Information

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: on Friday

Discussion Forum

Examine your state legislators

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Jan 1. 2 Replies

The Center for Public Integrity presents a data base of state level legislative conflicts of interest. Find your state legislators' financial interests…Continue

Tags: state political corruption

Robert Mercer's psyops behind the extremist takeover

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan Aug 17, 2017. 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, 2017. 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, 2017. 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, 2017. 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, 2017. 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, 2017. 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 September 18, 2017 at 2:14pm

Senate letter, page 1:

I urge you to oppose Bill Wehrum for Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation at the EPA. As a Hunton & Williams partner, he spent much of the last decade fighting regulation of oil and gas companies at the state and federal level. Under his leadership of the Bush EPA air program, America’s largest polluters were always favored over enforcing the law.

I urge you to vote against the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal plan. Any plan that eliminates Medicaid expansion and fails to guarantee affordable coverage for low-income Americans is unacceptable. Your constituents want Medicare for All!

I urge you to intervene in cases where military officers advocate religious persecution in violation of the US constitution. Air Force Reserve chaplain Sonny Hernandez is notorious for proselytizing. Repeated requests by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) to investigate him have been ignored. On Sept. 12 he wrote in Barbwire.com, “Christian service members who openly profess and support the rights of Muslims, Buddhists, and all other anti-Christian worldviews to practice their religions — because the language in the Constitution permits — are grossly in error, and deceived.” Public opposition to the Constitution violates his oath of office! Moreover, this administration encourages fundamentalist persecution of non-Christian military members. Complaints to MRFF about fundamentalist Christians have skyrocketed since Trump came to power. I urge you to protect the civil rights those serving in our military, even if it requires new law.

The House passed a “megabus” appropriations bill, H.R. 3354, that grants churches the privilege of violating the Johnson Amendment, which forbids tax-exempt nonprofits from endorsing political candidates. I urge you to oppose the Section 116 language during the reconciliation process; it prohibits Johnson Amendment enforcement against "a church, an integrated auxiliary of a church, or a convention or association of churches". This language of blatant religious privilege violates separation of church and state. In addition, most ministers and pastors want the Johnson Amendment kept strong and effective, so congregations don't end up getting divided over partisan politics.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 15, 2017 at 3:42pm

Letter to both senators:

A Scripps Institution of Oceanography paper calculates a 5 percent chance of catastrophic climate change by 2050, and a smaller chance that climate change would broadly wipe out human life by then. An “existential threat” to the survival of humans in 30 years can’t be ignored. 

Meanwhile the Trump administration is looking at long list of Heartland Institute recommended climate deniers as nominees for the EPA's Science Advisory Board, including Joseph D'Aleo, Edwin Berry, Alan Carlin, Kevin Dayaratna, Craig Idso, Gordon Fulks, Anthony Lupo, Leighton Steward, and David Legates. I urge you to oppose them. Republican efforts to promote climate destabilization for short term fossil fuel profit are a self-genocide nightmare. Barbuda was the first country entirely destroyed by climate change. Imagine the United States needing to evacuate in thirty years. Imagine your children and their families facing extinction-level threat.

According to a report published in the journal Climatic Change, 90 companies are responsible for 42 to 50 percent of the increase in the Earth’s surface temperature and 26 to 32 percent of sea level rise. These 90 companies owe a major debt to the entire planet, but especially to the victims of Harvey and Irma. Many of these companies knew the damage they were causing and spent vast sums promoting climate denial. I urge you to shift focus toward legislation that eliminates direct and indirect subsidies to these companies and also taxes them to rebuild and to fund a rapid shift to renewables.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 14, 2017 at 3:04pm

House letter:

I urge you to oppose the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE Act), introduced by Rep. Jeff Duncan.  Silencers should not be deregulated. The Violence Policy Center report showed that requiring people to register silencers has largely been successful in keeping them out of criminal hands. The few instances of silencer use in deadly crimes shows how seriously they threaten public safety. Many silencer cases involved attempted terrorist attacks planned by white supremacists, anti-government radicals or ISIS affiliates. Unregulated silencers would empower mass shooters to massacre police and the public undetected.

