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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: on Wednesday

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 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.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 18, 2017 at 1:08pm

The GOP budget proposal is being voted on early Friday, so today I used my Republican Senator's email for this message.

I urge you to oppose the budget proposal which is just giveaways to big oil and billionaires at the expense of your constituents and our planet. Only very wealthy people will get a tax break, especially with elimination of estate tax. But you’d be cutting Medicare by $473 billion, cutting Medicaid by $1 trillion, and increasing deficit spending by $1.5 trillion. Asking the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to pass legislation to raise $1 billion over the next 10 years is a budgetary scam, a back door way to approve drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge which would not pass as a bill. You’re a fiscal conservative who railed against the nation's now-$20 trillion debt; you know very well that the fiction that the tax cuts will stimulate the economy and therefore pay for themselves has been debunked by reputable economists.

I urge you to oppose Charles Goodwin, who has been nominated to the federal bench in Oklahoma. The American Bar Association rates him “not qualified.”

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 17, 2017 at 7:41pm

Letter to Rep Senator, p 2:

While Trump’s antics ensure that attention is focused on him, the most savage fringe of the Republican Party is carefully advancing policies designed to enrich their true constituency: the Constituency of private power and wealth.

Pence will be no better. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said, “If Pence were to become President for any reason, the government would be run by the Koch brothers—period. He’s been their tool for years.”  Steve Bannon concurs, “I’m concerned he’d be a President that the Kochs would own.” Nor would Paul Ryan return us to constitutional sanity. He has long been advertising his ideal of virtually eliminating the federal government, apart from service to the Constituency.

I urge you to resist all legislation and all Republican leadership pressure to disenfranchise voters, to privatize, and to weaken constitutional rights or regulations which protect the public. Resist the EPA’s new guidelines that claim higher radiation levels "usually" pose "no harmful health effects."

Resist Republican pressure to speed up poultry inspection lines to 175 birds per minute. Under Obama, OSHA didn't want thousands of workers to have their arms destroyed by having to cut up chickens at 175 birds per minute. Tyson Foods and JBS/Pilgrim's Pride are among the 10 companies with the highest number of work-related amputations and hospitalizations, out of more than 14,000 companies reporting to the federal government, and meatpacking plants have repeatedly been cited for forcing workers to forgo medical care, which can mean fewer reports of illnesses and injuries.

Resist elimination of the Clean Power Plan, based on Pruitt’s phony findings.

To sacrifice the health and lives of your constituents and a liveable climate, in a de-facto corporate coup, is to abandon the ideals upon which the US was founded. This is no longer the Party of Lincoln that you joined.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 17, 2017 at 7:39pm

Letter to Rep Senator, p 1:

I urge you to support the bill agreed upon by Sen. Lamar Alexander and Sen. Patty Murray to subsidize insurance plans for low-income Americans, which contains $160 million to restore outreach and enrollment funding for the Affordable Care Act. It’s disgusting that Trump's OMB director says the White House won't agree to a deal to reinstate the subsidies without getting something big in return, like border wall funding.  Trump’s oath of office was to enforce the laws, so blackmailing legislators to enforce a law he sabotaged should be an impeachable offense.

I urge you to oppose the nomination of Thomas Alvin Farr for United States District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The Congressional Black Caucus says, “Mr. Farr has amassed a record that puts him at the forefront of an extended fight to disenfranchise African-American voters in his home state of North Carolina.” Thomas Farr has been North Carolina’s chief defender of voting laws that a federal court said “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.”

I urge you to cosponsor and support Sen. Jeff Merkley’s legislation, The 100 by '50 Act, to put the US on a path to 100% renewable energy before 2050. It’s been an endless nightmare since the Republican party’s extremist wing ascended to power, escalating wars, using government authority and tax money to make our problems worse, all so weapons profits and fossil fuel profits can soar and hatred can flourish. It’s not just corruption and deliberate incompetence accelerating the causes of climate change disasters like hurricanes, floods and wildfires. The extremist wing of Republican party is using relatively scarce public resources, that need to be used as strategically as possible if we hope to survive, to finance climate destruction instead.

Trump’s ascension was a tipping point to the months-long unfolding of a de-facto Fascist coup, a coup which guarantees climate destabilization.

Noam Chomsky rebutted the "individual/market freedom instead of government tyranny" idea. “The doctrinal pretense is that the transfer of decision-making from the public sector to the ‘market’ contributes to individual freedom, but the reality is different. The transfer is from public institutions, in which voters have some say, insofar as democracy is functioning, to private tyrannies—the corporations that dominate the economy—in which voters have no say at all.”

Comment by Grinning Cat on October 16, 2017 at 5:54pm

I also urged my senators to oppose H.R. 36, the 20-week abortion ban which just passed the House. "Many of your constituents will be put at grave risk by this unscientific bill, which callously disregards women’s health and rights in favor of religious dogma. Women should be able to make their own choices about their bodies and their health care."

[To more reasonable senators (my consistently anti-abortion Republican senator might see them as points in favor!): The bill is so radical it could imprison doctors for five years for providing reproductive healthcare. It is probably unconstitutional and would be immediately challenged.]

I also thanked my Democratic senator for cosponsoring the Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act (banning "slide fire" or bump stocks), S. 1916, and urged my other two members of Congress to support it. (The companion measure in the House is H.R. 3999.)

 

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