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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.)

Members: 9
Latest Activity: 9 hours ago

Discussion Forum

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

Robert Mercer's psyops behind the extremist takeover

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Apr 12. 4 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

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 k.h. 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

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Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on Sunday

Letter to House Rep, page 2:

Another example of public endangerment from prioritizing profit over safety is Los Alamos National Laboratory management’s callousness about nuclear risks and its desire to put its own profits above safety. Nearly four years after a “criticality” event forced a shutdown of portions of the huge laboratory building where the plutonium work is located, known as PF-4, Los Alamos’s managers still have not figured out a way to fully meet the most elemental nuclear safety standards. In more than 40 reports by government oversight agencies, teams of nuclear safety experts, and the lab’s own staff the lab was criticized for persistent and serious shortcomings in “criticality” safety . Workplace safety takes a back seat to profit-seeking at the Los Alamos, New Mexico, lab — which is run by a group of three private firms and the University of California — as managers there chase lucrative government bonuses. The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) administrator decided to not to impose a fine, exemplifying the climate of impunity for mistakes within DOE. The exact cost to taxpayers of idling the facility is unclear, but an internal Los Alamos report estimated in 2013 that shutting down the lab where such work is conducted costs the government as much as $1.36 million a day in lost productivity. Prioritizing profit over safety is not just penny wise and pound foolish, in nuclear industry it’s dangerous.

I urge you to rein in the escalating Mideast Conflict which Trump apparently nudged into overdrive. Congress must reestablish limits on what the military can do overseas. The military has been given free rein to massacre at will, especially in the Muslim world. Secretary of Defense Mattis and his ally, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, and Rex Tillerson seem to be making relevant national security policy – none of them were elected. This Administration ramped up violence overseas as soon as Trump overturned Obama-era rules designed to limit civilian casualties in airstrikes. The predictable result is that the military is now free to massacre people at will, such as the U.S. airstrikes in Raqqa that killed hundreds of civilians and displaced 160,000 people.

I urge you to join with Senators John McCain and Jack Reed in calling for investigations into reports that U.S. military interrogators worked with forces from the United Arab Emirates who are accused of torturing detainees in Yemen. Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, also called for an investigation and noted that support for the UAE forces could violate a law he wrote that forbids funding to known human rights violators. In the Yemeni city of Mukalla, former inmates described shipping containers smeared with feces and crammed with blindfolded detainees, and said they were beaten, roasted alive on a spit and sexually assaulted. One witness, who is a member of a Yemeni security force, said American forces were at times only yards away. “Reports of acts of torture by agents of a government that is supported by the United States, and the possibility that U.S. military personnel may have been aware of it, should ring alarm bells at the Department of Defense,” Leahy said.

The U.N. blames warring sides for Yemen's 'man-made' cholera 'catastrophe', which reached 179,548 by 20 June, with 1,205 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. A Reuters analysis of WHO data showed the cholera caseload is growing at more than 4 percent a day, while the number of deaths is rising at just over 3.5 percent a day. US warmaking makes us complicit in this epidemic. It’s as if the administration wants to be at war with the entire Middle East at once. As almost no one in Washington is pushing back, it’s up to you to exert leadership and sanity.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on Sunday

Letter to House Rep, pg 1:

I urge you to end the trade of captive primates by sponsoring the Captive Primate Safety Act (H.R. 2920). The exotic pet trade causes hundreds of primate injuries and hampers global primate conservation. This bill will expand the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to prohibit importing, exporting, sale and purchase of nonhuman primate in interstate and foreign commerce.

I urge you to support and cosponsor the Eliminating Taxpayer Subsidies for Stadiums Act (H.R. 811), which would ban the use of federal tax subsidies in the form of tax-free municipal bonds to construct sports arenas. The legislation would only prevent federal taxpayer subsidies for stadiums, so state and local subsidies could still be allowed. It’s not fair to finance these expensive projects on the backs of taxpayers, leaving critical infrastructure unfunded, when wealthy teams end up reaping most of the benefits. Economic research casts doubt on whether the increased economic impact of these stadiums is greater than the financial costs.

