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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: 10
Latest Activity: Feb 6

Discussion Forum

Robert Mercer's psyops behind the extremist takeover

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Dec 12, 2018. 7 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

Write and Call and get friends involved

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Sep 13, 2018. 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, 2018. 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, 2018. 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, 2018. 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

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 Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 10, 2017 at 3:29pm

Page 2 to House:

Alfie Kohn sums up many professional assessments, "He doesn't even bother -- or maybe just lacks the sophistication -- to conceal how desperate is his craving for attention and approval, how precarious is his mental state. The vulnerability, the naked need, would almost occasion our pity were it not for the potentially catastrophic consequences when someone with this profile is in a position of power."

VoteVets admonishes, “Trump is the most dangerous man in the world. Congress needs to intervene now and take his ability to start a preemptive war.

I urge you to work with any remaining sane members of the administration to quietly neutralize Trump before his inability to distinguish his job from reality TV kills you and a million others.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 10, 2017 at 3:29pm

Page 1 to House:

Retired Adm. James Stavridis, former commander of NATO forces and current dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, warns that Trump’s tweets are doing more than inch us toward war. “We are starting to really sleepwalk toward a conflict on the Korean Peninsula. A million people are going to die, and we can still avoid that if we can hold ourselves back from this kind of impetuous behavior.”

Bob Corker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that Trump is treating his office like “a reality show” and his reckless threats could set the nation “on the path to World War III.”

Paul Lewis cites Silicon Valley innovators’ warning that the rise of social media and the attention-based market that drives it is having a devastating impact upon our political system. Left unchecked, digital forces could even render democracy as we know it obsolete.

Trump's obsession with controlling public attention goes way beyond Facebook, Google, and Twitter employees being "embedded" inside his campaign. Trump is a product of the “attention economy”, where the internet and TV must meet the demands of an advertising economy. As a ratings-driven reality TV celebrity, Trump excels at attentional control by sensationalizing, baiting, entertaining, promoting fake conspiracies, and exploiting or creating outrage. He's distorted how US government is conducted, normalizing perpetual outrage in supporters and critics. Trump’s teasers about upcoming preemptive nuclear war, to deflect the public from noticing tax NOT-reform and his Puerto Rico failure, are a clear symptom of presidential incompetence.

A group of military veterans, there on their own dime, assisting the Mayor of Aňasco, report that supplies still aren't flowing into Western Puerto Rico and that some people are so desperate they are drinking sewer water. “Our guys at the Mayaguez airport they have receipts for supplies delivered. It says delivered on the manifest, but I assure you we have not seen one bit of it." 

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 9, 2017 at 2:20pm

Page 2 to Rep House:

I urge you to oppose Trump’s plan to greatly raise tariffs on solar panels coming into the U.S. which would hobble our job-creating solar power industry, just so Suniva and SolarWorld can force uncompetitive products on US businesses and homeowners. This is anti-jobs and anti-free market, going against what conservatives claim to revere.

I urge you to push for gun control. The US Census Bureau says that the US represents about 5% of the world’s population but accounts for more than 30% of the world’s mass shootings. Study after study shows that the widespread availability of guns makes the US more dangerous, not safer. Mental health problems exist everywhere; frequent mass shootings don’t. Statistically, drugs and alcohol use predict violent crimes while mental health problems don’t.

I urge you to criticize Vice President Pence, as a Republican, for his divisive PR display. His stunt walking out of Sunday’s game wasn’t patriotic. It served no other purpose than to sow division, stoke the administration’s conservative base, try to cow NFL owners, and deflect attention from the new neo-Nazi protest in Charlottesville. Taxpayers shouldn’t pay $242,500 for a pre-planned publicity stunt.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 9, 2017 at 2:19pm

Page 1 to Rep House:

I urge you to sponsor a bill similar to the European Data Protection Rules. Starting in May in Europe, Google and Facebook will be unable to use the personal data they hold for advertising purposes without user permission. Sites will need to ask for consent, or present an opt-out choice, at different times and for different things according to varying levels of risk. Bad actors are exploiting the internet to change public opinion. Congress must change the technology industry to put our best interests first rather than the interests of any entity, such as Russia, willing to pay for ads. Roger McNamee, a venture capitalist who greatly profited from investments in Google and Facebook, says that the companies he invested in should be subjected to greater regulation, including new anti-monopoly rules.

