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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.)

If you read this group and haven't joined it, please consider joining! It'll encourage other AN members to be more politically active.

Members: 11
Latest Activity: 16 hours ago

Discussion Forum

Robert Mercer's psyops behind the extremist takeover

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan Aug 17. 6 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

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

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

Comment Wall

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Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on June 17, 2017 at 1:01pm

Letter to Dem Senator:

Alarming rumors suggest that McConnell plans to put out an imposter health care bill on Monday, June 26.  After 20 hours of debate on that shell—10 for senators on each side—and then McConnell can swap in a complete substitute amendment that nobody has read, analyzed, debated on Tuesday with a vote that date or Wednesday. I urge you and other Democrats to pre-emptively call out this possibility to the press, to discourage their use of such an unprecedented fiendish move.

MoveOn, CREDO, and Indivisible are all urging Senate Democrats to buy as much time as possible to “dramatize” the Republican health bill’s impact on America. We need sunlight on this reworking of a sixth of the American economy that takes health care from millions of people. Besides making us sicker and easier to exploit, this iniquitous bill will eliminate jobs. WalletHub’s analysts said that Pennsylvania is among the top five states facing “the most potential jobs lost to repeal of tax credits and Medicaid expansion in 2019”. The Economic Policy Institute found that “Nationally, all-else-equal, the AHCA could slow job growth by 409,000 in 2019, by 1.1 million in 2020, by 1.6 million in 2021, and by 1.8 million in 2022.”

A new bill introduced in the Senate would weaken critical fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, making consumers pay $34 billion more in gas costs over the next eight years. We agreed to cut in half emissions from our vehicles by 2025 as part of a national plan to reduce pollution. Consumer Reports found that strong fuel economy standards save consumers $3,200 per car and $4,800 per truck in gas costs, even with low gas prices. Consumers can’t afford for Congress to turn the clock back on these standards. If this legislation passes, we could lose an average of 10 miles-per-gallon in fuel efficiency on new vehicles. I urge you to stand strong on fuel economy standards.

In the House, Congressman Walter Jones has just proposed that Congress should cut off the funding for any more U.S. war-making in Afghanistan. I think spending $800 billion largely on killing people in Afghanistan, generating enemies and causing environmental destruction while eroding our civil liberties and rationalizing government secrecy is more than enough. Since Trump authorized his generals to conduct war there on their own authority, troop commitment has soared. Only Congress can stop this hemorrhage of American lives. I urge you to include an amendment to the budget banning all funding for U.S. war-making in Afghanistan.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on June 17, 2017 at 1:00pm

Today's House letter (Rep.):

A survey at the annual Yale CEO Summit showed that 50% of the CEOs, business execs, government officials and academics give Trump an "F" for his first 130 days in office. Another 21% give Trump's performance a "D" so far. Just 1% of the 125 leaders polled awarded the billionaire an "A." If these top conservative insiders find Trump incompetent, it’s time for the GOP to give up the boot licking. I urge you to support all investigations into Trump’s conflicts of interest, corruption, and possible collusion with foreign powers.

House Republicans are passing corporate tax cuts in a time when corporations pay record low taxes on record breaking profits. Various different tax schemes have been worked into various pieces of legislation, for example the ACHA would get rid of many of the upper income taxes that funded the Obamacare program. Many Republicans lauded this as a necessary first step towards passing the actual tax cut legislation they have coming down the pipe. Among that legislation is their corporate tax cut that is working itself through the House of Representatives. There are various plans competing for support in the House, but the ones with the most support seek to reduce corporate tax rates to 20 or 25 percent. Reducing the corporate rate will never keep corporate earnings now going to offshore accounts in the country, since other countries and offshore accounts offer rates as low as zero percent. Many corporations experiencing record profits and have already made the political calculus to forgo US taxes regardless of the public relations cost. I urge you to oppose reducing corporate taxes.

Walter Shaub, director of the federal Office of Government Ethics, indicates despite  Trump’s appointees having been required to sign an ethics pledge saying they’ll avoid particular matters involving former employees for two years, several ethics waivers that the White House released May 31 are unsigned and undated, so they could be applied retroactively. This allows staffers to “participate in communications and meetings with news organizations regarding broad policy matters.” It basically allows staff members who violated their ethics pledge to avoid disciplinary action. I urge you to oppose such brazen mockery of ethics in your own party.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on June 16, 2017 at 7:26pm

Dem Senator letter, page 2

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is asking all 100 senators to gather in the Old Senate Chamber next week to discuss health care. I urge you to support this meeting and to attend.

