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 Wednesday

Discussion Forum

Keep Families Together Act

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Grinning Cat Jun 21. 10 Replies

The actions of the current administration have had me incensed practically from the time they took office.  The depths to which they wish to descend appear to have few if any limits.  However, with the current action being taken against immigrants…Continue

Tags: Keep Families Together Act, Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump

Letter to Rep and Senators Regarding New Congressional Freethought Caucus

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Loren Miller May 23. 3 Replies

The following letter has just been posted to the following Congresspersons:Congresswoman Marcia FudgeSenator Sherrod BrownSenator Rob Portmanand will be shortly followed by hard-copy letters sent by US Mail:As you well know, the United States was…Continue

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

Comment Wall

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Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on January 17, 2018 at 5:42pm

Just emailed this to Dem Bob Casey:

Bob Casey, you provided a decisive vote in favor of a cloture motion that essentially ensures the passage of The FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017 (S.139), which would renew Section 702 of FISA, this week.
Your act of betrayal shocked me, since you are well aware that Trump’s Administration and the current GOP are rapidly moving toward a corporate/fascist replacement for democracy. The Washington Post reports that Trump and his top staff have discussed that a terrorist attack would avert the likelihood of a “blue tsunami” in the 2018 midterm elections. I agree with Chauncey DeVega that Trump and the Republican Party are already ramping up a "soft" ethnic cleansing of nonwhites and Muslim immigrants. Our US “Night of Broken Glass” is fast approaching. Nothing could justify handing expanded warrantless spying powers to neo-nazis!

He was one of 18 Senate Democrats who voted with Republicans to give Trump expanded warrantless spying powers. See 

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/43248-these-18-senate-democrats-...

to learn if your senator was on the list.

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 11, 2018 at 11:51pm

AskProfWolff: Economics of Net Neutrality

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 11, 2018 at 11:39pm

A block of Republicans in Congress have long sought to undermine net neutrality, including:

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash)

The FCC Still Doesn’t Know How the Internet Works.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/12/fcc-still-doesnt-know-how-int...

Unfortunately it looks like the FCC ignored the technical parts of that letter, because the FCC’s latest plan to kill net neutrality is still riddled with technical errors and factual inaccuracies. Here are just a few:

* The FCC Still Doesn’t Understand That Using the Internet Means Having Your ISP Transmit Packets For You.

* The FCC Still Doesn’t Understand How DNS Works.

* The FCC Still Doesn’t Understand How Caching Works.

* The FCC Doesn’t Understand How the Phone System Works.

* The FCC’s Plan to Kill Net Neutrality is Based on Faulty Technical Premises

Letter sent to Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash).

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 11, 2018 at 10:50pm

Markey Net Neutrality Resolution Reaches 40-Vote Milestone in the Senate

Tuesday, January 9, 2018, 

“43 senators have signed on to co-sponsor a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval that overturns the anti-consumer regulations passed in December by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and supported by Donald Trump to end net neutrality. 

Senators co-sponsoring the CRA resolution include 

Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)

“Over the last several years, the biggest job growth that we have seen in America has come from internet businesses. We are seeing an attack on that internet economy by FCC rolling back this open internet rule,”

“We cannot allow the FCC to put a chokehold on the internet by allowing big corporations to artificially charge consumers more. The open internet rule was here for a reason. It was to protect a level playing field and to make sure no one artificially created opportunity and access by controlling the internet.”

~ Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)

~ & Patty Murray (D-Wash.),

States Push Back After Net Neutrality Repeal

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/technology/net-neutrality-states...

Thank you notes sent to Maria & Patty

Comment by Grinning Cat on January 10, 2018 at 1:11pm

"Vote for Net Neutrality" has Sen. Casey (D-PA) listed as supporting an open internet, specifically supporting Sen. Markey's CRA resolution to strike down the FCC's repeal of Title II common-carrier oversight of ISPs. (It will go to a Senate floor vote, not blockable by committee chairs or filibuster.)

I called to thank him, and to urge my other senator (a Republican) to do the same, pointing out that 87% of voters, including 75% of Republicans, support net neutrality. We don't know what the next Apple or Google or Facebook will look like, but those innovators didn't have to pay ISPs extortionate tolls for meaningful access, and neither should new innovators.

(Yes, free discussion and free and open access to varied information sources are essential to a democracy, but many Republicans evidently don't care about such things.)

I also asked my congressman to oppose H.R. 4682, the so-called "Open Internet Preservation Act" that's actually a Republican Trojan horse. While it contains a few provisions that would be good first steps towards protecting an open internet, if they were in a clean bill, it also preempts FCC regulations and state laws that might provide stronger protection, it classifies broadband internet and advanced telecommunication services as "information services" and not common carriers,and it would still allow paid prioritization, letting ISPs grant "premium" faster speeds to their conglomerate's own sites and services, or to the large companies who pay handsomely for the privilege. Innovators and competitors without that budget would be relegated to second-class access to their users and customers. It would ruin the level playing field that the internet has traditionally provided for commerce.

The bill disallows ISPs from blocking or throttling sites, but the distinction between "normal vs. slowed-down" and "premium superfast vs. normal" is a distinction without a difference. And preempting stronger state laws or FCC regulations is completely unacceptable (unless you're an ISP or one of the large content providers they're linked to).

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on January 9, 2018 at 7:21pm

Email to Sen. Bob Casey:

Your name is listed as not having committed to support the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution introduced by Sen. Ed Markey. I've contributed to your campaign, but this may change my mind. Every member of the US Senate will have to go on the record, during a tight election year, and either vote to save the Internet or rubber stamp its death warrant. Free speech is at stake! We need net neutrality.