Elon Musk and others in the business of clean, green power have made clear that Puerto Rico’s centralized fossil-fueled electric grids should not be rebuilt. I urge you to include a mandate that a hurricane-resistant decentralized green power system be funded instead of a fossil fuel power infrastructure.

I urge you to join Rep. Ro Khanna to call on Democrats in Congress to hold Trump to his word to relieve Puerto Rico’s crushing debt. I urge you to introduce legislation for that purpose. Puerto Rico owes more than $70 billion to billionaire-managed hedge funds and Wall Street banks. We must forgive that debt and invest major federal money in rebuilding Puerto Rico.

I urge you to censure Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for deliberately ignoring San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz. “We filtered out the mayor a long time ago,” he said, and he called her complaints “just political noise.” Such blatant racism renders him incompetent to perform his duties. He must be fired! If Trump refuses to fire him, Trump must be impeached!

Trump’s proposal to deeply cut clean water programs by more than a third would devastate Pennsylvania drinking water safety. I urge you to fight Pennsylvania losing $1.2 million in grants for protecting healthy drinking water sources. I urge you to fight slashing $4.7 million in grants for Pennsylvania to address pollution from farms, stormwater runoff and other dispersed sources. I urge you to fight eliminating programs to control the flow of pollution from abandoned mines into the Delaware River Watershed. 

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 9, 2017 at 2:16pm

Letter to Dem Sen, page 2:

I urge you to censure Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for deliberately ignoring San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz. “We filtered out the mayor a long time ago,” he said, and he called her compaints “just political noise.” Such blatant racism renders him incompetent to perform his duties. He must be fired! If Trump refuses to fire him, Trump must be impeached!

Trump’s proposal to deeply cut clean water programs by more than a third would devastate Pennsylvania drinking water safety. I urge you to fight Pennsylvania losing $1.2 million in grants for protecting healthy drinking water sources. I urge you to fight slashing $4.7 million in grants for Pennsylvania to address pollution from farms, stormwater runoff and other dispersed sources. I urge you to fight eliminating programs to control the flow of pollution from abandoned mines into the Delaware River Watershed.

I urge you to oppose Trump’s plan to greatly raise tariffs on solar panels coming into the U.S. which would hobble our job-creating solar power industry, just so Suniva and SolarWorld can force uncompetitive products on US businesses and homeowners. This is anti-jobs and anti free market, which conservatives claim to revere.

I urge you to push for gun control. The US Census Bureau says that the US represents about 5% of the world’s population but accounts for more than 30% of the world’s mass shootings. Study after study shows that the widespread availability of guns makes the US more dangerous, not safer. Mental health problems exist everywhere; frequent mass shootings don’t. Statistically, drugs and alcohol use predict violent crimes while mental health problems don’t.

I urge you to push back on V.P. Pence’s Sunday divisive PR display. Walking out of Sunday’s game wasn’t patriotic. It served no other purpose than to sow division, stoke the administration’s conservative base, try to cow NFL owners, and deflect attention from the new neo-Nazi protest in Charlottesville. Taxpayers shouldn’t pay $242,500 for a pre-planned publicity stunt.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 9, 2017 at 2:15pm

Letter to Dem Sen, page 1:

I urge you to sponsor a bill similar to the European Data Protection Rules. Starting in May in Europe, Google and Facebook will be unable to use the personal data they hold for advertising purposes without user permission. Sites will need to ask for consent, or present an opt-out choice, at different times and for different things according to varying levels of risk. Bad actors are exploiting the internet to change public opinion. Congress must change the technology industry to put our best interests first rather than the interests of any entity, such as Russia, willing to pay for ads. Roger McNamee, a venture capitalist who greatly profited from investments in Google and Facebook, says that the companies he invested in should be subjected to greater regulation, including new anti-monopoly rules.

