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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: yesterday

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 November 6, 2017 at 2:25pm

Page 2 House letter:

Republicans intend to use their tax cut plan to remove incentives for electric vehicle ownership by the end of 2017. Road transportation is now the primary contributor to premature death from air pollution, resulting in 53,000 early deaths per year. That’s more deaths than from vehicle accidents! Legislators might just as well be mowing down crowds from aircraft to achieve this annual death toll. And that’s not even considering more widespread nonlethal impacts such as asthma, stroke, heart attacks, and reduced lung function. I urge you to strongly oppose electric vehicle incentive cuts.

 Trump’s end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will deport 5889 people from Pennsylvania - who contribute $357 million to the state’s GDP. I urge you to reinstate the DACA and create a legal path to citizenship.

Trump has tweeted that he would “love to be involved with”, meaning interfere with, the Justice Department and the FBI, and he’s very frustrated by obstacles to his direct control of them. I urge you to sponsor legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on November 6, 2017 at 2:24pm

Page 1 House letter:

Registration Act (FARA) disclosure rules amid lax Justice Department enforcement. Out-of-control foreign influence demands new regulations and tougher enforcement. FARA has suffered from an “unacceptable” lack of compliance, according to a federal Inspector General report released last year that in part blamed the Justice Department’s inadequate resources and lack of subpoena power. I urge you to support legislation introduced by Republican Mike Johnson that would close that loophole and give the Justice Department subpoena power when investigating FARA violations. RT, the Russian news agency, must register under FARA as a matter of law. The 2016 Russian propaganda campaign is precisely what FARA was created to combat.

The Paradise Papers show how deeply the offshore financial system is entangled with tax cheating political players, the wealthy, and corporate giants, forcing ordinary citizens to carry the tax burden. Republican tax anti-reform is stealing over $1 trillion from the middle-class, working-class, and poor to make the rich, who are already richer than ever, far richer. This blatant citizen betrayal, in the context of the Paradise Papers, will tip the balance of public complacency. We’re already at French Revolution levels of inequality. I urge you to oppose the GOP farce of “tax reform”.

I strongly object to the Republican plan to pay for the CHIP program by cutting a separate public health program and raising Medicare premiums. Stealing health care from other citizens to pay for the children’s health care they cut is malevolence disguised as responsibility. I urge you to fund CHIP from general revenue, not bait and switch.

I urge you to oppose the tax treatment of so-called carried interest in the tax plan reconciliation proposed by House Republicans, retaining a big benefit for private-equity and hedge-fund titans.

Comment by Grinning Cat on November 3, 2017 at 2:34pm

I called on my members of Congress to oppose the tRump tax bill currently in the House, both generally as a massive corporate giveaway, and specifically for allowing pastors to endorse candidates in church, effectively repealing the Johnson Amendment.

Sec. 5201 would allow partisan political statements by churches (or other tax-exempt nonprofits with a “religious purpose”) -- but not by other 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofits. Its safeguards are meaningless, as Hemant Mehta explains: "A wealthy member of the congregation could threaten to withhold money from the church unless the pastor endorses a particular candidate from the pulpit because that candidate is seen as sufficiently anti-abortion or anti-gay."

5,500 nonprofit agencies, more than 100 religious and denominational organizations and more than 4,200 faith leaders have spoken out in support of the current law. [Americans United]

This blatantly violates the Establishment Clause [Center for Inquiry]

“With no transparency, no disclosure, and even a tax break for donating, every church in America would become a political weapon.” (David Silverman, president of American Atheists)

More info at "The GOP’s Tax Reform Bill Would Let Pastors Endorse Candidates in C..." (Friendly Atheist)

Comment by Grinning Cat on October 31, 2017 at 4:07pm

My calls to my senators: I urged them to...

Oppose Dana Baiocco for a seat on the Consumer Product Safety Commission. She “made her name helping companies avoid responsibility for harmful products... Baiocco has represented big tobacco and fought in court against asbestos workers who developed mesothelioma.” And “while the CPSC was leading a campaign over ATV safety, Baiocco was representing Yamaha in several suits over its two-person Rhino ATV.”

