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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 Saturday

Discussion Forum

Write and Call and get friends involved

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Sep 13. 3 Replies

I sometimes get discouraged. Here's advice from a Reddit user I found encouraging.On the topic of writing to congress.…Continue

Tags: adding your voice

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

Comment Wall

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Comment by Grinning Cat on July 6, 2018 at 2:51pm

I called my Republican senator's office about the upcoming Supreme Court vacancy left by Anthony Kennedy's retirement, and about Trump's stated desire to nominate a justice who respects the Founders' "original intent". That original intent was arguably one where slavery was OK and women couldn't vote. Also, corporations as legal "persons" with deeply held political and religious "beliefs" (Citizens United and Hobby Lobby) were most certainly not part of that original intent!

Better to recognize the broader original intent of providing a mechanism to amend the Constitution as we become more enlightened and get better at recognizing the rights and freedoms of Americans!

Comment by Grinning Cat on June 18, 2018 at 4:44pm

Thanks, Loren! And I'll add a few more noteworthy bits from the text of the "Keep Families Together Act" in your discussion.

The more of us call and write and visit, the more staffers' time is taken up by issues we're concerned about, the more likely the members of Congress are to get the message that their reelection depends on paying attention to their constituents.

That's why for phone calls, I prefer to talk to human beings rather than leave voicemail. It's too easy for a staffer to listen to just the beginning of a saved message, decide "She's for the bill" or "He's against the bill", and not hear the whole thing. I want to know that some person is engaged with my entire message.

Comment by Loren Miller on June 18, 2018 at 4:23pm

Most excellent, GC ... ROCK ON!

Comment by Grinning Cat on June 18, 2018 at 4:15pm

I called my senators in support of S. 3036, Keep Families Together Act introduced by Dianne Feinstein, that would forbid DHS, the Justice Dept., and HHS from separating children from their parents at or near the border (but still allowing for individual court or official determinations of trafficking, danger of abuse or neglect, etc. "in consultation with a child welfare specialist"; and imposing training, family notification, and public reporting requirements, and requiring a way for parents to locate their separated children).

To my layperson's quick read-through, the bill text seems well-written. Notably, it includes

"(b) Prohibition on separation.--

An agency may not remove a child from a parent or legal guardian solely for the policy goal of deterring individuals from migrating to the United States or for the policy goal of promoting compliance with civil immigration laws."

(This bill seems significantly stronger than the "HELP Separated Children Act" which has numerous provisions for "humane enforcement"; still, any and all legislative resistance to the inhumanity going on is a good thing.)

Anyway, I also asked my Republican senator to speak to counter the lies that the monstrous policy of tearing children apart from their parents is supposedly a "Democratic law" [which applied to children crossing without parents] rather than what it actually is, the "zero-tolerance" criminal-charges-for-all policy of Jeff Sessions and the Republican Trump administration.

My Democratic senator is already a cosponsor of S.3036. I made sure to thank him.

Comment by Grinning Cat on June 6, 2018 at 4:19pm

I've called on my senators and representative to support the Do No Harm Act (H.R. 3222 introduced last year, and S. 2918 introduced two weeks ago).

The American Humanist Association explained that the act would ensure that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act "cannot counteract civil rights laws, employment law, protections against child abuse or access to health care. That means that RFRA would finally do what it was intended to do: protect the religious rights of all Americans while also protecting our civil rights and liberties."

The CRS summary of the House bill further explains that "The bill makes RFRA inapplicable to: (1) terms requiring goods, services, functions, or activities to be performed or provided to beneficiaries of government contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, or awards; or (2) denials of a person's full and equal enjoyment of a government-provided good, service, benefit, facility, privilege, advantage, or accommodation.

To assert a RFRA claim or defense in a judicial proceeding, the government must be a party to the proceeding." (Also an important correction!)

This is yet another piece of legislation that should not be a goddamned partisan issue, except for the Republican Party evidently supporting the preservation of conservative Christian privilege and oppression of all others.

Comment by Grinning Cat on May 14, 2018 at 3:42pm

The Hill reports that Senate Democrats will force a vote on Wednesday on Ed Markey's bill to save the FCC's net neutrality regulations from repeal.

