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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: 10
Latest Activity: on Thursday

Discussion Forum

Robert Mercer's psyops behind the extremist takeover

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan on Thursday. 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 August 4, 2017 at 4:44pm

Calls to my members of Congress Wednesday:

(to senators)

Oppose S. 354, the RAISE Act, which would end the diversity visa program, stop allowing citizens and permanent residents to sponsor many relatives such as parents, adult children, siblings, and fiancees, and cap acceptance of refugees at about half of our current level.

Billed as protection for American jobs and wages, this cruel, nativist, xenophobic attempt to keep out foreigners won't help, if research is any guide.

"'Cutting legal immigration won’t help low-skilled workers,' conservative Alex Nowrasteh wrote for the Cato Institute. 'A recent paper by economists Michael Clemens, Ethan Lewis, and Hannah Postel seems tailor-made to test what would happen ... ending lower-skilled migration for farm workers had little measurable effect on the labor market for Americans who worked in those occupations.'" (GovTrack) The paper found that ending the bracero guest-worker program in 1964 did not raise wages for American workers and did not increase employment; farmers shifted to increased mechanization for crops such as tomatoes, sugar beets, and cotton. For crops where no advanced machinery was available, there tended to be larger and lasting declines in production.

(to senators & congressman)

Denounce the problematic activities of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity and call for it to be dismantled. Its leadership (Kris Kobach, infamous for Crosscheck and who helped write many overturned voter-ID laws), membership, and activities (asking for private voter data from states, and “doxxing” citizens who submitted public comments by publishing their private contact info) indicate that the commission is a sham set up to suppress the vote. (more at 5calls.org)

Introduce a bill offering incentives and assistance to states to institute automatic voter registration when residents turn 18 (they can opt out).

Introduce a bill offering assistance to states to convert to paper ballot voting systems -- “black box” electronic voting machines are inherently untrustworthy, as demonstrated by this week’s news that researchers at the DEF CON cybersecurity conference hacked into all 30 electronic voting machines made available for testing, some within minutes. Audit trails and security logs don't help; they can be hacked to match.

Paper ballots provide a tangible record of each voter's intent, can be scanned quickly by machine, and can be recounted, by hand if necessary. Paper ballots are a defense against invisible large-scale "bit-flipping" fraud.

And again work for Expanded & Improved Medicare for All.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on August 3, 2017 at 2:10pm

Senate letter:

I urge you to cosponsor and support the Special Counsel Integrity Act introduced by Senators Thom Tillis and Chris Coons, which would let Mueller or any special counsel challenge their firing by a three-judge panel within 14 days. If they aren't able to find "good cause" for the firing, the special counsel would be reinstated. Retroactive back to May 17, it would protect Mueller.

I urge you to object to the Justice Department’s plan to sue universities that admit students through affirmative action admissions policies. The new “civil rights” division is a blatantly anti-civil rights division, and I object to this abuse of my tax dollars in the name of justice.

I urge you to oppose Brian Benczkowski to lead the Department of Justice Criminal Division. He is totally unsuitable, given his history with Alfa Bank, the Russian bank under investigation by the FBI for potential connections to the Trump organization. Benczkowski’s decision to take on, and keep representing, a controversial client with a potential conflict of interest against the American people, casts serious doubt on his judgment. In addition, when Senator Dianne Feinstein asked him if he would recuse himself from current and future cases involving Alfa Bank, as well as the related investigations underway by Special Counsel Mueller, he refused. He has conflicts of interest and demonstrated poor judgment.

I urge you to censure Rex Tillerson for refusing to use $80 million in his budget to counter ISIS and Russian propaganda. The Alliance for Securing Democracy monitors 600 bot and troll Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence operations. They show significant influence on American social media. How does the state department justify refusing to counter enemy propaganda, whose goals include the failure of American and other Western democracies?