[See "Trump's Consumer Product Safety Nominee Defended Deadly Products", Sharon Lerner, The Intercept]

Oppose all Trump nominations, including federal judges, until the Russia investigation is complete. A man who may have colluded with a hostile foreign power to steal the presidency must not be allowed to appoint federal judges for life.

(to Dem.)
Withhold unanimous consent, halt all action on the Republican/​Trump agenda in the Senate until Trump is either exonerated or convicted.

Comment by Grinning Cat on October 30, 2017 at 6:44pm

Thanks, as always for the strong, concise talking points! I called my congresscritters today about the abortion ban.

It was good to see that Puerto Rico moved to cancel the Whitefish contract. Still cries out for review!

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 29, 2017 at 12:42pm

House letter:

I strongly urge you to oppose H.R. 490 — the Heartbeat Protection Act of 2017, which would effectively ban most abortions. Since a heartbeat can often be detected as early as six weeks, before most women even realize they’re pregnant, it intentionally prevents them from accessing care altogether. This is war on women, undoing women’s rights, and clearly unconstitutional.

I urge you to challenge Kris Kobach, the de facto head of President Trump’s election commission. Unsealed materials confirm that Kobach has a ready-made plan to gut core voting rights protections enshrined in federal law. The commission must be cancelled, as its purpose is clearly an all-out assault on the right to vote. Congress cannot stand by while the right to vote is stripped from citizens.

I urge you to join Representatives Raul Grijalva and Rob Bishop in calling for a congressional review of the award of $300 million contract to Whitefish Energy Holdings to help crews restore Puerto Rico’s electrical grid. This smacks of blatant crony capitalism as Whitefish was founded by a prominent donor of Trump’s presidential campaign and it had only two employees when the hurricane struck.  

I  also urge you to join lawmakers demanding to know why the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers and public sector utilities "failed in Puerto Rico to conduct the disaster-response planning they carried out ahead of other disasters this year" in Texas, Florida and other states.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 19, 2017 at 4:01pm

Senate Letter (either party) page 2:

A new report by U.S. PIRG and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) found that 73 percent of companies on the Fortune 500 list are already taking advantage of overseas tax havens—costing the United States $752 billion in federal tax revenue last year alone. "As Congress considers proposals to institute a near zero percent tax rate on profits booked offshore by multinational corporations, the findings in this report should give policymakers pause." The new study discovered that, in total, America's most profitable corporations in 2016 had $2.6 trillion stashed overseas in over 9,000 subsidiaries in various locations, including notorious tax havens like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. The already flawed US tax system allows for gaming on a grand scale, and the Trump-GOP tax proposals would make this bad situation even worse. I urge you to support stronger tax laws and enforcement on multinationals.

I urge you to cosponsor and support the bill by Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray to stabilize Obamacare. Trump's calling it "a bailout of insurance companies" is heartless and contemptuous of your constituents.

I urge you to cosponsor and support the Honest Ads Act which would create federal disclosure requirements for political ads sold online — including who paid for them — so they are "covered by the same rules as ads sold on TV, radio, and satellite. Stop Facebook, Twitter and Google allowing Russian trolls to purchase thousands of ads to sow discord in the U.S. and influence our elections.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 19, 2017 at 4:00pm

Senate Letter (either party) page 1:

An urgent ecological threat has emerged. A new study concluded that three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth. Flying insect decline of 6% per year is more than an alarming discovery, scientists say it amounts to 'ecological Armageddon.' “We appear to be making vast tracts of land inhospitable to most forms of life,... If we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse.” The drop is 82% in summer, when insect numbers reach their peak. “Flying insects have really important ecological functions, for which their numbers matter a lot.” The samples were from protected well-managed nature reserves, in a country exercising more care with pesticides than we do. Meanwhile EPA head Scott Pruitt takes sides with pesticide promoters and strangles Obama's climate regulations with tricks and lies. This insect population crash is bound to impact global food supplies before you leave office. I urge you to oppose the Trump Administration’s venal, scientifically ignorant, and myopic positions on pesticide regulation and climate change. For example, on Tuesday Scott Pruitt said he plans to rid his agency's advisory boards of scientists who have received federal grants, arguing that such funding compromises the "independence" of their work. But scientists who receive money from oil and chemical companies are perfectly qualified to provide the EPA with independent science advice. Purging scientists who tell us the facts about threats to our environment and health from the EPA advances the day when the country faces sudden starvation from this crisis.