Scott Pruitt has moved on to a wholesale purge of scientists from his supposedly scientific agency. With climate change data hidden or destroyed, Pruitt directly working to raise funds for Republicans, and actions that go beyond accepting climate change to denying basic science. None of the subcommittees will have a chair or vice chair, and all committee meetings scheduled for late summer and fall have been cancelled. Pruitt’s actions completely wipe out the existing Board of Scientific Counselors. It means the whole board can now be reappointed, filled with industry lobbyists and science deniers, and the EPA can then go forward on the basis that “its scientific advisers” support climate denial and prioritize industry profit. I urge you to oppose stripping the EPA of scientists.

On the topic of eliminating protections for the public, which is a current GOP priority, D.C., Minnesota, Indiana, and Massachusetts relaxed building codes in recent years and started to permit highrises to install the same cladding installed on Grenfell Tower responsible for the recent tragedy. In the United States most jurisdictions adopted the International Building Code (IBC) for buildings over 40 feet, which requires cladding for tall buildings to pass a rigorous test developed by the National Fire Protection Association called "NFPA 285". The purpose of the test is to ensure that installed cladding will be non-combustible. I urge you to support protections for the public instead of eliminating regulations.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on Friday

Letter to Toomey, who helped write the Senate AHCA:

The just unveiled Senate bill, that you helped to write, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities said that tax cuts for the “richest 400 families are roughly equal to federal cost of maintaining Medicaid expansion in Nevada, West Virginia, Arkansas and Alaska. They also accuse Capitol Hill Republicans of creating health insurance chaos by intentionally refusing to say what 2018 federal subsidies would be. They called it “GOP market sabotage.” Guaranteed issue, 58% actuarial value (how much of average costs the plans will cover), and no coverage requirement guarantees a health insurance death spiral. As written this bill will instantly destroy the individual market.

Your legislation permits states to relax insurance regulations that dictate a minimum set of basic benefits be included in all policies, such as hospitalizations, prescription drugs and maternity care. So states would be forced to “fix” the death spiral problem by allowing insurers to design policies that simply don’t cover things sick people need, such as insulin for diabetics. States would be forced to choose between continuing to provide routine and preventive care to children and pregnant women, or to provide lifesaving care to those who require it. Nearly half of all Medicaid enrollees are children and Medicaid covers half of all births in the United States. Medicaid is essential to the health of over 37 million of American children and pregnant women. The Senate bill will permanently harm children with its proposed spending cuts and dismantling of Medicaid.

That coverage will devolve is the point of your bill, not a side effect. The main event in the Senate bill is the destruction of Medicaid. Far, far worse than even the House bill. Medicaid’s cuts of 25% in the House increase much more in the Senate. Hundreds of billions more cuts. Medicaid cuts spike further in 2025, the year baby boomers turn 80. As Medicaid pays half of nursing home care in the country, you bill sabotages all of your constituents who don’t die young.

Renounce this so-called health care bill that you wrote!

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on Thursday

Letter to Toomey, Rep Senator writing the AHCA, page 2:

Finally, a larger issue:

Nation-State failure begins with the re-privatization of the bureaucracies, of the means of administration and the police and military, as Chris Hedges says in “We Can’t Fight Climate Change if We Keep Lying to Ourselves”. Governments, if they were instruments of the common good, would end subsidies to the fossil fuel and animal agriculture industries. But with state power being held captive by corporations, short-term profit takes precedence over human health and even human survival. Is the current administration deliberately remaking the United States into a failed state, orchestrating our doom? Sacrificing healthcare to boost wealth of the already richest few, making the EPA prioritize needs of polluting industries, “deconstruction” of the administrative state – these GOP acts are as exactly engineered to make the U.S. a failed state as gerrymandered districts are exactly engineered to let legislators select their constituents.

Past civilizations also celebrated their greatness at moments of precipitous decline. The difference is that the GOP seems to be intentionally bringing down the last remnants of our functioning democracy within months. And as we become a failed corporate-controlled petrostate, we’ll lock in climate change to bring down life across the whole planet. I urge you to consider this looming danger when articulating policy disagreements. Constituents have the right to grasp what’s at stake. 

