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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: 9
Latest Activity: yesterday

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 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

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 Thursday

Letter to Rep House:

I urge you to oppose Rep. Brian Babin’s bill allowing members of Congress to carry a concealed handgun anywhere in the United States, superseding local laws. Senators and Representatives would be able to carry a concealed firearm in federal parks and buildings, in the National Mall, to and from their offices, and at schools and military bases, with just a few limited restrictions. Members of Congress already have security details. Don’t set us up for gun battles in the halls of Congress, or encourage legislators to actually shoot reporters who ask questions instead of “only” body-slamming them. Our country is already violent enough.

Did you block Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s resolution asking for Trump’s tax returns? For the tenth time in the last few months, Republicans on Wednesday blocked a Democratic resolution offered on the House floor to request President Trump’s tax returns. The measure was defeated on a procedural vote of 227-188 that fell largely along party lines. Those who hide Trump’s tax returns will be exposed as enabling and participating in the cover-up, when Trump gets taken down for violation of the Emoluments Clause.

Finally, a larger issue:

Nation-State failure begins with the re-privatization of the bureaucracies, of the means of administration and the police and military, as Chris Hedges says in “We Can’t Fight Climate Change if We Keep Lying to Ourselves”. Governments, if they were instruments of the common good, would end subsidies to the fossil fuel and animal agriculture industries. But with state power being held captive by corporations, short-term profit takes precedence over human health and even human survival. Is the current administration deliberately remaking the United States into a failed state, orchestrating our doom? Sacrificing healthcare to boost wealth of the already richest few, making the EPA prioritize needs of polluting industries, “deconstruction” of the administrative state – these GOP acts are as exactly engineered to make the U.S. a failed state as gerrymandered districts are exactly engineered to let legislators select their constituents.

Past civilizations also celebrated their greatness at moments of precipitous decline. The difference is that the GOP seems to be intentionally bringing down the last remnants of our functioning democracy within months. And as we become a failed corporate-controlled petrostate, we’ll lock in climate change to bring down life across the whole planet. I urge you to consider this looming danger when articulating policy disagreements. Constituents have the right to grasp what’s at stake. 

Comment by Grinning Cat on Wednesday

Indivisible Guide has contact info for senators' legislative assistants specifically handling health care issues.

This especially matters, with reports of a secret Republican substitute health care bill that will be introduced as a substitute amendment, after the 20 hours of debate on the current health care bill. If everything goes as planned, Democrats and the public (not to mention most Republican senators) will have only hours before the vote to pass it.

Republicans plan to use a "reconciliation" process on the new bill, which doesn't allow debate but does allow unlimited amendments which must each be considered.

OurAmendments.org explains the call for "filibuster by amendment", and lets you submit a personalized amendment to your senators, "Guaranteeing Maintenance of Affordable Coverage for [your name]". (It wouldn't hurt to contact your senators directly, suggesting other amendments!)

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on June 19, 2017 at 10:12pm

Letter to Rep House:

I urge you to oppose these anti-worker bills, the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 2776), the Employee Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 2775), and the Employee Rights Act (H.R. 2723). These deceptively named bills make it nearly impossible for workers to exercise their right to join together to bargain for better wages and working conditions. The Orwellian-named Employee Rights Act would make it nearly impossible for workers to form a union.

In Austraila, a Climate Emergency Declaration Petition calls on the Australian Parliament to declare a climate emergency and initiate a massive society-wide climate action mobilisation. Climate scientists say that we face a climate emergency, and that our actions so far have come nowhere near what is required to avoid catastrophic climate change. The deadly Portuguese forest fires are a small foretaste of what awaits forested areas of the United States such as in Pennsylvania, as heat and drought rise. I urge you to submit a Climate Emergency Declaration here.

I urge you to vote no on the Verify First Act (H.R. 2581). The bill would deprive ELIGIBLE immigrant families, including those with citizen kids, from accessing the ACA and seeing a doctor when they get sick. It also would hurt the ACA by keeping young, healthy, immigrants from participating in the marketplaces, something which helps keep premiums down for everyone. U.S. citizens who were born abroad or naturalized would be impacted. It’s a backdoor sabotage of the ACA. The GOP is attacking the law in a piecemeal fashion to weaken health coverage and the resulting uncertainty is already causing havoc in healthcare.

I urge you to block widening the war in Syria. Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council, and Derek Harvey, the NSC’s top Middle East advisor, want the United States to start going on the offensive in southern Syria. The U.S. military has already taken a handful of defensive actions against Iranian-backed forces fighting in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Trump’s address in Saudi Arabia in early May made clear the United States was going to take sides in the Middle East’s sectarian struggle, choosing to back Sunni Arab states in an effort to isolate Shiite-ruled Iran. Russia angrily condemned our downing of a Syrian aircraft as a flagrant violation of international law, and said its forces will treat U.S. coalition aircraft over Syria as targets. Trump's administration had put Iran "on notice" for its ballistic missile tests before the recent strike in Syria. Even traditional Iran hawks, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, don’t approve of US escalation. Mattis, military commanders, and top U.S. diplomats all oppose opening up a broader front against Iran and its proxies in southeastern Syria, viewing it as a risky move that could draw the United States into a dangerous confrontation with Iran. The contest with Iran in Iraq and Syria is not something that will be won or lost in the next couple of months. Meanwhile, Trump sells Qatar $12 billion of U.S. weapons days after berating Qatar for sponsoring terrorism at the highest levels.  Do Republicans intend to flame old hatreds into World War III, in order to raise the price of oil, profit from arming both sides, and create a permanent war footing to justify their transition to tyranny? Do you?