The $4.1-trillion budget passed by the House will take over $150 billion away from several poverty programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). One in six Americans face hunger, more than any other developed country, and these cuts will increase starvation. This budget proposal would shift a substantial share of food need responsibility to the states or propose penalties that state budgets can’t absorb. SNAP is the first line of defense against hunger in the U.S. Even without these cuts, some states are cutting corners by making it more difficult to apply for SNAP so they make more room in their budget. I urge you to oppose budget cuts to poverty programs.

Elon Musk and others in the business of clean, green power have made clear that Puerto Rico’s centralized fossil-fueled electric grids should not be rebuilt. I urge you to include a mandate that a hurricane-resistant decentralized green power system be funded instead of a fossil fuel power infrastructure.

I urge you to join Rep. Ro Khanna to call on Democrats in Congress to hold Trump to his word to relieve Puerto Rico’s crushing debt. I urge you to introduce legislation for that purpose. Puerto Rico owes more than $70 billion to billionaire-managed hedge funds and Wall Street banks. We must forgive that debt and invest major federal money in rebuilding Puerto Rico.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 6, 2017 at 6:02pm

Letter to Rep House:

I urge you to oppose the border security bill as long as it includes $10 billion for a border wall.

I am outraged over the rollback of the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act. Trump’s rollback of the birth-control mandate that employers include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans cuts off more than 55 million women now have access to birth control without co-payments. I urge you to ensure all women have affordable access to the healthcare they need to protect their health and economic security.

I urge you to create a bill prohibiting states from disenfranchising voters because they can’t pay court costs and fines. In Alabama 15.11% of the state’s voting-age African American population can’t vote because they are too poor to pay legal financial obligations. According to a June study in the Journal of Legal Studies, legal financial obligations are a general threat to racial equality above and beyond the forces of mass incarceration. Despite a 1970, the US Supreme Court ruling in Williams v Illinois that courts must take a defendant’s ability to pay, systemic disenfranchisement of the poor is taking place.

I urge you to support a bill that would require public disclosure of online political ads. Two former CIA chiefs said Russia needed help targeting US voters and districts in the 2016 presidential campaign. "It is not intuitively obvious that they could have done this themselves," former CIA director Michael Hayden said. Russia either needed someone to help give it information on who to microtarget or it stole the necessary information through hacking.” FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe says Russian meddling absolutely hasn't stopped.

Trump’s repudiation of the Iran nuclear deal establishes us as a rogue nation which can’t be trusted to abide by treaties. Republican Congressmen who did not want the deal, preferring war with Iran, and set up their own certification process every 90 days, compound our international disrepute. I urge you to repudiate this shameful moral failure.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 6, 2017 at 6:00pm

Letter to Dem Senator:

I urge you to oppose Michael Dourson, nominated to serve as assistant administrator of the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. He refuses to recuse himself from cases involving companies for whom he worked.

I urge you to oppose fossil fuel lobbyist Andrew Wheeler for deputy administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He is a friend to polluters and represented Big Coal for almost a decade, including in numerous lawsuits challenging the EPA. September 2017 was the hottest September ever recorded and that’s without an El Nino. September 2017 is also the most active month on record for Atlantic hurricanes. It’s urgent that you protect your constituents from Climate Chaos!

Trump’s repudiation of the Iran nuclear deal establishes us as a rogue nation which can’t be trusted to abide by treaties. Republican Congressmen who did not want the deal, preferring war with Iran, and set up their own certification process every 90 days, have compounded our international disrepute. I urge you and all Democrats to repudiate this shameful moral failure.

The House Budget will greatly exacerbate social inequality, handing trillions of dollars to millionaires and corporations. It proposes more than five trillion dollars in cuts to key safety net programs like Medicare and Medicaid, while the expansion of the deficit will further threaten Social Security. The Senate's budget blueprint proposes cutting Medicare and Medicaid by a combined $1.4 trillion over the next decade. I urge you and all Democrats to use every tactic to prevent the reconciliation "fast-track" passage.

