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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: 21 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 September 25, 2017 at 4:14pm

Senate letter pg 2:

Our country’s degeneration has begun, as St. Louis Metropolitan Police interim chief Lawrence O’Toole embraced the type of mentality that dictatorial regimes encourage when using militarized forces to control an angry populace. His force used a controversial tactic of mass arrests called “kettling,” ultimately taking more than a hundred people into custody through savage force. This included abuse of journalists such as Mike Faulk among those arrested. Multiple officers knocked Faulk down, he said, and pinned his limbs to the ground. A firm foot pushed his head into the pavement. After he was subdued an officer squirted pepper spray in his face. When police claim ownership of public spaces they are reframing the relationship between the public and police in a manner that reflects the slide toward fascism. When police counter-chant “Blue Lives Matter” they’re proclaim themselves above African-Americans. They’re bragging that Black Lives don’t matter to them, because “Black Lives Matter” is a just plea to respect black Americans. As St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson says, “This is institutional racism.” Trump and Jeff Session encourage police to think they have the right to mistreat, brutalize and even kill the very people they are meant to serve.

Another of Trump’s violent policies is his expansion of drone strikes. Strikes conducted in secret by the CIA make it easier to wage endless war all over the globe without the knowledge or permission of the people or Congress. . I urge you to legislate against this expansion.

I urge you to oppose all expansion of unbridled violence by government agents both civilian and military, against citizens, immigrants, and foreign nationals. Much of this pro-violence policy is hidden within budget priorities, in the language of legislation, or in the background of nominees.

The Graham-Cassidy Bill is an example of this hidden violence, as millions would die from lack of health care. Oppose it!

Another example of this pervasive embrace of violence is the SHARE Act, in the House, which includes the Hearing Protection Act. If it passes there I urge you to oppose it. Title XVI of the bill, the “Lawful Purpose and Self-Defense Act,” denies the government authority to reclassify ammunition which pierces body armor as “armor piercing ammunition” if the manufacturer claims the ammo is meant to be used for sport and not for killing people wearing body armor. It also says that if a person legally owns a gun in a state like Texas with anything-goes gun laws, he can transport that gun through places with restrictive laws, such as Washington, D.C. People would be free to take their AR-15s, AK-47s and M134 machine guns to the capital, as long as they don’t intend to leave them there.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 25, 2017 at 4:13pm

Senate letter pg 1:

I’m very upset by this administration taking the country toward systemic violence.

Ryerson University Professor Henry Giroux articulates how Trump has emboldened the idea that violence is the only viable political response to social problems and has normalized violence. Violence is the principal force that shapes Trump’s language, politics and policies. He uses language as a weapon to threaten, humiliate, bully and inflict symbolic violence.  He has emboldened and indirectly supported the violent actions of white supremacists, and during the presidential campaign encouraged right-wing thugs to attack dissenters — especially people of color.

During his presidential campaign, Trump endorsed state torture and pandered to the spectacle of violence that his adoring crowds treated like theater. Trump repeatedly gives license to his base and others to commit acts of violence. Trump’s embrace of torture made clear that he not only was willing to normalize the unspeakable, but was more than willing to turn the American government into a criminal organization. Like a mafia figure, he openly displays a criminogenic ethic, willing to engage in violence as an act of vengeance and retribution.

Many of Trump’s domestic policies bear the weight of a form of domestic terrorism, in other words they are policies of systemic violence intended not only to harm or kill but also to instill fear in specific populations through intimidation and coercion. His pardon of a sadistic racist Joe Arpaio, foreshadows the US as a society of violence. Trump is the legitimator-in-chief of gun culture, police brutality, and a pro-war culture of violent hypermasculinity. He’s instituting a political and social order that expands the boundaries of social abandonment and the politics of disposability of all who oppose him or are marginalized by race and class. His politics of disappearance and disposability build a foundation for the US as a police state.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 22, 2017 at 4:02pm

House letter:

Funding for the Community Health Center Fund (CHCF) expires September 30th. About 50,000 people in low-income areas would lose their jobs and hundreds of community health centers would be forced to close. I urge you to make sure a clean bill is passed for this critical funding for over 9 million medically underserved patients.

Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), serving about 5.7 million people, is also set to expire on September 30. I urge you to oppose efforts by the House Freedom Caucus and Majority Whip to use a CHIP reauthorization bill to force through partisan legislation. I urge you to support a bipartisan CHIP reauthorization effort and pass a "clean" reauthorization bill.

I urge you to oppose the Trump Administration’s plan to fast track deportations for thousands of teenagers upon turning 18, who fled here to escape violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, even if they never see an immigration judge. Most people at the Department of Justice know that courts would likely rule the plan illegal. This trick to avoid congressional involvement should not stand.

I urge you to oppose the Trump Administration’s plan to open the first marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean to commercial fishing, under Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recommendation. A recent report found that global fish stocks have very few remaining old fish, which seriously endangers fish population resilience. Eliminating this sanctuary as a refuge is ecologically ignorant and against US self interest. It drastically increases the likelihood of catastrophic failure of commercial fishing over a wide area.

I urge you to support an investigation into the use of private jets by HHS Secretary Tom Price. Someone who railed against all federal use of private jets has no right to make at least 24 private flights since early May for a total estimated cost of $300,000. For a 125-mile drive from HHS headquarters in downtown Washington to the Mirmont Treatment Center outside of Philadelphia, where Price spoke, he cost taxpayers $60,000. While Republicans want to gut billions in health care spending in the name of fiscal responsibility, a HHS secretary who wants deep cuts to his own department has no right to blow 60 thousand on a charter plane instead of taking available commercial flights or Amtrack.

I urge you to oppose Trump’s expansion of drone strikes beyond conventional battlefields and beyond top militant targets to include foot soldiers. Our nation has no right to kill whoever we profile as a possible soldier, anywhere at all, from drones. We’ve already slaughtered enough weddings from the air. This slippery slope will soon include domestic targets like the peaceful protests Trump abhors, if we don’t say “NO!” now by law. I urge you to sponsor a bill, or amendment, to prohibit drone strikes outside of battlefields and beyond topmost militant leaders.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 22, 2017 at 4:00pm

Senate letter:

Pennsylvania has one of the highest numbers of individuals per capita with pre-existing conditions and who buy insurance on the individual market. The American Medical Association says that Graham-Cassidy violates the precept of “first do no harm.” AARP says that some seniors could pay up to $31,790 more than they are already paying to keep their current coverage. Do not condemn your own constituents to the morgue so the rich get a tiny undeserved tax break and a few red states can get money taken from us. I strongly urge you to oppose Graham-Cassidy!

I urge you to oppose Kevin McIntyre to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He represented major utilities, fracking companies, pipeline builders, and international energy corporations whose business is directly impacted by FERC’s decision making. FERC already has two new appointees, Neil Chatterjee and Rob Powelson, with fossil fuel company and utility conflicts of interest.

Funding for the Community Health Center Fund (CHCF) expires September 30th. About 50,000 people in low-income areas would lose their jobs and hundreds of community health centers would be forced to close. I urge you to make sure a clean bill is passed for this critical funding for over 9 million medically underserved patients. Please push the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to pass a clean bill.

I urge you to oppose the Trump Administration’s plan to fast track deportations for thousands of teenagers upon turning 18, who fled here to escape violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, even if they never see an immigration judge. Most people at the Department of Justice know that courts would likely rule the plan illegal. This trick to avoid congressional involvement should not stand.

I urge you to oppose the Trump Administration’s plan to open the first marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean to commercial fishing, under Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recommendation. A recent report found that global fish stocks have very few remaining old fish, which seriously endangers fish population resilience. Eliminating this sanctuary as a refuge is ecologically ignorant and against US self interest. It drastically increases the likelihood of catastrophic failure of commercial fishing over a wide area.