GOP efforts on Monday to push through a secret overhaul of healthcare—which comprises one-sixth of the US economy—looks like legislative malpractice. Insurers are fleeing the Obamacare marketplace as the specter of AHCA grows more likely. Republicans trying to muzzle the press in order to shield their legislative efforts from scrutiny, particularly on “Trumpcare” legislation, is un-American! I urge you to speak up against muzzling the press in the halls of Congress.

Donald Trump’s order reversing much of Obama's Cuba policy is another example self-serving conflict of interest. Under the new Trump policy, individually planned educational visits will no longer be allowed, and Americans will be prohibited from spending money at state-run hotels and restaurants with ties to the Cuban military. GAESA, the company directly targeted by Trump's plan currently operates the Four Points Hotel of Sheraton Havana. Trump told CNN in 2016 that he was interested in opening a hotel in Cuba "when we're allowed to do it." But Trump's company pledged before his presidency that they would not pursue any foreign deals while he was in the White House, putting off any possible entry into the Cuban market. Trump's prohibition, puts other hotel companies on equal footing with his personal company -- not allowed to pursue future business in Cuba. I urge you to oppose all Trump policies which flagrantly break the emoluments clause.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on June 16, 2017 at 7:25pm

Dem Senator letter, page 1

Democratic Senators plan to block a final AHCA vote by introducing thousands of amendments during the during the reconciliation process, an approach known as filibustering by amendment. I urge you to support and participate in this effort.

I urge you to oppose Trump judicial nominees John K. Bush, Damien Schiff, and Kevin Newsom. All three have troubling records on money in politics, advancing views that would allow the integrity of our elections to be even more compromised by big money. Schiff called Justice Anthony Kennedy, a sitting Supreme Court Justice, a "judicial prostitute" and supports overruling what he calls the "unconstitutional excrescences of the New Deal and Great Society."

Rep. Thomas Massie is introducing a measure that would ease restrictions on gun possession in Washington, allowing those with concealed-carry permits in their home states to carry weapons in the District, and also would allow people from states that do not offer a concealed carry license to apply for a "non-resident permit" in D.C.  I urge you to oppose it if it reaches the Senate.

Representative Massie seized on the brazen daytime shooting of his colleagues to advance the NRA-backed goal of moving toward national concealed carry reciprocity. Given the importance of protecting legislators and government employees in our capital, it’s entirely appropriate that concealed-carry permits in the District be tightly regulated. Gun violence feeds on itself, especially in a hyper-partisan political environment. The Scalise shooting happened in the context of Republican majorities on Capitol Hill having blocked every attempt to enact significant gun control legislation. Imagine how much worse it would have been if the silencer restrictions they’re pushing right now had been enacted a few years ago, further equipping the shooter. There is no considerate time to have a discussion without “politicizing” gun violence, because the outrage of gun violence is on-going and already political. I urge you to support the Disarm Hate Act (S. 1324), a bill that would prevent anyone previously convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from purchasing a gun. Closing this loophole in current laws will keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and prevent more acts of heinous violence.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on June 16, 2017 at 7:24pm

Letter to Rep Sen Toomey, page 2

GOP efforts on Monday to push through a secret overhaul of healthcare—which comprises one-sixth of the US economy—looks like legislative malpractice. Insurers are fleeing the Obamacare marketplace as the specter of AHCA grows more likely. Republicans trying to muzzle the press in order to shield their legislative efforts from scrutiny, particularly on “Trumpcare” legislation, is un-American! Your constituents demand to know what you’re doing.

