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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: 19 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 on July 20, 2017 at 5:36pm

These are the articles I used in today's senate letter:

A 2014 study

Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible...

MacLean's article is http://www.alternet.org/right-wing/radical-rights-stealth-plan-america

Page 1:

I urge you to oppose Mark Esper for secretary of the Army. Having served as Raytheon’s vice president of governmental affairs since 2010, he would be the latest high-ranking addition to the Pentagon from a major defense contractor. Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain has expressed concern at the number of defense contractor executives being chosen by the Trump administration and does not want Trump to nominate anyone else from the top five defense contractors.

Esper’s resume also includes chief of staff at conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation.

Author Nancy MacLean warns of James McGill Buchanan’s ideological impact on the far right, as adopted by Charles Koch. Buchanan’s Public Choice Economics “entails restrictions on the freedom of the great majority in order to protect property rights and the prerogatives of the most well off.” Buchanan’s theory of the motives of public actors was so cynical as to be utterly corrosive of the norms of a democratic society. When he uses the word “liberty” it means that property rights are the crucial human right and that they are central to “liberty”. What they mean by “liberty” is the unrestrained ability of wealthy individuals to veto commoners. It’s not actually a conspiracy in the legal definition, because a conspiracy involves illegal behavior, and this cause is so rich, so wealthy, that they can hire the best legal talent to make sure that they’re operating within the law — with the possible exception of nonprofit law. It’s so far on the radical right that their hostile attitude toward our democracy is like a hostile takeover. This calculated effort on to undermine all of our collective institutions, nurtured in hundreds of organizations such as the Heritage Foundation, the Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Partners, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Koch’s big donor operation is bringing the Buchanan-Koch playbook directly into US government. By one report, 70 percent of Trump’s top senior appointees are coming from that network, and that includes his vice president, Mike Pence, the White House liaison to Congress, Mark Short, and Scott Pruitt at the EPA. Mark Esper belongs to this ongoing coup by ultra-rich extremists.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on July 19, 2017 at 3:56pm

Letter to Rep House:

House Republicans plan to defund the Election Assistance Commission, the agency responsible for protecting a secure voting process in American elections. Cutting funding sends a clear signal to Putin that House Republicans want him to interfere in future elections on their behalf.  Republicans obviously want to guarantee easily hacked voting machines, since the EAC accredits testing laboratories and certifies voting. In 2017 the defense of our voting integrity can no more be left to a collection of states than the defense of our land could be left to a collection of states in 1776. Only unified national action will suffice. I urge you to oppose defunding the EAC.

On budget considerations, I urge you to include an amendment to prohibit military authorization to lease Trump properties above market value. The U.S. government is paying more than $130,000 a month (well over market value) to lease space in Trump Tower for the military office that supports the White House, even though Donald Trump hasn’t spent a night at the New York skyscraper since becoming president.

The House will vote next week on a "minibus" that includes four spending bills that fund the Pentagon and VA, the legislative branch and the Energy Department, as well as funding Trump's proposed border wall. No US taxpayer money should pay for a border wall!

I’m upset that Speaker Ryan removed Barbara Lee's amendment to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) from the 2018 Defense Appropriations Bill by. It is time to end the overly broad and outdated 2001 AUMF authorization, which has been used in at least 14 different countries to justify military intervention.  I urge you to debate the reintroduction of appropriate congressional oversight of the fight against terrorism, such as the Lee amendment, on the House floor.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on July 19, 2017 at 3:56pm

Letter to Dem Senator:

I strongly urge you to oppose McConnell’s planned amendment to repeal Obamacare with a two-year delay. Citizens want Medicare for All.

Trump is threatening to gut the Obamacare markets by immediately halting the subsidy payments, which he has the discretion to do while the lawsuit House Republicans won in 2014 is being appealed. I urge you to lead a strong Democratic outcry to his assault on the health and financial security of the American people.