I urge you to support an investigation into the use of private jets by HHS Secretary Tom Price. Someone who railed against all federal use of private jets has no right to make at least 24 private flights since early May for a total estimated cost of $300,000. For a 125-mile drive from HHS headquarters in downtown Washington to the Mirmont Treatment Center outside of Philadelphia, where Price spoke, he cost taxpayers $60,000. While Republicans want to gut billions in health care spending in the name of fiscal responsibility, a HHS secretary who wants deep cuts to his own department has no right to blow 60 thousand on a charter plane instead of taking available commercial flights or Amtrack.

I urge you to oppose Trump’s expansion of drone strikes beyond conventional battlefields and beyond top militant targets to include foot soldiers. Our nation has no right to kill whoever we profile as a possible soldier, anywhere at all, from drones. We’ve already slaughtered enough weddings from the air. This slippery slope will soon include domestic targets like the peaceful protests Trump abhors, if we don’t say “NO!” now by law. I urge you to sponsor a bill, or amendment, to prohibit drone strikes outside of battlefields and beyond topmost militant leaders.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 21, 2017 at 3:17pm

GOP Senator (hard right) page 2:

The Trump administration and Republican Party have signaled in many ways that we’re devolving into a rogue state. At the UN, instead of offering a plan for peaceful resolution, Trump threatened to annihilate North Korea, a U.N. member state of 20 million people. He told North Korea and the world that the United States can no longer be trusted to honor commitments. No U.S. allies will support reneging on the Iran nuclear deal. Why should Kim Jong-Un negotiate anything now? Meanwhile, through Pennsylvania Rep. Aaron Bernstine and South Dakota Rep. Lynne DiSanto,  Republicans released trial balloons for their new moral code – that instead of freedom of speech and assembly the GOP endorses vehicular homicide of protestors on public roads. St. Louis police in military gear taunted protestors that streets belong to the police, NOT citizens. The Justice Department defied a court order to release visitor logs for Mar-a-Lago. The Department of Homeland Security also denied Freedom of Information Act requests. Filing lawsuits against people requesting public records is the new US trend at all levels of government to hide information, delay disclosure and intimidate critics. University of Kansas journalism professor Jonathan Peters wrote, “These lawsuits are an absurd practice and noxious to open government.” Citizens in a democracy shouldn’t have to sue their own government to find out what they’re doing in their name with their tax dollars. Continuing your unflinching support for your party and the odious Trump administration will condemn you to global moral condemnation possibly within a year, after Trump’s fascist power grab and soon-to-follow nuclear war. There’s still time to re-embrace democracy and sanity. I urge you to set an example toward reforming your party and to oppose these assaults on Constitutional freedoms.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 21, 2017 at 3:17pm

GOP Senator (hard right) page 1:

Your vote to destroy healthcare for millions with the ACA repeal caused a tsunami of outrage. I strongly urge you to oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill, which is far worse. It destroys the governing structures upon which a national health care system (which is favored by 62% of the public) might be built. It transfers healthcare decisions and money to states, then strangles that until it’s gone in 2027, cutting a fifth of state budgets from Medicaid loss alone in two decades. Since those block grants would have no strings attached, states could use them for anything else, such as roads or corporate subsidies. It would dismantle Medicaid, end federal subsidies for Obamacare policy­holders, end minimum insurance coverage standards, cut trillions in health care funding, and shift billions from blue states like Pennsylvania to red states. Medical associations oppose the bill because they know the chaos it would bring, starting with double-digit insurance premium hikes and leading to an estimated 32 million people losing coverage over the next decade. Blue Cross opposes it. Health “insurance” under Graham-Cassidy would be a con, because after a healthy person pays for years, the day they get cancer their premiums would become prohibitively expensive and they’d die for lack of medical care.

I urge you to cosponsor and support the Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act of 2017 (S.1593) to encourage states to reform their bail systems. The bail system is broken. It doesn’t make us safer as half of high-risk defendants post bail while low-risk defendants overcrowd jails at taxpayer expense. The Pretrial Justice Institute estimates that bail reform could save taxpayers up to $78 billion per year.

