January, Fox News posted a video of cars mowing down protesters that urged viewers to “Study the Technique”. Donald Trump stood up in the lobby of Trump Tower and angrily defended the Nazis and Confederate sympathizers who protested and committed an act of domestic terror in Charlottesville last weekend. He dishonors the memory of every single American service member who fought and gave their life to fight these evils. Trump leads a movement to replace democracy with Fascism. Regardless of verbal condemnations, senators are complicit if they block congressional efforts to stamp out this domestic terrorism. Shame your colleagues who won’t act.

I urge you to sponsor a Senate resolution similar to the one introduced in the House by Rep. Pramila Jayapal which calls for the removal of administration employees who have supported or encouraged support for White Supremacists. I urge you to call for the removal of White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, senior adviser Stephen Miller and national security aide Sebastian Gorka as targets of the resolution.

Comment by Grinning Cat yesterday

My calls today (most of this to both senators and to my Rep.):

- In response to white nationalists’ violence & murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville on Saturday, every member of Congress must specifically condemn white nationalists and domestic terrorism by name, demand removal of Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, and Sebastian Gorka from the administration (else it signals that white supremacists can continue), and demand that Breitbart News be banned from the White House.

[More at Ruth's letter]

- Condemn Dept. of “Justice”’s warrant demanding that Dreamhost provide 1.3 million IP addresses and other information about visitors to disruptj20.org, a website that organized participants of political protests against the current administration.

“The request also covers emails between the site’s organizers and people interested in attending the protests, any deleted messages and files, as well as subscriber information — such as names and addresses — and unpublished photos and blog posts that are stored in the site’s database.” This is precisely the sort of unconstitutional fishing expedition the Fourth Amendment was intended to prevent!

(More at Dreamhost / The Hill / Joe.My.God. [quoting WashPost, Fortune, TechCrunch, and with hundreds of comments, including "Funny they're NOT asking for IP records from the daily stormer nazi site. Hmm...")

- Congress can multitask: it is as important as ever to investigate the extent of tRump & campaign’s collusion with Russia, and foreign interference in the presidential election.

- Congress can multitask: Medicare for All

And to my (democratic) congressman:

Don’t cripple the Consumer Product Safety Commission on table saw safety! Despite more than ten people losing fingers every day, the bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee for the 2018 fiscal year includes this oddly specific clause:

"Sec. 502. None of the funds appropriated by this Act may be used to finalize any rule by the Consumer Product Safety Commission relating to blade-contact injuries on table saws." (p. 69, lines 11-14 at this link)

Proven safety technology already exists, but is being opposed by the Power Tool Institute, an industry group -- reminiscent of opposition to seat belts, air bags, and "safer" cigarettes. It's as if they don't want to admit that table saws without the technology are "by far the most dangerous woodworking tool".

(More at NPR)

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on Monday

Letters to senators, only the first paragraphs differed:

For Casey: 

Your Twitter responses yesterday to the Charlottesville attack correctly called out white nationalism, but they should have been stronger. I urge you to condemn white supremacist, KKK, and neo-Nazi groups by name, to demand removal of Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, and to demand that Breitbart News be banned from the White House.

For Toomey:

Thanks for your Twitter response to the Charlottesville attack, "The racism, hate and violence seen in #Charlottesville are vile and unacceptable." I urge you to condemn white supremacist, KKK, and neo-Nazi groups by name, to demand removal of Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, and to demand that Breitbart News be banned from the White House.

Common body of both letters:

Trump’s response to the unrest in Charlottesville wasn’t just weak, insufficient and unacceptable; he continued the equivalence between victims and terrorists. Disavowing Nazis was too hard for Trump. In a country where previous presidents have actually had to defeat Nazis, we now have one who cannot be bothered to even condemn them.

Bannon and Gorka’s presence in the administration sends thesilent message to extremists to continue their march of terror,” as Farhana Khera, president of Muslim Advocates, points out.

Vanita Gupta, president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, has called for Congress to hold a hearing with the departments of Justice and Homeland Security to address, investigate, and root out hate crimes. I urge you to initiate such a hearing.

“This is the face of fascism, this is Breitbart news,” declared former Bush era ethics czar Richard Painter. Besides calling for firing Bannon and Gorka, Painter added that Breitbart News is a racist organization and needs to be acknowledged as such. They should not be given preferential access to the White House, which is what they’re now getting under Steve Bannon.

If you’re a patriot you’ll root out the Nazis in the White House.