John Abraham makes the point that Republicans succeed in manipulating people through fear. “In a sane world, everyone would understand the threat of climate change and our ability to take meaningful action to handle it. In a sane world, no one would believe a president who has misled them time and time again.” Trump supporters are afraid of change, afraid of the future, afraid of people who are not just like them, afraid of terrorism. Facts don’t matter. Speaking to their fears is what matters, he advises. The traditional politics of the Democratic Party does not speak to fear nearly as well as the revolutionary socialism of Bernie Sanders. I urge you to embrace his rhetoric.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on July 19, 2017 at 3:55pm

Letter to Rep Senator:

You claim to support fiscal responsibility. Single payer health care systems cost countries far less than market-based systems. Republicans are disrupting our country to benefit the wealthiest few at the expense of the rest of us. Keystone Progress reports that “Senator Toomey pledged to vote for a full repeal of the Affordable Care act, even without any plan to replace it. This kind of reckless game can only be played by people like Toomey, who compares the sick and injured to ‘burned-out buildings.’” Prove that you believe in fiscal responsibility by supporting Medicare for All instead of showing contempt for your constituents! The Senate health care bill’s support is under 20 percent around the country. In not one state does a majority support this bill. I strongly urge you to oppose McConnell’s planned amendment to repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay. 

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on July 18, 2017 at 9:47pm

Letter to Rep House:

The House Budget Committee blueprint sets out special reconciliation procedures that could ultimately allow Republicans to pass legislation over the objections of Senate Democrats who can normally block bills they oppose, intending to use them to pass a tax giveaway to the rich overhaul later this year. I urge you to oppose such a backhanded way to rewrite constitutional protections! The instructions in the draft budget go well beyond tax policy and set the stage for a potential $203 billion rollback of financial industry regulations, federal employee benefits, welfare spending and more. The House proposal cuts into Medicare and Social Security. Those are policy areas where Republicans have, in many cases, already passed legislation in the House but have seen Democrats block action in the Senate. The House plan envisions major cuts to federal spending over the coming decade. Defense spending would steadily increase over 10 years while nondefense discretionary spending would decline to $424 billion — 23 percent below the $554 billion the federal government is spending in that category this year. The House plan also makes an unrealistic economic growth assumption of 2.6 percent, which exceed the 1.9 percent figure used by the Congressional Budget Office. I urge you to totally oppose this regressive pro-military budget.

If the Trump camp is treading the path toward treason, so too is the entire Republican Party. In September the intelligence community wanted members of Congress to craft a bipartisan report that would alert the American people that the intelligence services of Putin had corrupted the U.S. presidential campaign with a hacking operation designed to damage the Democratic nominee.  McConnell threatened to paint any such report as an attempt by then-President Barack Obama to tilt the election in Clinton’s favor. In other words, McConnell knew that Putin, the head of state of a foreign adversary, was working to subvert the democratic process, and he protected Putin’s subversion from public scrutiny, assisting in its success. Republican legislators have shown little interest in protecting the republic from the racket now run out of the White House. Trump, his family, and closest associates are using the presidency to personally enrich themselves. Like Putin, they view government position as a personal ATM, rather than a means of serving the public good and general welfare. For the majority Republicans, power trumps truth. They’ve bought into the racket. I urge you to fight this biggest con ever on the American people, and honor your oath of office.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on July 18, 2017 at 9:46pm

Letter to Dem Senator:

I urge you to absolutely oppose any attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act with no healthcare plan to replace it. In other words, vote against the motion to proceed. Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans don’t intend to debate the House TrumpCare bill, but to use it as a vehicle for a full repeal bill. The first amendment that McConnell will offer is one that strikes the entire House bill, and replaces it with the repeal bill already passed in 2015. Every Senator should oppose both the latest version of Trumpcare and this motion to proceed. Under this framework, which repeals as much of the law Republicans can get away with through reconciliation, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that 18 million Americans would lose their insurance in the first year. The CBO also said premiums would increase by 25% in the first year and that they would double by 2026.

Don’t buy the argument that they’ll work on a replacement later, with Democrats forced to negotiate. Make it clear that Democrats find holding millions of lives hostage morally abhorrent. Insurers called the current Senate health care bill “simply unworkable in any form”.