I urge you to oppose the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s proposal to revoke provisions of the “beryllium rule” limiting occupational exposure to beryllium in the construction and shipyard sectors. The Department of Labor’s own analysis shows that if these safety rules are rolled back, six additional people will develop chronic beryllium disease every year, and four will die of it. The costs to taxpayers of these illnesses and lives lost would far exceed the $11.9 million per year businesses would save by not implementing the safety rules. Clearly, unnecessary worker deaths and extra burdens on health services are acceptable to the Trump administration if they boost their donors’ profits.

I urge you to defend James Comey from the Trump administration’s ferocious attacks. As Rep. Eric Swalwell said, criticisms of Comey are an attempt to smear the original investigator into the alleged Russia collusion. This scurrilous behavior advertises Trump’s guilt. Innocent people work with prosecutors; they don’t try to undermine their credibility.

One way to prevent another hack like Equifax is to legislate a minimum standard of security protocol. I urge you to support new law to safeguard the US economy from cyber­criminals.

As a 2018 Farm Bill is being negotiated, I urge you to support changes to crop insurance that encourage farming practices making farms more resilient to climate change driven higher heat, drought and floods. The current crop insurance program discourages farmers from planting cover crops, and allows commodity growers to "hide" the impacts of climate change by discounting years in which extreme weather destroys crops.

Trump’s hostility toward other countries is corrupting our international standing. Recent visa sanctions against Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea, and Sierra Leone illustrate the growing adversarial position we’re adopting against other countries. Trump couldn’t even articulate sympathy for Mexico’s own hurricane and earthquake victims, after Mexico had offered material assistance to us after Hurricane Harvey. We’ll have no friends left if his tenure continues. I urge you to push for Trump’s removal from office.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 13, 2017 at 2:45pm

House letter. For senate I removed 1st paragraph:

I urge you to oppose the ADA Education and Reform Act, H.R. 620, which would eliminate all incentives for businesses to proactively ensure their businesses are accessible to people with disabilities. Shifting the responsibility of ADA compliance from businesses to people with disabilities, Congress would destroy a key element of the ADA.

I urge you to object to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new policy that employees may not talk to the press, "even for a simple data-related question." Demanding that all correspondence with news media, regardless of the nature of the inquiry, must be cleared through CDC's Atlanta Communications Office, cuts off citizens’ access to critical health information for which they paid.

The Trump administration has been trying to sabotage state-run retirement funds, using an interpretation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Constituents need secure retirement accounts that don’t have a 1.0 percent annual fee for the account manager on top of the separate fees to cover the cost of managing the funds. The 1.0 percent that 401(k) holders pay to manage their account is entirely an excess charge, just welfare for Wall Street on the backs of our elderly. California, Illinois, and Oregon, and other states have passed legislation that allows workers in the private sector to buy into low cost funds managed through the state. I urge you to sponsor a bill to protect low cost state run retirement funds.

Carl Bernstein advises, "There's considerable evidence that there's a consensus developing in the military, at the highest levels, in the intelligence community, among Republicans in Congress, including the leaders in the business community that the President of the United States, Donald Trump, is unfit to be the President of the United States. It's a dangerous moment in our history." Harvard Psychiatrist Dr. Lance Dodes says that, “The best diagnosis for Trump is that he is a malignant narcissist. … the malignant part is the sociopathy dimension.  He’s paranoid because … he needs to defend himself, his self-esteem, by saying that other people are bad. He is extremely paranoid and it edges into delusion. He does not really know what the truth is, at least at those moments. The more desperate Trump becomes, the more he needs to have a crisis so the country will rally around him. If I had to pinpoint it I would say he is going to start bombing North Korea.”