Donald Trump’s order reversing much of Obama's Cuba policy is another example self-serving conflict of interest. Under the new Trump policy, individually planned educational visits will no longer be allowed, and Americans will be prohibited from spending money at state-run hotels and restaurants with ties to the Cuban military. GAESA, the company directly targeted by Trump's plan currently operates the Four Points Hotel of Sheraton Havana. Trump told CNN in 2016 that he was interested in opening a hotel in Cuba "when we're allowed to do it." But Trump's company pledged before his presidency that they would not pursue any foreign deals while he was in the White House, putting off any possible entry into the Cuban market. Trump's prohibition, puts other hotel companies on equal footing with his personal company -- not allowed to pursue future business in Cuba. I urge you to oppose all Trump policies which flagrantly break the emoluments clause, further tainting all Republicans including yourself with his corruption.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on June 16, 2017 at 7:23pm

Letter to Rep Sen Toomey, page 1

I urge you to oppose Trump judicial nominees John K. Bush, Damien Schiff, and Kevin Newsom. All three have troubling records on money in politics, advancing views that would allow the integrity of our elections to be even more compromised by big money. Schiff called Justice Anthony Kennedy, a sitting Supreme Court Justice, a "judicial prostitute" and supports overruling what he calls the "unconstitutional excrescences of the New Deal and Great Society."

Rep. Thomas Massie is introducing a measure that would ease restrictions on gun possession in Washington, allowing those with concealed-carry permits in their home states to carry weapons in the District, and also would allow people from states that do not offer a concealed carry license to apply for a "non-resident permit" in D.C.  I urge you to oppose it if it reaches the Senate.

Representative Massie seized on the brazen daytime shooting of his colleagues to advance the NRA-backed goal of moving toward national concealed carry reciprocity. Given the importance of protecting legislators and government employees in our capital, it’s entirely appropriate that concealed-carry permits in the District be tightly regulated. Gun violence feeds on itself, especially in a hyper-partisan political environment. The Scalise shooting happened in the context of Republican majorities on Capitol Hill having blocked every attempt to enact significant gun control legislation. Imagine how much worse it would have been if the silencer restrictions they’re pushing right now had been enacted a few years ago, further equipping the shooter. There is no considerate time to have a discussion without “politicizing” gun violence, because the outrage of gun violence is on-going and already political. I urge you to support the Disarm Hate Act (S. 1324), a bill that would prevent anyone previously convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from purchasing a gun. Closing this loophole in current laws will keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and prevent more acts of heinous violence.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is asking all 100 senators to gather in the Old Senate Chamber next week to discuss health care. I urge you to support this meeting and to attend. Eight Republican senators who worked on the  AHCA were unable to answer "simple and critical questions about the health care bill they're crafting in secret," like how will this bill help people and make the healthcare system better. Some couldn't even understand the question. Those answers suggest that Republicans don't do policy anymore, you just do politics. Is this true for you?

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on June 16, 2017 at 7:21pm

Rep. House letter page 2

Congressman Walter Jones (Rep., N.C.) has just proposed that Congress should cut off the funding for any more U.S. war-making in Afghanistan. I think spending $800 billion largely on killing people in Afghanistan, generating enemies and causing environmental destruction while eroding our civil liberties and rationalizing government secrecy is more than enough. I urge you to support any legislation he offers to cut off the flow of cash for war in Afghanistan. Since Trump authorized his generals to conduct war there on their own authority, troop commitment has soared. Only Congress can stop this hemorrhage of American lives.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on June 16, 2017 at 7:21pm

Rep. House letter Page 1

I urge you to support the Disarm Hate Act, H.R.2841, a bill that would prevent anyone previously convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from purchasing a gun. Closing this loophole in current laws will keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and prevent more acts of heinous violence.

Rep. Thomas Massie is introducing a measure that would ease restrictions on gun possession in Washington, allowing those with concealed-carry permits in their home states to carry weapons in the District, and also would allow people from states that do not offer a concealed carry license to apply for a "non-resident permit" in D.C.  I urge you to oppose it. Massie seized on the brazen daytime shooting of his colleagues to advance the NRA-backed goal of moving toward national concealed carry reciprocity. Given the importance of protecting legislators such as yourself and government employees in our capital, it’s entirely appropriate that concealed-carry permits in the District be tightly regulated. Gun violence feeds on itself, especially in a hyper-partisan political environment. The Scalise shooting happened in the context of Republican majorities on Capitol Hill having blocked every attempt to enact significant gun control legislation. Imagine how much worse it would have been if the silencer restrictions they’re pushing right now had been enacted a few years ago, further equipping the shooter. There is no considerate time to have a discussion without “politicizing” gun violence, because the outrage of gun violence is on-going and already political.