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on Thursday

Letter to Toomey, Rep Senator writing the AHCA, page 1:

I urge you to oppose Christopher Wray for FBI Director. He removed a past case involving the Russian government from his bio at his law firm, King and Spalding. His firm has worked closely with the Russian energy sector, representing companies in deals with the Russian state-owned oil and natural gas companies Rosneft and Gazprom. This is yet another step in turning over our government to the fossil fuel industry. Wray also billed New Jersey taxpayers more than $2.1 million for legal charges and expenses while representing Chris Christie during the Bridgegate trial.

You set an example of Republicans' profound disregard for their constituents, by supporting so-called health care which forces 770,000 of your Pennsylvania constituents to lose coverage. As a leading fiscal conservative, it is reported that you spearhead the effort to drive down overall Medicaid spending, specifically to cut the program even deeper than the House cut of $834 billion over a decade. Preserving Medicaid coverage is not just the right moral decision; it also is good economic policy. Cost-effectiveness analyses of Medicaid have concluded that state-level Medicaid expansion actually costs less than paying for uninsured people's uncompensated care costs. McConnell plans to limit debate to ten hours, with no time for Democrats to examine the lengthy bill, and to force a quick vote. If you destroy the health and financial security of millions of Americans to give massive tax cuts the vastly, nobody will blame Democrats. The public will remember you as a Death Panel senator.

Cutting funding to Planned Parenthood in the AHCA is war on women. It doesn’t impact abortion funding at all, as the Hyde Amendment of 1976 already prohibits allocation of federal dollars to abortion care. Cutting off federal money to Planned Parenthood would instead devastate the regular healthcare of over 2.5 million women, who would lose a primary health care provider. I urge you to support Planned Parenthood funding!

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on Thursday

Letter to Dem Senator:

Nation-State failure begins with the re-privatization of the bureaucracies, of the means of administration and the police and military, as Chris Hedges says in “We Can’t Fight Climate Change if We Keep Lying to Ourselves”. Governments, if they were instruments of the common good, would end subsidies to the fossil fuel and animal agriculture industries. But with state power being held captive by corporations, short-term profit takes precedence over human health and even human survival. Is the current administration deliberately remaking the United States into a failed state, orchestrating our doom? Sacrificing healthcare to boost wealth of the already richest few, making the EPA prioritize needs of polluting industries, “deconstruction” of the administrative state – these GOP acts are as exactly engineered to make the U.S. a failed state as gerrymandered districts are exactly engineered to let legislators select their constituents.

Past civilizations also celebrated their greatness at moments of precipitous decline. The difference is that the GOP seems to be intentionally bringing down the last remnants of our functioning democracy within months. And as we become a failed corporate-controlled petrostate, we’ll lock in climate change to bring down life across the whole planet. I urge you to consider this looming danger when articulating policy disagreements. Constituents have the right to grasp what’s at stake.

Please consider introducing an amendment to the AHCA, requiring members of Congress to get by on a health insurance plan available and affordable to someone on the poverty line, and prohibiting them from out-of-pocket healthcare spending beyond 1/4 of the poverty line.

Thank you for fighting Trumpcare, continuing to demand transparency from this administration, being outspoken against Betsy DeVos, and doing everything you can to prevent horrific cuts to public education.

I urge you to oppose Christopher Wray for FBI Director. He removed a past case involving the Russian government from his bio at his law firm, King and Spalding. His firm has worked closely with the Russian energy sector, representing companies in deals with the Russian state-owned oil and natural gas companies Rosneft and Gazprom. This is yet another step in turning over our government to the fossil fuel industry. Wray also billed New Jersey taxpayers more than $2.1 million for legal charges and expenses while representing Chris Christie during the Bridgegate trial.