Trump is said to be in discussions about using “mini-nukes” in a limited, tactical nuclear war.  In 1974, during Nixon’s final days in office, the Secretary of Defense instructed the military to divert any emergency orders from Nixon involving nuclear weapons to him or the secretary of state. I urge you to discuss how to legally remove Trump without him having an opportunity to initiate a first strike against North Korea with other members of congress and the military.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 11, 2017 at 4:47pm

House Letter:

 

I strongly urge you to oppose H.R. 3697, the so-called Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act," which would label many non-violent undocumented immigrants as gang members and give the Department of Homeland Security the power to deport them without challenge. It would authorize the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security to label undocumented immigrants who were non-violent petty offenders or who merely harbored another undocumented immigrant and as gang members, with no statute of limitations on their alleged crimes, in order to deport them. This bill, which creates a legal authority to launch a wave of deportations that cannot be challenged, is a giant step toward the US as a police state.’

I urge you to oppose to the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal plan. Any plan that eliminates Medicaid expansion and fails to guarantee affordable coverage for low-income Americans is unacceptable. Your constituents want Medicare for All.

I urge you to ask that the committee immediately schedule a hearing to move forward with H.R. 3591 for House Committee. Our DREAMers deserve legal status and a path to citizenship, and I expect Congress to act swiftly to help the 800,000 people who relied on DACA for access to jobs, education, and security.

The costs of not acting to prevent climate change are adding up. Favoring fossil fuel industry profit over the common good and denying climate science, are hollowing out our country. MIT economist Peter Temin says that the US is regressing to have the economic and political structure of a developing nation.  The damages from wildfires and hurricanes this year are only a down payment on the self-destructive spiral to which GOP policies commit us. Corporations and the super wealthy already pay pathetically minimal taxes. Yet as the costs of climate destabilization rise, and FEMA funds run out, Republicans response is to cut their contributions further. What the GOP calls tax reform is a tax cut for the 1% and their corporate sponsors. Robert Mercer thinks there’s a real problem in this country when it comes to money distribution, that the poor have too much and the rich don’t have enough, and the GOP agrees. Mother Nature is thundering at us to protect the common good instead of sucking the planet and the poor dry to engorge the parasitic 1%. I urge you to oppose all budget cuts to climate, science, and social programs, oppose all fossil fuel subsidies, and support climate change adaptation and mitigation with higher taxes on corporations.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 11, 2017 at 4:46pm

letter to both senators:

I urge you to vote no on H.J.Res. 111, which overturns the CFPB’s recent Arbitration Rule. As highlighted by the response to the recent Equifax security breach, allowing consumers to take group action against financial institutions is a necessary check against predatory, risky and illegal banking practices. Wells Fargo used arbitration clauses to obstruct legal action following the revelation that employees created millions of fraudulent accounts for unwitting consumers. No financial company should have legal protection for their illegal acts. I urge you to enact strong data security standards and uphold new rules protecting one’s right to join class-action lawsuits if a corporation mistreats its customers. I urge you to hold Equifax accountable for the devastating security breach that led to the leak of sensitive data on nearly half of all U.S. consumers.

I urge you to oppose Joseph Otting’s nomination to Comptroller of the Currency. It was under Otting’s leadership that OneWest Bank engaged in unethical lending practices like robo-signing documents. He clearly lacks the experience and integrity needed to regulate our largest financial institutions and prevent another disastrous recession.

Kris Kobach has again demonstrated he is unfit to co-chair Trump’s presidential commission on election integrity by publishing in Breitbart a pathetic and immediately debunked big lie about 5,500 same-day registered “illegal” voters in New Hampshire last November. His blatant decoy, distracting from news of Trump’s Russia scandal, functions to hide investigations into treason. I urge you to find a way to derail this administration’s assault on voting rights.

I urge you to oppose Cheryl Stanton to serve as Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administrator, a position responsible for enforcing our nation’s basic wage protections. Much of her career has in fact been dedicated to representing employers, not workers, in wage and hour cases. Last year she was sued for failing to pay her house cleaners.