Trump’s recent tweeted threat to Congress, essentially saying “pass my health bill, or as punishment I will end health care for you, your staff, & your constituents”, is more evidence that Trump governs like a mob boss rather than an executive elected to further the general welfare. I urge you and fellow legislators to shame Trump for using the lives and livelihoods of millions of American citizens, including members of Congress and their staffs, as a cudgel to get what he wants. The executive branch is being remade into a kakistocracy – a government run by its most unqualified and corrupt occupants.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on August 3, 2017 at 2:10pm

House letter:

I urge you to strongly object to the House Judiciary Committee prioritizing investigating Hillary Clinton over Russian meddling, Trump’s decision to fire James Comey, and the public attacks on Jeff Sessions. Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s statement that there’s no reason for his panel to use “taxpayer dollars to investigate the Trump campaign’s connections -- or lack thereof -- to the Russian government" insults us all, since taxpayers have already wasted $100 million investigating Hillary, just to prove her innocence. It’s the responsibility of the Judiciary Committee to oversee or even protect the independence of the Justice Department and FBI, and that’s what’s at stake now. What I see instead is obstruction of justice and cover up of treason by looking the other way. Goodlatte’s letter to Sessions demanding a second special counsel to investigate Hillary also said that “a comprehensive investigation into the 2016 presidential campaign and its aftermath must be free of even the suggestion of political interference”, which is outrageous irony, since that letter itself constitutes political interference with the Trump/Russia investigation. I agree with House Judiciary Committee Democrat Luis Gutierrez who said, "This president is a threat to this nation, to its constitution, to its democracy -- and we are doing nothing to respond.”

I urge you to censure Rex Tillerson for refusing to use $80 million in his budget to counter ISIS and Russian propaganda. The Alliance for Securing Democracy monitors 600 bot and troll Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence operations. They demonstrate significant influence on American social media. How does the state department justify refusing to counter enemy propaganda, whose goals include the failure of American and other Western democracies?

Trump’s recent tweeted threat to Congress, essentially saying “pass my health bill, or as punishment I will end health care for you, your staff, & your constituents”, is more evidence that Trump governs like a mob boss rather than an executive elected to further the general welfare. I urge you and fellow legislators to shame Trump for using the lives and livelihoods of millions of American citizens, including members of Congress and their staffs, as a cudgel to get what he wants. The executive branch is being remade into a kakistocracy – a government run by its most unqualified and corrupt occupants.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on August 1, 2017 at 4:00pm

Letter to Rep Senator:

The current administration has abandoned promotion of both justice and democracy, according to revisions of its State Department mission statement. The actions of Trump and his family and close associates suggest a president seeking to monetize his office. Trump and the Republican Congress are rolling back the Obama administration’s efforts to combat corruption, for example by repealing a key provision in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law that had required US oil and gas companies to disclose their payments to foreign governments. The Department of the Interior has been backing away from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which also publicizes payments to governments by energy companies. Trump said the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the crown jewel of anti-corruption laws, which prohibits US companies from bribing foreign officials, is a horrible law that should be changed. Do you, Senator Toomey, also oppose justice and democracy? Are you keen to transform our country into a kleptocracy like Putin’s Russia, as Trump seems to be?

Consider Bill Browder’s Senate Judiciary Committee testimony on why Vladimir Putin needs to lift the Magnitsky Act sanctions against those guilty of torture, murder, and fraud together with the revelation that Trump dictated Trump Jr.’s testimony about his meeting. President Trump is now directly implicated in trying to cover up the Russia scandal. The Panama Papers show Putin received some of the money stolen from the scheme exposed by Magnitsky. Continuing to stand behind an administration entangled in the worst scandal of US history will result in your career and reputation going down in flames.

Republicans like Sen. Jeff Flake are openly talking about the “tremendous powers of denial” and “determined suspension of critical faculties” required to “carry on in the spring of 2017 as if what was happening was anything approaching normalcy.” I urge you to renounce Trump before he carries out the preemptive strike on North Korea which Lindsey Graham says he’s considering.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on August 1, 2017 at 3:41pm

Letter to Rep House:

I urge you to cosponsor and support HR 3564, the Security Clearance Review Act, which would give the Director of the FBI the authority to revoke the security clearance of executive branch employees whose actions may pose a threat to national security, such as President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

