I sometimes get discouraged. Here's advice from a Reddit user I found encouraging.

On the topic of writing to congress.


In all honesty I get the feeling that it doesn’t make a bit of difference other than wasting my time

The helpful reply:


If one person calls, it's going to make a very tiny difference. If you get a whole bunch of people you know to call, reps listen.

Over the years, I've been involved with several organized groups which have tried to influence politicians in the US. A dozen people signing a letter together can wield influence at the city level. A couple dozen at the county level. A hundred or so will get your rep's attention, and a few hundred will get your senator talking to you.

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I suspect it also helps if a whole bunch of people calling talk about the issue in their own words (rather than sounding like a script from an email or website), and especially if we say something about how it relates to us personally.

Politicians and their staff tend to pay attention to their own constituents, the people who can actually vote for or against them when they come up for (every politician's Prime Directive:) reelection.

That's why (to pull the issue of Brett "Above the Law" Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination from the main Writing to Congress comments) I as a Pennsylvanian didn't call the office of Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who might be "persuadable". I did pledge to donate to her 2020 opponent if she votes to confirm Kavanaugh. That campaign has already collected some 45,000 pledges totaling over $1.2 million, in under a month!

Either Sen. Collins VOTES NO on Kavanaugh OR we fund her future opponent (Crowdpac)

As Richard Hasen wrote in Slate:

So long as the Supreme Court is going to keep the money spigot open for wealthy donors, some of the rest of us appear to be at least trying to pool together resources to attempt to fight back. An arms race between the superrich and everyone else to try to influence legislative outcomes is far from ideal, but it is better than wholly ceding the ground to the plutocrats.

"Susan Collins Complains of “Bribery” After Nonbillionaires Try to Influence Her Kavanaugh Vote" (emphasis added)

And I have been talking quite a bit to my own senators' staffers! The Democrat already opposes Kavanaugh; the Republican seems hopeless, but needs to start fearing his (non)reelection prospects.

Hah! Pledge to donate to her opponent if she confirms Kavanaugh! Great suggestion, thanks.

I couldn't figure out how to donate $20.20, because the CROWDPAC site said "Credit Card verification Required". I don't want to use "electronic check", which I've never heard about before.

The verification code is the (usually) three-digit number on the back of the credit card.

I too prefer using a credit card -- where you pay a bill, and you can ask the card issuer to charge back the company if there's a problem -- to debit cards or "electronic checks" etc., where money is taken directly out of your account.




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