I was shocked to learn that the Senate Judiciary Committee’s “Russia Probe” is not investigating Russia but is instead engaged in routine oversight of the Justice Department. I urge you to demand a public accounting of their malfeasance in the face of a national security threat.

I urge you to support a bill that would require public disclosure of online political ads. Two former CIA chiefs said Russia needed help targeting US voters and districts in the 2016 presidential campaign. "It is not intuitively obvious that they could have done this themselves," former CIA director Michael Hayden said. Russia either needed someone to help give it information on who to microtarget or it stole the necessary information through hacking.” FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe says Russian meddling absolutely hasn't stopped.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 4, 2017 at 6:50pm

Letter to Senators, page 2:

Forcing your constituents to prop up the dirty energy industry creates more wildfires, more hurricanes, more droughts, and more heat waves to kill us. Tropical rain forests have already become carbon sources - one of four key climate tipping points. We’ve already pushed half of the amount of carbon into Earth’s oceans that would trigger catastrophic mass extinction. How many states and territories does climate change have to destroy before bought-off politicians return to climate sanity? I strongly urge you to oppose all fossil fuel subsidies and renewable tariffs and disincentives in the 2018 tax budget.

On the topic of Climate Change disaster, Puerto Ricans pay payroll taxes, business taxes, and estate taxes. They helped pay for disaster relief in Texas after Hurricane Harvey and in Florida after Hurricane Irma. So far, Trump has only authorized the basic response for short-term emergency help in Puerto Rico, called A-B public assistance. FEMA has yet to authorize full disaster help for Puerto Rico, which Texas got 10 days after Harvey hit. FEMA authorized the category C-G response for 27 counties in Texas. A few days later, it agreed to fund 90 percent of those costs, instead of the standard 75 percent. It's over two weeks since Maria inflicted worse damage on Puerto Rico. I urge you to sponsor a bill providing extended categories of help known as C-G assistance at 90 percent funding for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Restoring power, communications, and running water isn’t the kind of work that emergency responders can do. 

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 4, 2017 at 6:49pm

Letter to Senators, page 1:

I urge you to cosponsor and support the bill introduced by Sen Feinstein that would ban the sale and possession of bump-stock equipment and other devices that essentially turn a semiautomatic weapon into an automatic one.

I urge you to cosponsor and support the Reverse Mass Incarceration Act of 2017 (SB 1458), which would pay states to decrease incarcerations while keeping down crime. Under the bill, states that decreased the number of prisoners by 7% over three years without a substantial increase in crime would be eligible for grants. The United States has the world’s worst incarceration rate, both per capita and in absolute numbers, in part due to a 1994 crime bill that incentivized states to increase prison populations. Americans spend almost $80 billion per year on our prison system.

The so-called tax reform proposed by Republicans would be self-destructive to our country in both climate and energy costs. Proposals would disrupt the economics of clean energy according to Daniel Shurey, an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Lower corporate tax rates would threaten the supply of tax equity, a key source of clean-power financing. A new Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA ) report indicates that renewable energy is disrupting electricity markets worldwide at a pace of change difficult to imagine just a few years ago. Electricity utilities that perform best going forward will be those that strategically transition to renewable energy-based business models. Cheaper renewable electricity is our best economic investment.  But a report by Oil Change International (OCI) says that fossil fuel subsidies "have been defended by a Congress influenced by $350 million in campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures by the fossil fuel industry," which reseachers estimate "equates to a 8,200 percent return on investment. Until we separate oil and state, the dirty energy money cycle of fossil fuel contributions going into Congress and oil, gas, and coal subsidies coming out will stymie our chances at revolutionizing the energy sector and staving off worsening climate disasters." Taxpayer subsidies, including financial handouts, flexible liability policies, and tax breaks "waste billions of dollars propping up an industry incompatible with safe climate limits."

A separate study by Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) concluded that US subsidies to oil companies encourage them to drill oil fields that would otherwise be unprofitable. Over half of the new oil investments over the next few decades would be unprofitable without tax preferences and other subsidies.

 

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