I urge you to oppose coal mining executive David Zatezalo to head the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). On his watch as chief executive of Rhino Resources coal company, MSHA identified a number of health and safety violations.

I call on you to oppose this continuing pattern of the Republican administration nominating unqualified, unfit individuals hostile to the very purpose of the departments and offices they’ll be heading. Appointing foxes to guard henhouses is deliberate assault on the body of our nation.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 8, 2017 at 3:54pm

Letter to both Senators:

I strongly urge you to oppose the following judicial nominees: Amy Coney Barrett and Joan Larsen for lifetime seats on federal appeals courts, Eric Dreiband as head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, William L. Campbell, Jr. to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Tennessee, Jeff Mateer to be United States District Judge in the Eastern District of Texas, and Thomas Lee Robinson Parker to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee. Such extremist nominees, who oppose reproductive and LGBTQ rights and are hostile to church/state separation, should be considered unqualified. Barrett "asserted that judges should not follow the law or the Constitution when it conflicts with their personal religious beliefs.” Larsen favors unchecked presidential power, including illegal torture. Mateer’s work at First Liberty Institute empowers those who would use personal religious beliefs to flout nondiscrimination laws. Dreiband, Trump's nominee to the Civil Rights Division, has spent most of his career attacking civil rights.

The latest Department of Justice request for identities of emailers involved in Dreamhost’s Trump-protest website is a clear abuse of government authority to build an enemies list of those who oppose the Trump administration. I urge you to oppose this administration’s violation of free speech by all means at your disposal. Congress cannot allow Trump to build a police-state database to criminalize planning of peaceful protest.

The Trump administration wants to reopen the completed review process which set the 2022-25 pollution and fuel economy standards for automobiles and light trucks standards as policy. Retired Marine Gen. James Conway, chief executive at Securing America’s Future Energy, said the current vehicle standards represent “one of the greatest weapons” against reliance on foreign oil. When wildfire, flood, drought, and hurricanes costs due to fossil fuel dependency are rapidly escalating, it’s madness increase our danger even more by moving backward. I urge you to push back against reopening vehicle standards policy.

Comment by John Dumaker on September 7, 2017 at 7:15pm

The Johnson Amendment is still under attack by Trump with his "religious freedom executive order " which would strip all funding for enforcing the Johnson Amendment. As per the FFRF: The Johnson Amendment prohibits charities, churches, and other 501(c)(3)s, which are tax exempt, from engaging in partisan politics. If the Johnson Amendment is repealed, millions, possibly billions, of dollars will flow into churches for political campaigns, but the churches will be able to spend it on whatever they choose. Churches will become, in effect, unregulated super-PACs.

We expect to see some movement on this bill today. Bundled with other appropriations, this “megabus” will affect what can and cannot be debated on the House floor. It is crucial that you call your representative — TODAY — and ask them oppose de-funding enforcement of the Johnson Amendment. ASK THEM TO REMOVE SECTION 116 FROM THE FINANCIAL SERVICES AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATIONS BILL

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 7, 2017 at 3:21pm

Letter to senators:

I urge you to take immediate action and pass S. 1615, the DREAM Act, and urge your colleagues to pass it by a veto-proof majority. I’m angry about betrayal of DREAMers, who came forward in trust and are now threatened with arrest and deportation in 6 months. Business leaders and most of your constituents want them to have legal status and a path to citizenship. Their contributions to Social Security are critical to its solvency. Rescinding DACA would reduce the GDP by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.

I urge you to support the bipartisan amendment to the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill, S. 1662, which would prevent the Department of Justice from interfering with state medical marijuana programs. 76% of physicians support the medical use of marijuana for specific conditions. This bipartisan compromise is necessary to protect medical marijuana programs and prevent malicious prosecution of innocent patients using marijuana on the advice of their doctors. I was looking forward to treatment with medical marijuana within a few months for my uncontrolled Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It makes my live miserable, despite following a strict diet, and the only effective available medication caused severe side effects.