Comment by Grinning Cat on August 4, 2017 at 5:02pm

Calls to my members of Congress yesterday (part 2) and today:

(to [Dem.] congressman)

I urge you to strongly object to the House Judiciary Committee prioritizing investigating Hillary Clinton over Russian meddling, Trump’s decision to fire James Comey, and the public attacks on Jeff Sessions. [more in Ruth's letter below] It’s the responsibility of the Judiciary Committee to oversee or even protect the independence of the Justice Department and FBI, and that’s what’s at stake now.

(to all)

Censure Rex Tillerson for refusing to use $80 million in his budget to counter ISIS and Russian propaganda. [as Ruth wrote]

Shame Trump for his tweeted threat on healthcare [as in Ruth's letter]. What we need is universal single-payer, like Expanded & Improved Medicare for All, covering all Americans at a lower cost than the current system. [Yes, I keep bringing it up!]

(to congressman)

Oppose HR 3546, the bill to take away Lifeline subsidies for cell phones and broadband internet to low-income people. In today's economy, a phone, email, and internet access is essential for, among other things, searching for and applying for many kinds of jobs!

Supporters' assertion of $1.2m fraud is no more than one of tRump’s golf trips. And "saving taxpayer money" is a lie: phone bill Lifeline surcharges would NOT be returned to consumers, but go into the general US treasury instead.

"The Republican attack on subsidized broadband has been handled in the same fashion that their attacks on our voting, our food stamp programs, and on our health-care system. They tell their constituents that everything is 'fraud' and that’s why consumers are getting hurt—not the deregulation of markets that allow non-competitive monopolies and duopolies to run amok."

Comment by Grinning Cat on August 4, 2017 at 4:54pm

Calls to my members of Congress yesterday (part 1):

(Dem. senator) Thanks for cosponsoring / (Rep. senator) cosponsor and support S. 1588, the Democracy Restoration Act of 2017, that would ensure the Federal voting rights of persons when released from incarceration.

Some of the bill's "Findings" make the case plainly: (details omitted here)

State disenfranchisement laws disproportionately impact racial and ethnic minorities.

Latino citizens are disproportionately disenfranchised based upon their disproportionate representation in the criminal justice system.

In 10 States, a conviction can result in lifetime disenfranchisement.

Disenfranchising citizens who have been convicted of a criminal offense and who are living and working in the community serves no compelling State interest and hinders their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

The United States is the only Western democracy that permits the permanent denial of voting rights for individuals with felony convictions.

Cosponsor and support the Special Counsel Integrity Act [as Ruth wrote below].

I urge you to object to the Justice Department’s plan to sue universities that admit students through affirmative action admissions policies. Student diversity is a worthwhile component of education; the new “civil rights” division is a blatantly anti-civil rights division, and I object to this abuse of my tax dollars. [as Ruth wrote]

Comment by Grinning Cat on August 4, 2017 at 4:44pm

Calls to my members of Congress Wednesday:

(to senators)

Oppose S. 354, the RAISE Act, which would end the diversity visa program, stop allowing citizens and permanent residents to sponsor many relatives such as parents, adult children, siblings, and fiancees, and cap acceptance of refugees at about half of our current level.

Billed as protection for American jobs and wages, this cruel, nativist, xenophobic attempt to keep out foreigners won't help, if research is any guide.

"'Cutting legal immigration won’t help low-skilled workers,' conservative Alex Nowrasteh wrote for the Cato Institute. 'A recent paper by economists Michael Clemens, Ethan Lewis, and Hannah Postel seems tailor-made to test what would happen ... ending lower-skilled migration for farm workers had little measurable effect on the labor market for Americans who worked in those occupations.'" (GovTrack) The paper found that ending the bracero guest-worker program in 1964 did not raise wages for American workers and did not increase employment; farmers shifted to increased mechanization for crops such as tomatoes, sugar beets, and cotton. For crops where no advanced machinery was available, there tended to be larger and lasting declines in production.

(to senators & congressman)

Denounce the problematic activities of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity and call for it to be dismantled. Its leadership (Kris Kobach, infamous for Crosscheck and who helped write many overturned voter-ID laws), membership, and activities (asking for private voter data from states, and “doxxing” citizens who submitted public comments by publishing their private contact info) indicate that the commission is a sham set up to suppress the vote. (more at 5calls.org)

Introduce a bill offering incentives and assistance to states to institute automatic voter registration when residents turn 18 (they can opt out).