Donald Trump’s order reversing much of Obama's Cuba policy is another example self-serving conflict of interest. Under the new Trump policy, individually planned educational visits will no longer be allowed, and Americans will be prohibited from spending money at state-run hotels and restaurants with ties to the Cuban military. GAESA, the company directly targeted by Trump's plan currently operates the Four Points Hotel of Sheraton Havana. Trump told CNN in 2016 that he was interested in opening a hotel in Cuba "when we're allowed to do it." But Trump's company pledged before his presidency that they would not pursue any foreign deals while he was in the White House, putting off any possible entry into the Cuban market. Trump's prohibition, puts other hotel companies on equal footing with his personal company -- not allowed to pursue future business in Cuba. I urge you to oppose all Trump policies which flagrantly break the emoluments clause, further tainting all Republicans including yourself with his corruption.

Comment by Grinning Cat on June 14, 2017 at 4:32pm

My calls today thanked my (Democratic) congressman for being part of the newest lawsuit against the President*, with nearly 200 representatives and senators as plaintiffs, for violating the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. (The full complaint, with plaintiffs' names, background, and reasoning, including many specific instances of early and recent presidents honoring the Emoluments Clause, is online.) I also urged my Democratic senator to join it.

I also urged my congressman to oppose the Orwellianly-misnamed "Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017", HR 1215, whose real beneficiaries are pharmaceutical companies pushing hastily-approved drugs and devices. As Ruth explained in her House letter yesterday, it would preempt malpractice law in at least 47 states. (I also mentioned my own experience with an adverse reaction to a heavily-advertised brand-name drug.)

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on June 13, 2017 at 4:26pm

Letter to Rep. Senator involved in writing their AHCA, page 2:

The average family with less than $10,000 of income in 2022 would be $1,420 worse off, a net reduction of more than 30 percent of the family’s income. How many millions must die or be bankrupted so eight hundred thousand millionaires can get richer? You know the Democrats will count these deaths and bankruptcies and blame you when you run for reelection.

I urge you to speak up against promoting fear and hatred under the guise of free speech by condemning the anti-Muslim rallies framed as “anti-Sharia”. Reducing complicated policy issues to a binary of us (good) versus them (bad) is demagoguery. Weimar Germany showed that polarized rhetoric is the first step on a journey that often ends in genocide.  Minority blaming is the groundwork for committing atrocities.

On Friday Secretary of State Rex Tillerson affirmed the alliance with Qatar and was contradicted by Trump, which is an almost unprecedented level of dysfunction in setting the basic terms of foreign policy. Trump’s novelty was to make the shock doctrine a personal superpower. He keeps everyone in a reactive state all the time. He doesn’t just taking advantage of external shocks like London Bridge, he is the shock. Every 10 minutes he creates a new one. Monday’s “Cabinet Meeting” validated all claims that he seeks a patronage relationship with appointees. After spurious boasts of his alleged successes, every Cabinet secretary lavished praise on Trump, which he accepted with a big smile. Priebus said for the cameras, "We thank you for the opportunity and blessing to serve your agenda." No president who respected himself would orchestrate such a pathetic display, shaming the U.S. in the eyes of the international community. I urge you to call on the GOP to abandon Trump’s personality politics, and accept that he doesn’t know how to act like a president.  As the Mar-a-Lago meetings demonstrate, world leaders must interact with Trump first and the United States second. We’re not a dictatorship yet!

Big money, which tends to equate wealth with virtue, will be the last to realize just how risky is Trump’s self-centric fossil fuel policy. Investors and businesses don’t seem to be pricing in the risk of really disastrous climate policy, even though Wall Street has lost some of its initial enthusiasm for Trumponomics. Already-strained public budgets tend to be the “suppliers of first resort” to absorb both acute and attritional climate change economic costs. Unfunded losses, such as post-Katrina repairs in the Gulf region, and sea-level rise infrastructure hits in Florida that ultimately get picked up by tax payers ultimately raise the specter of sovereign risk. Slow moving climate impacts such as the urban heat island effect that is projected to make many urban centers unbearably hot and increasing vector-borne diseases such as West Nile, Dengue, and Zika will also strain public budgets as businesses suffer. Ignoring physics will never be profitable. I urge you to cosponsor and support a Senate version of the Prohibiting Aid for Recipients Ignoring Science (PARIS) Act — would ensure properties owned by a president or a president's family members can’t have access to subsidized insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. The American people shouldn’t have to bail out leaders who ignore science to gain political points, while subjecting the United States — and the rest of the world — to the catastrophic effects of climate change.  

 

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