I urge you to cosponsor and support S. 1820, which would block Trump’s transgender military ban. Any member of the military who meets the medical and readiness standards should be allowed to serve — including those who are trans­gender. If men and women are brave enough to put their lives on the line to protect us, we should be brave enough to allow them to serve. There’s no constitutional mandate to micromanage the internal organs of soldiers.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 21, 2017 at 3:16pm

GOP House (center-right):

I urge you to oppose the Anti-Pyramid Promotional Scheme Act, purportedly written by an MLM industry trade group with direct connections to the DeVos family, which actually makes it easier for bad Multilevel Marketers to operate pyramid schemes with impunity.  I urge you to oppose the more insidious attempt to legalize pyramid schemes the Moolenaar Amendment to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, HR 3280. The amendment’s redefinition of pyramid scheme breaks all legal understanding of the term. I urge you to oppose HR 3280 unless the Moolenaar Amendment is removed. Six former high-ranking FTC officials warned that passing the spending bill with the Moolenaar amendment intact could “put practices now recognized as harmful and deceptive beyond the reach of the law.”

I appreciate that you have not been intimidated by Trump to follow his agenda blindly. The Trump administration and Republican Party have signaled in many ways that we’re devolving into a rogue state. At the UN, instead of offering a plan for peaceful resolution, Trump threatened to annihilate North Korea, a U.N. member state of 20 million people. He told North Korea and the world that the United States can no longer be trusted to honor commitments. No U.S. allies will support reneging on the Iran nuclear deal. Why should Kim Jong-Un negotiate anything now? Meanwhile, through Pennsylvania Rep. Aaron Bernstine and South Dakota Rep. Lynne DiSanto,  Republicans released trial balloons for their new moral code – that instead of freedom of speech and assembly the GOP endorses vehicular homicide of protestors on public roads. St. Louis police in military gear taunted protestors that streets belong to the police, NOT citizens. The Justice Department defied a court order to release visitor logs for Mar-a-Lago. The Department of Homeland Security also denied Freedom of Information Act requests. Filing lawsuits against people requesting public records is the new US trend at all levels of government to hide information, delay disclosure and intimidate critics. University of Kansas journalism professor Jonathan Peters wrote, “These lawsuits are an absurd practice and noxious to open government.” Citizens in a democracy shouldn’t have to sue their own government to find out what they’re doing in their name with their tax dollars. I urge you to lead your party to re-embrace democracy and sanity while there’s still time. I urge you to oppose these assaults on Constitutional freedoms.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 21, 2017 at 3:15pm

Dem Senator:

Thank you for opposing Trumpcare. I strongly urge you to oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill, which is far worse. It destroys the governing structures upon which a national health care system (which is favored by 62% of the public) might be built. It transfers healthcare decisions and money to states, then strangles that until it’s gone in   2027, cutting a fifth of state budgets from Medicaid loss alone in two decades. Since those block grants would have no strings attached, states could use them for anything else, such as roads or corporate subsidies. It would dismantle Medicaid, end federal subsidies for Obamacare policy­holders, end minimum insurance coverage standards, cut trillions in health care funding, and shift billions from blue states like Pennsylvania to red states. Medical associations oppose the bill because they know the chaos it would bring, starting with double-digit insurance premium hikes and leading to an estimated 32 million people losing coverage over the next decade. Blue Cross opposes it. Health “insurance” under Graham-Cassidy would be a con, because after a healthy person pays for years, the day they get cancer their premiums would become prohibitively expensive and they’d die for lack of medical care.

I urge you to cosponsor and support the Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act of 2017 (S.1593) to encourage states to reform their bail systems. The bail system is broken. It doesn’t make us safer as half of high-risk defendants post bail while low-risk defendants overcrowd jails at taxpayer expense. The Pretrial Justice Institute estimates that bail reform could save taxpayers up to $78 billion per year.