I urge you to sponsor legislation to limit non-compete clauses in employment contracts to high-level jobs that involve protecting proprietary knowledge. It's chilling that ordinary workers are being turned, functionally, into indentured servants through abuse of non-compete clauses. 1 in 5 American workers is now locked in with a non-compete clause in an employment contract. When corporations use non-competes to prevent ordinary employees from moving to newer or better jobs, they essentially turn employees into corporate property, violating their constitutional rights. Idaho, for example, recently passed a law that recognizes and rigorously enforces non-compete agreements in employment contracts, which means that if Ohioans want to move to a different, more highly paid, or better job, their employers can bankrupt them with lawsuits and legal costs. This blatant encroachment of corporate power - cancelling basic human rights - crosses the threshold of nonhuman entities dominating human beings, ushering in a horrific dystopian United States. What began with corporate personhood and corporate capital equaling free speech is now mutating into a neo-feudalism worthy of science fiction. 

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on July 18, 2017 at 9:45pm

Letter to Rep Senator:

I urge you to absolutely oppose any attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act with no healthcare plan to replace it. In other words, vote against the motion to proceed. Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans don’t intend to debate the House TrumpCare bill, but to use it as a vehicle for a full repeal bill. The first amendment that McConnell will offer is one that strikes the entire House bill, and replaces it with the repeal bill already passed in 2015. Every Senator should oppose both the latest version of Trumpcare and this motion to proceed. Under this framework, which repeals as much of the law Republicans can get away with through reconciliation, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that 18 million Americans would lose their insurance in the first year. The CBO also said premiums would increase by 25% in the first year and that they would double by 2026.

No one will buy the argument that you’ll work on a replacement later, with Democrats forced to negotiate. Holding millions of lives hostage is intolerable. Insurers called the current Senate health care bill “simply unworkable in any form”. If Congress can’t find a compromise today, nobody will trust Congress to find one in a year or two.

If the Trump camp have tread the path toward treason, so too has the entire Republican Party. In September the intelligence community wanted members of Congress to craft a bipartisan report that would alert the public that the intelligence services of Putin had corrupted the U.S. presidential campaign with a hacking operation designed to damage the Democratic nominee.  McConnell threatened to paint any such report as an attempt by then-President Barack Obama to tilt the election in Clinton’s favor. In other words, McConnell knew that Putin, the head of state of a foreign adversary, was working to subvert the democratic process, and he protected Putin’s subversion from public scrutiny, assisting its success. Republican legislators have shown little interest in protecting the republic from the racket now run out of the White House. Trump, his family, and closest associates are using the presidency to personally enrich themselves. Like Putin, they view government position as a personal ATM, rather than a means of serving the public good and general welfare. For the majority Republicans, power trumps truth. They’ve bought into the racket. I urge you to fight this biggest con ever on the American people, and honor your oath of office.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on July 17, 2017 at 3:47pm

Letter for any senator:

Mitch McConnell bypassed the standard committee review process and moved in late June to advance an 800-page energy bill to the Senate floor. I urge you to oppose the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017, which is a shameless giveaway to the polluting oil and gas industry. It would lock in our country’s dependence on dirty fossil fuels for decades to come and intentionally undermine critical state and federal efforts to promote clean, renewable energy — our only path to staving off the worst effects of impending climate chaos. By speeding approval of liquefied natural gas exports, it would lead to expanded fracking nationwide, permanently poisoning essential aquifers and polluting air near new wells, pipelines, compressor stations and gas storage facilities. Such large scale investment in new natural gas infrastructure will require decades to be recouped by corporations, guaranteeing their operation until profits are returned. By that time, decades from now, it will be far too late to save us from climate catastrophe.

Asset manager Schroders’ analysis of the biggest drivers of climate change, including oil and gas production and political action, suggested global temperatures are poised to rise by 4 degrees above pre-Industrial Revolution levels. Investors will not be able to avoid the “force of nature colliding with financial markets in the years and decades ahead. “ According to Schroders analysis, between 15 and 20 per cent of company cash flows are at risk, on average, because of climate change. Global warming is a real problem, not just a societal problem but a financial problem.