"The bill currently has 50 backers in the Senate, including every Democrat plus Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). Democrats need one more Republican to cross the aisle for 51-vote majority..."

I called my Republican senator, urging him to support S.J.Res. 52 and save net neutrality. Internet users should be able to count on free access to news sites and publishers like National Review and Fox News, without throttling, extra fees, or censorship by ISPs who disagree with the sites' politics.

Also, the next generation of business innovators, like those which became Facebook and Google, should be allowed to thrive on a level playing field.

(The corresponding House bill seems to be H.J.Res. 131.)

Comment by Grinning Cat on April 19, 2018 at 12:59pm

I called my Senators to oppose the confirmation of James Bridenstine to be the administrator of NASA; they're supposed to be voting this afternoon.

Nominated by Trump in September last year, Bridenstine has no scientific experience or credentials, and denies the overwhelming evidence that human activity is changing Earth's climate. (Earth climate research is a critical part of NASA's mission.)

Further, he engaged in self-dealing from the budget of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum while he managed it, which "could have jeopardized the Museum’s status as a tax-exempt organization."

(bits borrowed from Center for Inquiry email)

Senate Advances Bridenstine to Lead NASA (Politico, 4/18)

Trump's NASA Pick Used His Nonprofit to Benefit Himself (Daily Beast, 4/18)

Comment by Grinning Cat on April 12, 2018 at 4:55pm

S. 2554: Patient Right to Know Act (sponsored by Susan Collins, R-ME) prohibits “pharmacy gag clauses”; ensures that customers can find out whether insurance coverage or paying out-of-pocket is less expensive for a certain product.

S. 2580: Every Person Counts Act - forbids citizenship or immigration status questions on the census; would ensure a more accurate count of every person living in America, not undercounting (and losing Congressional representation for) areas where many immigrants would be afraid of deportation, etc. and wouldn't participate -- areas that happen to coincide with the unfortunate tendency of too many citizens to vote Democratic. :)

Comment by Grinning Cat on April 12, 2018 at 4:55pm

I called my congresscritters earlier this afternoon about a number of bills:

Net neutrality (both houses): the Senate and House need to pass S.J.Res. 52, Sen. Ed Markey’s resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to reverse the FCC's rollback of the 2015 net neutrality protections, and preserve a free, open Internet that's equally accessible to all businesses and innovators -- Google and Facebook were once small startups! -- as well as to all citizens. In a December survey where voters heard arguments for and against the repeal, 83% of voters opposed the FCC's repeal of net neutrality laws, including 75% of Republicans!
"If you and other Senators and Representatives truly represent your constituents, Congress will quickly overturn the repeal by a veto-proof margin."
This is urgent - it needs to be passed within 60 "legislative days" from Feb. 22 publication of the FCC rule, meaning reported out of committees, considered, passed, and a probable veto overridden, by (probably) mid-June.

Letting local newspapers negotiate as a group with Google and Facebook (House): H.R. 5190: Journalism Competition and Preservation Act of 2018 would give newspapers a four-year reprieve from antitrust enforcement under specific conditions, allowing smaller local papers to negotiate as a group with large online content distributors like Google and Facebook, including improvements in prioritizing trustworthy news -- so their articles can actually be seen online! -- and sharing more ad revenue. “This bill empowers local newspapers to negotiate collectively with the biggest technology platforms to ensure consumers have access to the best journalism possible.”
“The republic is not going to suffer terribly if we have bad cat video or even bad movies or bad TV. The republic will suffer if we have bad journalism.”

Review Every Act Diligently In Total Resolution (READ IT Resolution), H.Res. 801 would require a mandatory minimum review period before House consideration of any bill.
“Last week’s 2,232-page omnibus bill to fund the government was literally impossible to both fully read and comprehend in the limited time between release and vote.
The bill, largely written in secret and by congressional leadership, was only publicly released and given to most members about 18 hours before the vote. Even if you could read one page per minute, it would have taken about 37 hours to read the whole thing.”

(cont.)

Comment by Grinning Cat on April 12, 2018 at 4:36pm

The "Bank Lobbyist Act" S.2155 that "needlessly delivers more than two dozen deregulatory gifts to bank lobbyists" passed the Senate, and is on to the House. We need to call our Representatives!

 

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