Introduce a bill offering assistance to states to convert to paper ballot voting systems -- “black box” electronic voting machines are inherently untrustworthy, as demonstrated by this week’s news that researchers at the DEF CON cybersecurity conference hacked into all 30 electronic voting machines made available for testing, some within minutes. Audit trails and security logs don't help; they can be hacked to match.

Paper ballots provide a tangible record of each voter's intent, can be scanned quickly by machine, and can be recounted, by hand if necessary. Paper ballots are a defense against invisible large-scale "bit-flipping" fraud.

And again work for Expanded & Improved Medicare for All.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on August 3, 2017 at 2:10pm

Senate letter:

I urge you to cosponsor and support the Special Counsel Integrity Act introduced by Senators Thom Tillis and Chris Coons, which would let Mueller or any special counsel challenge their firing by a three-judge panel within 14 days. If they aren't able to find "good cause" for the firing, the special counsel would be reinstated. Retroactive back to May 17, it would protect Mueller.

I urge you to object to the Justice Department’s plan to sue universities that admit students through affirmative action admissions policies. The new “civil rights” division is a blatantly anti-civil rights division, and I object to this abuse of my tax dollars in the name of justice.

I urge you to oppose Brian Benczkowski to lead the Department of Justice Criminal Division. He is totally unsuitable, given his history with Alfa Bank, the Russian bank under investigation by the FBI for potential connections to the Trump organization. Benczkowski’s decision to take on, and keep representing, a controversial client with a potential conflict of interest against the American people, casts serious doubt on his judgment. In addition, when Senator Dianne Feinstein asked him if he would recuse himself from current and future cases involving Alfa Bank, as well as the related investigations underway by Special Counsel Mueller, he refused. He has conflicts of interest and demonstrated poor judgment.

I urge you to censure Rex Tillerson for refusing to use $80 million in his budget to counter ISIS and Russian propaganda. The Alliance for Securing Democracy monitors 600 bot and troll Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence operations. They show significant influence on American social media. How does the state department justify refusing to counter enemy propaganda, whose goals include the failure of American and other Western democracies?

Trump’s recent tweeted threat to Congress, essentially saying “pass my health bill, or as punishment I will end health care for you, your staff, & your constituents”, is more evidence that Trump governs like a mob boss rather than an executive elected to further the general welfare. I urge you and fellow legislators to shame Trump for using the lives and livelihoods of millions of American citizens, including members of Congress and their staffs, as a cudgel to get what he wants. The executive branch is being remade into a kakistocracy – a government run by its most unqualified and corrupt occupants.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on August 3, 2017 at 2:10pm

House letter:

I urge you to strongly object to the House Judiciary Committee prioritizing investigating Hillary Clinton over Russian meddling, Trump’s decision to fire James Comey, and the public attacks on Jeff Sessions. Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s statement that there’s no reason for his panel to use “taxpayer dollars to investigate the Trump campaign’s connections -- or lack thereof -- to the Russian government" insults us all, since taxpayers have already wasted $100 million investigating Hillary, just to prove her innocence. It’s the responsibility of the Judiciary Committee to oversee or even protect the independence of the Justice Department and FBI, and that’s what’s at stake now. What I see instead is obstruction of justice and cover up of treason by looking the other way. Goodlatte’s letter to Sessions demanding a second special counsel to investigate Hillary also said that “a comprehensive investigation into the 2016 presidential campaign and its aftermath must be free of even the suggestion of political interference”, which is outrageous irony, since that letter itself constitutes political interference with the Trump/Russia investigation. I agree with House Judiciary Committee Democrat Luis Gutierrez who said, "This president is a threat to this nation, to its constitution, to its democracy -- and we are doing nothing to respond.”

I urge you to censure Rex Tillerson for refusing to use $80 million in his budget to counter ISIS and Russian propaganda. The Alliance for Securing Democracy monitors 600 bot and troll Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence operations. They demonstrate significant influence on American social media. How does the state department justify refusing to counter enemy propaganda, whose goals include the failure of American and other Western democracies?

Trump’s recent tweeted threat to Congress, essentially saying “pass my health bill, or as punishment I will end health care for you, your staff, & your constituents”, is more evidence that Trump governs like a mob boss rather than an executive elected to further the general welfare. I urge you and fellow legislators to shame Trump for using the lives and livelihoods of millions of American citizens, including members of Congress and their staffs, as a cudgel to get what he wants. The executive branch is being remade into a kakistocracy – a government run by its most unqualified and corrupt occupants.

 

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