I urge you to dissociate yourself from Donald Trump. Consider allegations that he got an advance look at a Fox News story purportedly showing the Russians weren't behind hacked DNC emails published by WikiLeaks, which contained two fabricated quotes, and pushed Fox News to publish the story "immediately". Mr Wheeler’s lawsuit said, "According to Butowsky, the statements were falsely attributed to Mr. Wheeler because that is the way the President wanted the article. Zimmerman, Butowsky and Fox had created fake news to advance President Trump’s agenda. Mr. Wheeler was subsequently forced to correct the false record and, as a result, lost all credibility in the eyes of the public.” Second, the Washington Post reported that “Flying home from Germany on July 8 aboard Air Force One, Trump personally dictated a statement in which Trump Jr. said he and the Russian lawyer had ‘primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children’ when they met in June 2016, according to multiple people with knowledge of the deliberations. The statement, issued to the New York Times as it prepared a story, emphasized that the subject of the meeting was ‘not a campaign issue at the time.’" President Trump is now directly implicated in trying to cover up the Russia scandal. Republicans like Sen. Jeff Flake are openly publishing about the “tremendous powers of denial” and “determined suspension of critical faculties” required to “carry on in the spring of 2017 as if what was happening was anything approaching normalcy.”

I urge you to renounce Trump before he carries out the preemptive strike on North Korea which Lindsey Graham says he’s considering.

Comment by Grinning Cat on July 31, 2017 at 4:02pm

In my calls today, I asked my congressman to cosponsor and support H.R. 3564, the Security Clearance Review Act, which would allow the FBI director to revoke the security clearance of political appointees whose actions may pose a threat to national security -- such as Jared Kushner, who failed to disclose information about numerous meetings with foreign contacts. (More at Salon)

I also asked my senators to oppose Damien Schiff's confirmation to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims -- a vote in the full Senate is expected this week. His extremist, regressive views, such as opposing Lawrence v. Texas and the Endangered Species Act, and arguing for unlimited corporate donations to political campaigns, demonstrate that he does not belong on one of the nation’s highest courts charged with protecting all Americans. (More at 5calls.org)

And once more I asked all three of my members of Congress to push for Expanded & Improved Medicare for All (as in John Conyers' bill) as the essential way to improve (or replace) the ACA/Obamacare; the evidence is in that single-payer would provide every American with high-quality coverage, at lower cost than our current system.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on July 31, 2017 at 3:19pm

Senate letter, page 2:

The last thing your constituents need is more brutal police. It’s up to you to use your power to counter the president of the United States explicitly encouraging police violence, while his Justice Department has already renounced a duty to counter police violence. Ratcheting up uncontrolled police violence in not in your personal interest. A police state loyal to this Enemies List President would turn unleashed violence on Congress in a blink.

Lastly, the "Voting Machine Hacker Village" this year at the world's largest hacker conventions, DEF CON, proved that a significant change in U.S. election officials’ security culture is urgent. Security investigators claimed to have found major vulnerabilities or claimed to have breached every voting machine and system present, in some cases within minutes—and in other cases within a few hours. Our voting system is in tatters, and must be secured. Hackers claimed to have found major security flaws in the Sequoia AVC Edge, currently in use in 13 states, and in the AccuVote TSX, currently in use in 19 states. Laws must be passed requiring businesses to acknowledge security breaches, because corporations resist acknowledging the security flaws surrounding computer systems.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on July 31, 2017 at 3:18pm

Senate letter, page 1:

I urge you to instruct the Senate Rules Committee to explicitly permit photos and videos on the third floor of the Senate wing of the Capitol. Demands by Capitol police on Tuesday that journalists covering protests in the Senate visitor galleries stop taking photos and videos and that they delete photos and videos of the demonstration violates the Constitution. Journalists are protected by the First Amendment to document what occurs in public spaces as well as the Fourth Amendment “against unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons and equipment.” The Privacy Protection Act also protects journalists by requiring law enforcement to obtain a subpoena to search or seize a journalist’s materials, including photos and videos. Uphold the Constitution in the Capitol!

I urge you to oppose Damien Schiff's nomination to the US Court of Federal Claims. Schiff has publicly espoused extremist views that are at odds with judicial precedent, and has consistently proved that he lacks the judgment and temperament to serve on a federal court. Damien Schiff is infamous for his extremist opinions both in and out of the courtroom.

I urge you to oppose H.J. Res 111, the repeal of the CFPB’s Arbitration Rule recently passed in the House. Allowing consumers to file class action suits against financial institutions is a consumer right and a necessary check against predatory and illegal practices of financial institutions. Wells Fargo used arbitration clauses to obstruct legal action following the revelation that employees created millions of fraudulent accounts for unwitting consumers. The Military Coalition formally petitioned Congress to ban these clauses because the effects of predatory lending practices targeting the armed services are harming America’s military readiness and military personnel are in no position to fight legal cases individually.