Climate change also escalates the speed of nationwide Zika epidemic. The CDC reports that 8% of women with confirmed Zika infection in the first trimester had children with birth defects, 5% of second trimester infections caused birth defects and 4% of third trimester infections caused easily detectable birth defects. Though less well studied, less obvious brain damage than microcephaly is also reported. While 28 states report Aedes aegypti, and Aedes albopictus is even more widespread, Brazilian doctors found that our common mosquito Culex is also a Zika vector. Since the lifetime medical costs for one microcephalic Zika baby is estimated at $10 million, passing the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017 in an effort to boost our economy would be ludicrous.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on July 17, 2017 at 3:43pm

Letter to Rep House:

I urge you to oppose fully gutting the Johnson Amendment, which is part of a proposed budget bill passed the House Appropriations Committee. It prevents the IRS from investigating houses of worship (but not other tax-exempt nonprofits) for engaging in partisan politics. The proposal's backers talked specifically about churches. Most religious organizations oppose the Johnson amendment, not wanting to be exploited for political ends.

Churches and religious groups don't have the same disclosure and filing requirements as other nonprofits - they’re not required to file IRS Form 990. Churches don't have to tell anyone how much money they're getting, or from whom, or where it goes. With this budget change, churches would become a massive conduit of anonymous political dark money (tax-deductible to donors too!). This would legalize a tax-deductible money-flow-infrastructure for any nefarious agent who wishes to manipulate US elections. Russian money – totally hidden! Crime syndicate money – just create your own church!  Even a dark web agent for ISIS could just found a church. US elections at every level would be up for the highest secret bidder.

On the budget, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney had a Wall Street Journal column highlighting the benefits of "MAGAnomics." His deeply flawed piece exhibited ignorance of history and outright lies. Mulvaney complains about government benefits keeping people from working. The idea that large numbers of people aren't working because of generous welfare benefits shows a mind-boggling ignorance for an OMB Director. The United States has the least generous welfare state of any developed country. The idea that we will get any substantial boost to the labor force from further gutting benefits is absurd. I urge you to repudiate Republican budget talking points which rely on ignorant and deceptive economics.

The president’s budget is also hostile to the programs trying to save antibiotics and fight superbugs. Consider untreatable “super gonorrhea.” President Donald Trump and Republican leaders are proposing to make deep cuts to, and in some cases eliminate, the federal programs focused on battling antibiotic resistance. In 2016 Congress funded the CDC to the tune of $160 million to create the Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative (ARSI) to try to improve detection and containment of resistant infections across the country. That funding, the entire initiative, could soon vanish. Trump’s 2018 budget seeks to cut the ARSI budget by roughly $23 million, and it would shift the source of funding from the general CDC fund to its Prevention and Public Health Fund, the very same fund that the Republican-controlled Senate is hoping to eliminate completely with its latest health care bill. The combination of Trump’s budget and the Senate’s bill together will increase untreatable STDs. Meanwhile the Department of Health and Human Services just announced they are defunding the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPP) upon which many communities rely for evidence-based strategies to reduce teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and risky sexual behaviors. At risk too is the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), which tracks resistance patterns and infections at 17,000 of the country’s health care facilities. How are we going to know if super STDs are spreading, if we’re not tracking antibiotic use? I urge you to support full funding for ARSI, the NHSN and to reinstate funding through 2020 for the TPP.

Comment by Grinning Cat on July 15, 2017 at 1:32pm

Should've mentioned that in addition to continuing to call my senators to oppose Republican health care "wealth care", I called my congressman yesterday to oppose gutting the Johnson Amendment -- a proposed budget bill passed the House Appropriations Committee that prevents the IRS from investigating houses of worship (but not other tax-exempt nonprofits) for engaging in partisan politics. The proposal's backers talked specifically about churches.

Because churches and religious groups are privileged, and don't have the same disclosure and filing requirements as other nonprofits, they'd become a massive conduit of anonymous political dark money (tax-deductible to donors too!!!). They don't have to tell anyone how much money they're getting, or from whom, or where it goes. The new SuperPACs in "holy and righteous" sheep's clothing!

More background on the measure: "House Republicans Are Using a Budget Bill To Fully Gut the Johnson Amendment" (Friendly Atheist)

 

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