Rick Perry’s Department of Energy study of power grid reliability backs a proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear plants. Perry’s new rule means that utilities have to pay coal and nuclear power plants for all their costs and all the power they produce, whether those plants are needed or not. By falsely claiming that renewable energy subsidies “create acute and chronic problems for maintaining adequate baseload generation and have impacted reliable generators of all types,” Perry justifies a proposal for government interference in the market by artificially increasing coal profits. A former chair of FERC, the independent agency that would actually implement Perry’s rule if it comes to pass, said it would “blow the market up.” He added: “It’s gonna be as expensive as hell.” I urge you to push back against this abuse of power which also will make climate disasters worse.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 19, 2017 at 3:59pm

House letter:

An urgent ecological threat has emerged. A new study concluded that three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth. Flying insect decline of 6% per year is more than an alarming discovery, scientists say it amounts to 'ecological Armageddon.' “We appear to be making vast tracts of land inhospitable to most forms of life,... If we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse.” The drop is 82% in summer, when insect numbers reach their peak. “Flying insects have really important ecological functions, for which their numbers matter a lot.” The samples were from protected well-managed nature reserves, in a country exercising more care with pesticides than we do. Meanwhile EPA head Scott Pruitt takes sides with pesticide promoters and strangles Obama's climate regulations with tricks and lies. This insect population crash is bound to impact global food supplies before you leave office. I urge you to oppose the Trump Administration’s venal, scientifically ignorant, and myopic positions on pesticide regulation and climate change. For example, on Tuesday Scott Pruitt said he plans to rid his agency's advisory boards of scientists who have received federal grants, arguing that such funding compromises the "independence" of their work. But scientists who receive money from oil and chemical companies are perfectly qualified to provide the EPA with independent science advice. Purging scientists who tell us the facts about threats to our environment and health from the EPA advances the day when the country faces sudden starvation from this crisis.

Rick Perry’s Department of Energy study of power grid reliability backs a proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear plants. Perry’s new rule means that utilities have to pay coal and nuclear power plants for all their costs and all the power they produce, whether those plants are needed or not. By falsely claiming that renewable energy subsidies “create acute and chronic problems for maintaining adequate baseload generation and have impacted reliable generators of all types,” Perry justifies a proposal for government interference in the market by artificially increasing coal profits. A former chair of FERC, the independent agency that would actually implement Perry’s rule if it comes to pass, said it would “blow the market up.” He added: “It’s gonna be as expensive as hell.” I urge you to push back against this abuse of power which also will make climate disasters worse.

I urge you to push for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding.  The Senate Finance Committee approved a bipartisan bill to reauthorize CHIP earlier this month but House negotiators remain at odds over offsets for the program. It's venal to hold children's lives hostage!

Comment by Grinning Cat on October 18, 2017 at 2:28pm

I sent similar messages to my (and Ruth's) senators, and will call as well.

I also sent this to our senators:

(Bolding added here, after the fact. The web forms accept plain text only.)

I urge you to demand the immediate withdrawal of Jeff Mateer's nomination for United States District Judge in the Eastern District of Texas. His pattern of unrestrained hostility towards LGBTQ people and towards the separation of church and state reveal him as an utterly unqualified extremist, antithetical to equal justice under law, and wholly unfit for a lifetime judicial appointment. His mockery and cruelty towards transgender children, calling them evidence of "Satan's plan", was not an isolated incident. He dismissed the Obergefell equal-marriage ruling as "not the law of the land" because "it's a 5-4 decision with Justice Kennedy joining the four liberals". (Would he have similarly dismissed the 5-4 Hobby Lobby decision?)

I also urge you to oppose Charles Goodwin's nomination for United States District Judge in the Western District of Oklahoma. He is the only judicial nominee since 2006 to be rated "Not Qualified" by the American Bar Association.

--------------------------------------

To the Democratic senator (repeating a call from September):

Until Trump releases his tax returns, the extent of his conflicts of interest won't be known, and his presidency itself is potentially illegitimate. Rather than confirm any of his nominees (or pass any of his legislation) under these "unpresidented" circumstances, Democratic senators should WITHHOLD UNANIMOUS CONSENT and do everything possible to delay or block his agenda.

 

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