I urge you to cosponsor and support S. 1820, which would block Trump’s transgender military ban. Any member of the military who meets the medical and readiness standards should be allowed to serve — including those who are trans­gender. If men and women are brave enough to put their lives on the line to protect us, we should be brave enough to allow them to serve. There’s no constitutional mandate to micromanage the internal organs of soldiers.

The Trump administration and Republican Party have signaled in many ways that we’re devolving into a rogue state. At the UN, instead of offering a plan for peaceful resolution, Trump threatened to annihilate North Korea, a U.N. member state of 20 million people. He told North Korea and the world that the United States can no longer be trusted to honor commitments. No U.S. allies will support reneging on the Iran nuclear deal. Why should Kim Jong-Un negotiate anything now? Meanwhile, through Pennsylvania Rep. Aaron Bernstine and South Dakota Rep. Lynne DiSanto, Republicans released trial balloons for their new moral code – that instead of freedom of speech and assembly the GOP endorses vehicular homicide of protestors on public roads. St. Louis police in military gear taunted protestors that streets belong to the police, NOT citizens. The Justice Department defied a court order to release visitor logs for Mar-a-Lago. The Department of Homeland Security also denied Freedom of Information Act requests. Filing lawsuits against people requesting public records is the new US trend at all levels of government to hide information, delay disclosure and intimidate critics. University of Kansas journalism professor Jonathan Peters wrote, “These lawsuits are an absurd practice and noxious to open government.” Citizens in a democracy shouldn’t have to sue their own government to find out what they’re doing in their name with their tax dollars. I urge you to oppose all of these Republican-backed assaults on democracy.

Comment by Loren Miller on September 21, 2017 at 9:25am

This just went off to Rob Portman.  I didn't send anything to Sherrod Brown because I KNOW I don't have to worry about him or his position on Graham-Cassidy:

We've gone around and around with this issue, and not once have the Republicans offered a reasonable healthcare bill which would do less harm than good.  This latest bill – Graham-Cassidy – rather than being the best of the lot gives every appearance of being far and away the worst.

If you support and vote for this bill, you will have made it more than evident that you care more about the position of your party than you do the welfare of the people you supposedly represent, and you will have done all of us a grievous disservice.  For once, rather than go with the crowd, DO SOMETHING RIGHT ... and reject Graham-Cassidy.
Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 18, 2017 at 2:15pm

Senate letter, page 2:

With two weeks still remaining in the budget year, the U.S. Forest Service has already spent more than two billion dollars on wildfire suppression.  Harvey is estimated to have caused $180 billion of destruction, and Irma’s costs are still unknown. The Trump administration’s approach to costly increases in climate-related extreme events is not only denial, seeking more tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest, but war-mongering. It’s almost as if Trump imagines we can be distracted from climate change by a new multiple-front war. We’re teetering on the brink of war with North Korea, we increased troops to Afghanistan, and now the administration complains that Iran’s full compliance to our nuclear deal doesn’t matter – we need to consider war because the real threat is Iran’s regional “expansion”. While the military’s domestic responsibilities are on the rise due to climate change, the president envisions assigning them vastly expanded overseas missions further pushing overworked crews and overstretched resources. That the armed forces face a crisis is highlighted by the recent deadly collisions involving Navy vessels in the Pacific. Trump is manifestly unfit to serve, and his replacement of competent administrators with crony capitalist climate deniers multiplies the fragility of our entire government. It takes no psychiatric expertise to see that Trump’s retweet of a GIF of himself striking Hillary Clinton in the back with a golf ball is a symptom of impending breakdown. Trump’s administration isn’t just corrupted by self-dealing and Russian influence, it’s not just deliberately dismantling itself; Trump’s administration is catabolic – like the dysfunctional metabolism of a wasting terminal patient. Replacing both Trump and Pence, legally and without triggering nuclear catastrophe or civil uprising, will be necessary but not sufficient to salvage democracy. We also need an awakening in Congress to the nation-suicide tendencies pushed by backers such as the Mercers and the Koch Brothers. Do what you can to save us all.

 

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