In a related matter, the new leadership, under Trump, at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has reversed last year’s policy, the “Reform of Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities” (81 FR 68688; 42 CFR 483.70(n)), prohibiting binding pre-dispute (“forced”) arbitration agreements in nursing homes and long-term care facility. I urge you to call on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to uphold its prohibition on binding pre-dispute (“forced”) arbitration agreements. This decision by the Trump Administration allows victims to be funneled into a rigged system where nursing home corporations pressure our most vulnerable patients into signing away their rights.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on July 31, 2017 at 3:17pm

Letter for House:

Trump told Hillary Clinton during one of their campaign debates that if he were president she’d be in jail. The way things are heading, if he has his way he’s going to start locking up other rivals and critics as well. His Republican minions in the House Judiciary Committee have called for a new special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton, Comey and Lynch. I urge you to oppose this attack on the rule of law. Don’t let the US become another banana republic, where despots wield the law for personal vendettas.

The new leadership, under Trump, at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has reversed last year’s policy, the “Reform of Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities” (81 FR 68688; 42 CFR 483.70(n)), prohibiting binding pre-dispute (“forced”) arbitration agreements in nursing homes and long-term care facility. I urge you to call on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to uphold its prohibition on binding pre-dispute (“forced”) arbitration agreements. This decision by the Trump Administration allows victims to be funneled into a rigged system where nursing home corporations pressure our most vulnerable patients into signing away their rights.

The last thing your constituents need is more brutal police. It’s up to you to use your power to counter the president of the United States explicitly encouraging police violence, while his Justice Department has already renounced a duty to counter police violence. Ratcheting up uncontrolled police violence in not in your personal interest. A police state loyal to this Enemies List President would turn unleashed violence on Congress in a blink.

Lastly, the "Voting Machine Hacker Village" this year at the world's largest hacker conventions, DEF CON, proved that a significant change in U.S. election officials’ security culture is urgent. Security investigators claimed to have found major vulnerabilities or claimed to have breached every voting machine and system present, in some cases within minutes—and in other cases within a few hours. Our voting system is in tatters, and must be secured. Hackers claimed to have found major security flaws in the Sequoia AVC Edge, currently in use in 13 states, and in the AccuVote TSX, currently in use in 19 states. Laws must be passed requiring businesses to acknowledge security breaches, because corporations resist acknowledging the security flaws surrounding computer systems.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on July 28, 2017 at 4:56pm

Rep Senator letter:

I urge you to follow the example of Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson in challenging Scott Pruitt's plan to have the EPA engage in a show debate over our understanding of climate science. Pruitt's creation of a "red team" to undercut established climate science, with people from the Heartland Institute, a climate denier think tank, is an overt anti-science attack. In the face of overwhelming agreement on the basic fact of human-caused climate change by the world's scientists, Pruitt’s efforts seem divorced from reality and reason. Princeton Professor Michael Oppenheimer warned that since Trump left the Paris Accords the likelihood of us keeping global temperature rise to 2° C rise was under 10%. That was prior to new research by Andrew P. Schurer et al, which corrected the preindustrial baseline assumptions. They concluded we face an 85% probability of exceeding 2° C rise by the middle of the century on our current emissions path. In other words 33 years from now we will inhabit “dangerous climate change”, and as temperatures rise further - as they must – we risk catastrophic consequences.

The Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress – such as yourself-  who support Trump now appear committed to creating instability for political gain, creating turmoil in the national insurance market and putting the lives of millions of Americans at risk. Trump issued an executive order discouraging IRS enforcement of the individual mandate, and the Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee has included a draft provision in a spending bill to defund the IRS's mandate enforcement. The health care debate has revealed a political system unmoored and in crisis. The deepest problem has been the role that deception has played throughout the Republican process. Your participation in such governance where words have no meaning and promises have no value, by voting “yes” on “skinny repeal”, nauseates me. Bills should go through committee.

The liar-in-chief to whom you are so loyal said in June 2016, "Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs." Twice in two days, actions speak louder than words. First he barred transgender people from serving in the military. Then in an amicus brief filed in the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, lawyers under Attorney General Jeff Sessions contended that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans sex discrimination, does not cover sexual orientation." Witness the total collapse of credibility of all the key policymakers in the American government. I urge you to abandon your loyalty to Koch-donor Trump-liar policies and return to honest legislating such as Republicans conducted prior to Regan.

 

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