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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: 13 hours 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

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Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner 13 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 13 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.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on Thursday

Letter to Dem Senator. Consult list for those favoring impeachment.

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.

 As of now 27 legislators are talking impeachment. You aren’t on that list. I urge you to seek impeachment.

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 the 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.

If Joe Lieberman is nominated for head of the FBI, I urge you to oppose him. He’s senior counsel at a major law firm that has represented Trump for years, threatening legal action on everything from publication of his tax returns to news stories about the infamous Access Hollywood tape.

Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul want to overturn long-standing precedent for what can be done under reconciliation, the fast-track budget process the GOP is using to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. The key factor in allowing reconciliation to proceed is whether each provision in the bill has a direct impact on the budget — a question typically put to the Senate parliamentarian, a nonpartisan staffer. Though this move comes from Republicans, I urge you to do all in you power to block it, as it threatens to undermine the senate and quickly lead to the end of the legislative filibuster.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on Thursday

Letter to Republican Rep.

I was upset that that on Wed, when House Democrats circulated a discharge petition that called for the creation of  a truly independent bipartisan commission (patterned after the 9/11 Commission) to investigate Trump’s ties with Russia, Republicans blocked it. Did you support it?

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.

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.

GOP dirty laundry is already tainting everyone in the 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. As of now 27 legislators are talking impeachment. You aren’t on that list. I urge you to seek impeachment

 

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