Thank you for supporting continued funding to Planned Parenthood, as you stated in your Huffington Post op-ed this month. Cutting funding to Planned Parenthood in the AHCA is war on women. It doesn’t impact abortion funding at all, as the Hyde Amendment already prohibits allocation of federal dollars to abortion care. Cutting off federal money to Planned Parenthood would instead devastate the regular healthcare of over 2.5 million women, who would lose a primary health care provider. Federal funding of Planned Parenthood is the right thing to do.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on Thursday

Letter to Rep House:

I urge you to oppose Rep. Brian Babin’s bill allowing members of Congress to carry a concealed handgun anywhere in the United States, superseding local laws. Senators and Representatives would be able to carry a concealed firearm in federal parks and buildings, in the National Mall, to and from their offices, and at schools and military bases, with just a few limited restrictions. Members of Congress already have security details. Don’t set us up for gun battles in the halls of Congress, or encourage legislators to actually shoot reporters who ask questions instead of “only” body-slamming them. Our country is already violent enough.

Did you block Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s resolution asking for Trump’s tax returns? For the tenth time in the last few months, Republicans on Wednesday blocked a Democratic resolution offered on the House floor to request President Trump’s tax returns. The measure was defeated on a procedural vote of 227-188 that fell largely along party lines. Those who hide Trump’s tax returns will be exposed as enabling and participating in the cover-up, when Trump gets taken down for violation of the Emoluments Clause.

Finally, a larger issue:

Nation-State failure begins with the re-privatization of the bureaucracies, of the means of administration and the police and military, as Chris Hedges says in “We Can’t Fight Climate Change if We Keep Lying to Ourselves”. Governments, if they were instruments of the common good, would end subsidies to the fossil fuel and animal agriculture industries. But with state power being held captive by corporations, short-term profit takes precedence over human health and even human survival. Is the current administration deliberately remaking the United States into a failed state, orchestrating our doom? Sacrificing healthcare to boost wealth of the already richest few, making the EPA prioritize needs of polluting industries, “deconstruction” of the administrative state – these GOP acts are as exactly engineered to make the U.S. a failed state as gerrymandered districts are exactly engineered to let legislators select their constituents.

Past civilizations also celebrated their greatness at moments of precipitous decline. The difference is that the GOP seems to be intentionally bringing down the last remnants of our functioning democracy within months. And as we become a failed corporate-controlled petrostate, we’ll lock in climate change to bring down life across the whole planet. I urge you to consider this looming danger when articulating policy disagreements. Constituents have the right to grasp what’s at stake. 

Comment by Grinning Cat on June 21, 2017 at 1:50pm

Indivisible Guide has contact info for senators' legislative assistants specifically handling health care issues.

This especially matters, with reports of a secret Republican substitute health care bill that will be introduced as a substitute amendment, after the 20 hours of debate on the current health care bill. If everything goes as planned, Democrats and the public (not to mention most Republican senators) will have only hours before the vote to pass it.

Republicans plan to use a "reconciliation" process on the new bill, which doesn't allow debate but does allow unlimited amendments which must each be considered.

OurAmendments.org explains the call for "filibuster by amendment", and lets you submit a personalized amendment to your senators, "Guaranteeing Maintenance of Affordable Coverage for [your name]". (It wouldn't hurt to contact your senators directly, suggesting other amendments!)

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on June 19, 2017 at 10:12pm

Letter to Rep House:

I urge you to oppose these anti-worker bills, the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 2776), the Employee Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 2775), and the Employee Rights Act (H.R. 2723). These deceptively named bills make it nearly impossible for workers to exercise their right to join together to bargain for better wages and working conditions. The Orwellian-named Employee Rights Act would make it nearly impossible for workers to form a union.

In Austraila, a Climate Emergency Declaration Petition calls on the Australian Parliament to declare a climate emergency and initiate a massive society-wide climate action mobilisation. Climate scientists say that we face a climate emergency, and that our actions so far have come nowhere near what is required to avoid catastrophic climate change. The deadly Portuguese forest fires are a small foretaste of what awaits forested areas of the United States such as in Pennsylvania, as heat and drought rise. I urge you to submit a Climate Emergency Declaration here.

I urge you to vote no on the Verify First Act (H.R. 2581). The bill would deprive ELIGIBLE immigrant families, including those with citizen kids, from accessing the ACA and seeing a doctor when they get sick. It also would hurt the ACA by keeping young, healthy, immigrants from participating in the marketplaces, something which helps keep premiums down for everyone. U.S. citizens who were born abroad or naturalized would be impacted. It’s a backdoor sabotage of the ACA. The GOP is attacking the law in a piecemeal fashion to weaken health coverage and the resulting uncertainty is already causing havoc in healthcare.