Comment by Grinning Cat on January 3, 2018 at 4:30pm

Calls to my members of Congress today:

Senate: 

Cosponsor and support the Secure Elections Act, S. 2261, which would among other things, give grants to states to switch to optically-scanned paper ballots (no money for hackable, inherently insecure electronic voting machines!), and implement statistical audits after every election to ensure a high level of confidence.

The bill's sponsor, James Lankford, is a Republican, and the cosponsors include Kamala Harris and two more Democrats, as well as two more Republicans.

Read more: "New bill could finally get rid of paperless voting machines" (Ars Technica)

House: 

Cosponsor and support the Fair Representation Act, H.R. 3057, which would

  • Change House elections from “winner take all” to “ranked choice voting” (specifying first choice, second choice, etc. on the ballot rather than "pick just one name and shut up about all the rest")
  • Mandate that each state with six or more House members create multi-member congressional districts of between three and five members each. "The total size of Congress would be the same, but individual districts would be geographically bigger and (in most cases) more demographically diverse."
  • Require states to redistrict by independent commissions, not through partisan legislatures.

Partially copy-and-pasted from 'Fair Representation Act would be “the most comprehensive approach to changing how we elect Congress in American history.”' (GovTrack Insider)

Comment by Loren Miller on December 22, 2017 at 10:26pm

Damn, but I HATE Rob Portman ... and I couldn't resist putting the following out on his website:

Your apologetics regarding this ridiculous excuse for a tax bill has demonstrated to me without any scintilla of doubt that you can't be bothered to think about where the real good of the people lies. You, like too many other Republicans, side with Trump purely because he's in power, and you want a piece of that power. Your mistake.

While your seat in the Senate isn't up for a while, we who have been wronged by your poor judgment will not forget this. You must already know that 2018 will be a political bloodbath for your fellows because of the stupidity coming from the White House, and you are already splashed by it. You don't need to refresh your resume now, but come 2022, I'd give serious thought to that.

Enow spake.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on December 21, 2017 at 4:37pm

Same letter to both houses, but.

For Democrats it began with, "Thank you for opposing the tax scam bill." For Republicans it began with, "Your support of the tax scam bill disgusted me."

As our enemy, one of Putin’s objectives has been to destabilize the US government by undermining our confidence in it. America, as we know it, is under attack from our own ruling party – doing Putin’s work for him. Trump and his Republican allies are waging a relentless campaign against the rule of law. Donald Trump's Jr. presented a private anti-Trump comment from a single FBI agent as evidence of "people at the highest levels of government that don’t want to let America be America.” Conflating personal loyalty to the president with patriotism is a fascist ploy. Conservatives too speak crudely in private about politics. In the US we’re supposed to have the freedom to share personal opinions privately without having them twisted out of context as a coup attempt. These inquisition-style attacks from both houses are much more dangerous than the McCarthy era.

I’m appalled by the secret subset of Republican members of the House intelligence committee, led by Chairman Devin Nunes , creating a report for the purpose of attacking the Department of Justice, the FBI, and Bob Mueller, in order  to undermine the investigations - violating committee rules that require consultation between Republicans and Democrats.

It’s alarming that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley called for the FBI's deputy director, Andrew McCabe, to be replaced.

What irony that Donald Trump Jr.’s claim that the investigations into Russian election meddling and his father's campaign are evidence of a "rigged system," as that claim itself attempts to “rig the system” for authoritarian/fascist/corporate domination.

I urge you to oppose the autocratic right-wing attack on the intelligence community as anti-American when they serve the truth and the people instead of personal loyalty to the President.

A nuclear nonproliferation specialist at MIT, Vipin Narang, thinks the Trump administration sees first strike war against North Korea as inevitable despite guaranteeing that South Korea and Japan will also be devastated. Today’s headlines of US plans for a “bloody nose” military attack suggest that first strike will be soon. I urge you to oppose a first strike assault on any nation.

 

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on December 15, 2017 at 4:42pm

Republican Senator p 2:

I urge you to demand that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley respect the Blue Slip option and not initiate confirmation hearings for any nominee that has not been approved by his or her home state Senators. Approving appropriate nominees to these lifetime appointments is essential, and disrupting the Blue Slip option is an unacceptable attack on our systems of check and balances.

I urge you to oppose judicial nominee Matthew Spencer Petersen. He’s worked on less than five depositions, and struggled to answer basic legal questions.

I urge you to oppose Kathleen Hartnett White for the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). I agree with Senator Markey that she “denies science, economics and reality.” She is another anti-qualified nominee with no academic background in the field.

I urge you to oppose the FUTURE Act (S.1535), which triples the tax credit to enhanced oil recovery operations that use CO2 pollution to coax more oil out of declining fields, extending the life of oil fields, and profits of oil companies, on the taxpayer dime. Don’t add another taxpayer handout to the more than $20 billion that the fossil fuel industry already receives every year. This tax credit would lead to more climate emissions, increase threats to drinking water, and unfairly burden American families living in the shadow of the oil industry.

I urge you to support the bipartisan bill sponsored by Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, which would exempt small and mid-size banks from the most stringent parts of Dodd-Frank and scale back federal oversight of the financial system on whole, but defend Dodd-Frank’s new requirements for major banks and financial firms which are necessary to prevent another economic catastrophe. This bill will avoid a filibuster, unlike the Choice Act which eviscerates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

 

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