In the wake of Harvey, and facing Irma, it’s time to treat public policies built on science denial as gross negligence.  It’s time to pass laws to hold politicians and public servants who end up killing large numbers of people and destroying critical infrastructure accountable, when they contemptuously cast aside clear scientific warnings. A ProPublica and Texas Tribune investigation found last year that those who have overseen Houston’s flooding issues discounted scientists’ warnings as “anti-development.” In August 2016, months after Houston had been hit by the second of two back-to-back “hundred year floods,” Mike Talbott, then the head of Houston’s flood control district, refused to consider scientific studies that development worsened flooding. Preceding Hurricane Harvey, Republican lawmakers delayed implementing safety rules for a local chemical plant. The Texas Department of Housing, Department of Public Safety and Health and Human Services were caught off-guard by the scale of Harvey’s destruction, because the Texas legislature had repeatedly killed bills to create a “climate adaptation plan” that could have resulted in preparations. If we don’t stop institutionalized climate change negligence at all levels of government, our country will spiral into preventable catastrophe. In 2012, North Carolina’s Coastal Commission released a scientific report projecting a sea level rise of 39 inches along the state’s shores over the course of the coming century, North Carolina legislators responded by passing a law that essentially banned the state from basing coastal policies on the latest scientific predictions of how much the sea level will rise. The 2017 hurricanes will teach us that anti-scientific government policy is suicide. 

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 7, 2017 at 3:21pm

Letter to House:

I urge you to take immediate action and pass H.R. 3591, the American Hope Act, and urge your colleagues to pass it by a veto-proof majority. I’m angry about betrayal of DREAMers, who came forward in trust and are now threatened with arrest and deportation in 6 months. Business leaders and most of your constituents want them to have legal status and a path to citizenship. Their contributions to Social Security are also critical to its solvency. Rescinding DACA would reduce the GDP by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.

I strongly urge you to oppose the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal plan. Oppose any plan that eliminates Medicaid expansion and fails to guarantee affordable coverage for low-income Americans. The American people want not repeal but a bipartisan approach to repairing and expanding the ACA.

I urge you to support the bipartisan amendment to the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill, HR 3267 which would prevent the Department of Justice from interfering with state medical marijuana programs. 76% of physicians support the medical use of marijuana for specific conditions. This compromise is necessary to protect medical marijuana programs and prevent malicious prosecution of innocent patients using marijuana on doctors’ advice.

In the wake of Harvey, and facing Irma, it’s time to treat public policies built on science denial as gross negligence.  It’s time to pass laws to hold politicians and public servants who end up killing large numbers of people and destroying critical infrastructure accountable, when they contemptuously cast aside clear scientific warnings. A ProPublica and Texas Tribune investigation found last year that those who have overseen Houston’s flooding issues dismissed scientists’ warnings as “anti-development.” In August 2016, months after Houston had been hit by the second of two back-to-back “hundred year floods,” Mike Talbott, then the head of Houston’s flood control district, refused to consider scientific studies that development worsened flooding. Preceding Hurricane Harvey, Republican lawmakers delayed implementing safety rules for a local chemical plant. The Texas Department of Housing, Department of Public Safety and Health and Human Services were caught off-guard by the scale of Harvey’s destruction, because the Texas legislature had repeatedly killed bills to create a “climate adaptation plan” that could have resulted in preparations. If we don’t stop institutionalized climate change negligence at all levels of government, our country will spiral into preventable catastrophe. In 2012, North Carolina’s Coastal Commission released a scientific report projecting a sea level rise of 39 inches along the state’s shores over the course of the coming century, North Carolina legislators responded by passing a law that essentially banned the state from basing coastal policies on the latest scientific predictions of how much the sea level will rise. The 2017 hurricanes will teach us that anti-scientific government policy is suicide. 

 

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