I urge you to block widening the war in Syria. Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council, and Derek Harvey, the NSC’s top Middle East advisor, want the United States to start going on the offensive in southern Syria. The U.S. military has already taken a handful of defensive actions against Iranian-backed forces fighting in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Trump’s address in Saudi Arabia in early May made clear the United States was going to take sides in the Middle East’s sectarian struggle, choosing to back Sunni Arab states in an effort to isolate Shiite-ruled Iran. Russia angrily condemned our downing of a Syrian aircraft as a flagrant violation of international law, and said its forces will treat U.S. coalition aircraft over Syria as targets. Trump's administration had put Iran "on notice" for its ballistic missile tests before the recent strike in Syria. Even traditional Iran hawks, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, don’t approve of US escalation. Mattis, military commanders, and top U.S. diplomats all oppose opening up a broader front against Iran and its proxies in southeastern Syria, viewing it as a risky move that could draw the United States into a dangerous confrontation with Iran. The contest with Iran in Iraq and Syria is not something that will be won or lost in the next couple of months. Meanwhile, Trump sells Qatar $12 billion of U.S. weapons days after berating Qatar for sponsoring terrorism at the highest levels.  Do Republicans intend to flame old hatreds into World War III, in order to raise the price of oil, profit from arming both sides, and create a permanent war footing to justify their transition to tyranny? Do you?

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on June 19, 2017 at 10:11pm

Letter to Republican Senator:

Decent health care should be recognized as a right for everyone, rather than being rationed by profiteering insurance conglomerates under the guise of “freedom”, which comes down to freedom from health care. The AHCA is expected to raise premiums 20%. Not even the Secretary of Health and Human Services knows what the Senate is planning. If, as Andy Slavitt and others suggest, the GOP pulls out a substitute amendment at the last hour to entirely replace the “nothing” bill debated, that precedent would permanently destroy the last remnant facade of democracy, abruptly unveiling the Trump dictatorship. 65% of Americans currently think Trump has little to no respect for the country’s institutions; the substitute amendment would foster unanimity.

I urge you to oppose Joseph Otting for Comptroller of the Currency. Otting’s history as CEO of OneWest raises major concerns about his potential role overseeing the largest banks in the nation. Under the leadership of Otting and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, OneWest was censured for its irresponsible lending practices and engaging in robo-signing (i.e. approving mortgage- and foreclosure-related documents without reviewing or verifying them). Just last month, a OneWest subsidiary agreed to pay $89 million to settle a complaint that it had defrauded the Federal Housing Administration. While comptrollers are typically attorneys with a history of government service, Otting is a businessman without an advanced degree – although he did recently admit to lying about having earned a degree from Dartmouth College.

I urge you to block widening the war in Syria. Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council, and Derek Harvey, the NSC’s top Middle East advisor, want the United States to start going on the offensive in southern Syria. The U.S. military has already taken a handful of defensive actions against Iranian-backed forces fighting in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Trump’s address in Saudi Arabia in early May made clear the United States was going to take sides in the Middle East’s sectarian struggle, choosing to back Sunni Arab states in an effort to isolate Shiite-ruled Iran. Russia angrily condemned our downing of a Syrian aircraft as a flagrant violation of international law, and said its forces will treat U.S. coalition aircraft over Syria as targets. Trump’s administration had put Iran “on notice” for its ballistic missile tests before the recent strike in Syria. Even traditional Iran hawks, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, don’t approve of US escalation. Mattis, military commanders, and top U.S. diplomats all oppose opening up a broader front against Iran and its proxies in southeastern Syria, viewing it as a risky move that could draw the United States into a dangerous confrontation with Iran. The contest with Iran in Iraq and Syria is not something that will be won or lost in the next couple of months. Meanwhile, Trump sells Qatar $12 billion of U.S. weapons days after berating Qatar for sponsoring terrorism at the highest levels.  Do Republicans intend to flame old hatreds into World War III, in order to raise the price of oil, profit from arming both sides, and create a permanent war footing to justify their transition to tyranny? Do you?

 

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