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on June 19, 2017 at 10:11pm

Letter to Republican Senator:

Decent health care should be recognized as a right for everyone, rather than being rationed by profiteering insurance conglomerates under the guise of “freedom”, which comes down to freedom from health care. The AHCA is expected to raise premiums 20%. Not even the Secretary of Health and Human Services knows what the Senate is planning. If, as Andy Slavitt and others suggest, the GOP pulls out a substitute amendment at the last hour to entirely replace the “nothing” bill debated, that precedent would permanently destroy the last remnant facade of democracy, abruptly unveiling the Trump dictatorship. 65% of Americans currently think Trump has little to no respect for the country’s institutions; the substitute amendment would foster unanimity.

I urge you to oppose Joseph Otting for Comptroller of the Currency. Otting’s history as CEO of OneWest raises major concerns about his potential role overseeing the largest banks in the nation. Under the leadership of Otting and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, OneWest was censured for its irresponsible lending practices and engaging in robo-signing (i.e. approving mortgage- and foreclosure-related documents without reviewing or verifying them). Just last month, a OneWest subsidiary agreed to pay $89 million to settle a complaint that it had defrauded the Federal Housing Administration. While comptrollers are typically attorneys with a history of government service, Otting is a businessman without an advanced degree – although he did recently admit to lying about having earned a degree from Dartmouth College.

I urge you to block widening the war in Syria. Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council, and Derek Harvey, the NSC’s top Middle East advisor, want the United States to start going on the offensive in southern Syria. The U.S. military has already taken a handful of defensive actions against Iranian-backed forces fighting in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Trump’s address in Saudi Arabia in early May made clear the United States was going to take sides in the Middle East’s sectarian struggle, choosing to back Sunni Arab states in an effort to isolate Shiite-ruled Iran. Russia angrily condemned our downing of a Syrian aircraft as a flagrant violation of international law, and said its forces will treat U.S. coalition aircraft over Syria as targets. Trump’s administration had put Iran “on notice” for its ballistic missile tests before the recent strike in Syria. Even traditional Iran hawks, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, don’t approve of US escalation. Mattis, military commanders, and top U.S. diplomats all oppose opening up a broader front against Iran and its proxies in southeastern Syria, viewing it as a risky move that could draw the United States into a dangerous confrontation with Iran. The contest with Iran in Iraq and Syria is not something that will be won or lost in the next couple of months. Meanwhile, Trump sells Qatar $12 billion of U.S. weapons days after berating Qatar for sponsoring terrorism at the highest levels.  Do Republicans intend to flame old hatreds into World War III, in order to raise the price of oil, profit from arming both sides, and create a permanent war footing to justify their transition to tyranny? Do you?

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on June 19, 2017 at 10:10pm

Letter to democratic Sen:

Democratic senators still haven't decided how far to take their AHCA protest - including whether to bring the Senate to a standstill. I urge you to support withholding consent and filibuster by amendment.

In Australia, a Climate Emergency Declaration Petition calls on the Australian Parliament to declare a climate emergency and initiate a massive society-wide climate action mobilization. Climate scientists say that we face a climate emergency, and that our actions so far have come nowhere near what is required to avoid catastrophic climate change. The deadly Portuguese forest fires are a small foretaste of what awaits forested areas of the United States such as in Pennsylvania, as heat and drought rise. I urge you to submit a Climate Emergency Declaration here.

I urge you to oppose Joseph Otting for Comptroller of the Currency. Otting’s history as CEO of OneWest raises major concerns about his potential role overseeing the largest banks in the nation. Under the leadership of Otting and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, OneWest was censured for its irresponsible lending practices and engaging in robo-signing (i.e. approving mortgage- and foreclosure-related documents without reviewing or verifying them). Just last month, a OneWest subsidiary agreed to pay $89 million to settle a complaint that it had defrauded the Federal Housing Administration. While comptrollers are typically attorneys with a history of government service, Otting is a businessman without an advanced degree – and he recently admitted to lying about having earned a degree from Dartmouth College.

I urge you to block widening the war in Syria. Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council, and Derek Harvey, the NSC’s top Middle East advisor, want the United States to start going on the offensive in southern Syria. The U.S. military has already taken a handful of defensive actions against Iranian-backed forces fighting in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Trump’s address in Saudi Arabia in early May made clear the United States was going to take sides in the Middle East’s sectarian struggle, choosing to back Sunni Arab states in an effort to isolate Shiite-ruled Iran. Russia angrily condemned our downing of a Syrian aircraft as a flagrant violation of international law, and said its forces will treat U.S. coalition aircraft over Syria as targets. Trump’s administration had put Iran “on notice” for its ballistic missile tests before the recent strike in Syria. Even traditional Iran hawks, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, don’t approve of US escalation. Mattis, military commanders, and top U.S. diplomats all oppose opening up a broader front against Iran and its proxies in southeastern Syria, viewing it as a risky move that could draw the United States into a dangerous confrontation with Iran. The contest with Iran in Iraq and Syria is not something that will be won or lost in the next couple of months. Meanwhile, Trump sells Qatar $12 billion of U.S. weapons days after berating Qatar for sponsoring terrorism at the highest levels.  

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on June 17, 2017 at 1:02pm

Letter to Rep Senator Toomey:

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. If this wicked trick is used to hoodwink Americans, you can be sure the tsunami of constituent rage at our betrayal will sweep out your fiendish political party. A big feature of the House bill—which is expected to remain in the Senate—is deregulating the health insurance industry, rendering everyone helpless.  Twenty seven percent of people under 65 have a pre-existing condition. Are you ready for their outrage? I urge you to dissuade McConnell from such action.

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.”

Indivisible believes that you, Pat Toomey, are among the 10 most likely to break with their party to defeat the health bill. I urge you to do so.

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 1:01pm

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.

 

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