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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 Wednesday

Discussion Forum

Robert Mercer's psyops behind the extremist takeover

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan Aug 17. 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 October 16, 2017 at 5:28pm

To my senators today:

I strongly urge you to oppose Thomas Alvin Farr’s nomination for United States District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

As the Congressional Black Caucus wrote in its letter opposing his nomination, “Mr. Farr has amassed a record that puts him at the forefront of an extended fight to disenfranchise African-American voters in his home state of North Carolina.”

He challenged majority-Black congressional districts before the Supreme Court in 1996 as unlawful racial gerrymandering, then defended the same districts after Republican legislators redrew them in 2011 to strengthen white majorities and dilute Black voters’ power in other districts. He also defended North Carolina’s unconstitutional racial gerrymandering in 2011 of state legislative districts. The Supreme Court rejected both of these Republican gerrymanders.

Farr also defended North Carolina’s illegal voter identification law, which the Fourth Circuit described as “the most restrictive voting law in North Carolina seen since the era of Jim Crow”, that was passed with the purpose of discriminating against black voters, and targeted them with “almost surgical precision”. Unbelievably, Farr argued in court that the law was merely a “minor inconvenience” for voters.

His record is also one of consistently opposing workers and working families in favor of corporate interests. Farr sought to strike down a workers’ compensation law to treat workers with asbestos-related illnesses equally to others injured on the job. He also represented a glass company that sued to block its workers from gathering information to file a grievance and protect their own health. He later represented a trucking company seeking to deny workers’ freedom to organize a union.

Any ruling Farr would make would be suspect. As Marybe McMillan writes, “Did that plaintiff win because of her political party? Or her color? Or because she was on the side of a powerful corporation?”

I call on you to urge your colleagues on the Judiciary Committee to reject Thomas Farr’s nomination.

[A lot here is from the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund's letter opposing the nomination.]

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 14, 2017 at 1:49pm

Letter to Rep House:

I urge you to cosponsor and support The Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act, H.R. 3999 Bump stocks allow a gun to shoot as many as 13 shots per second. If automatic weapons have been banned since 1986 because they’re too dangerous, bump stocks should be banned as well. Firing bullets that fast has only one function, crowd slaughter.

I urge you to sponsor legislation that would bar the president from launching a first nuclear strike without a declaration of war by Congress, with a requirement that the secretaries of defense and state also approve any decision to use nukes. Robert Jay Lifton, a leading American psychiatrist, advises that ,”It’s hard to read him [Trump], because his behavior, as I understand it, is completely solipsistic. He sees the world through his own sense of self, what he needs and what he feels. He can’t have empathy for others. He can’t really think into the future the consequences of his actions, because he’s totally preoccupied with the immediate event and how he can deal with it or manipulate it as emerging through the perception on the part of his sense of self. That’s very extreme. People who are psychotic behave that way. And yet, for the most part, Trump is not psychotic.”

Trump’s solipsism - that he’s the final arbiter of what is true and what isn’t - directly threatens us all, and not just with nukes. His direct assault on the first amendment, threatening licenses of all media who disagree with him, isn’t just a fascist move, it’s a serious mental health symptom of how out of touch he is with reality.

I’m sure you’re aware of Trump’s puerile temperament, the infantile nicknames, his rage tweets, his narcissism, and of public perception that he’s coming unraveled. Even among his supporters, there is growing acknowledgement that Trump doesn't understand the job and isn't able to learn it. Tim O’Brien points to public evidence that Trump believes his own lies, not facts right in front of his face, in a way that lasts for decades. Most GOP legislators are cravenly cowering before the throne, hoping to get their donors’ tax cuts passed and their right-wing judges seated before Trump hits the nuclear button. I urge you to support Trump’s impeachment, and to join the chorus who speak of the danger he poses to our country. Saving yourself and your family from this madman must take precedence over ideology and career.

I urge you to defy administration pressure on the Iran deal and support renewing that accord which was struck after 18 months of negotiations between the Obama administration, Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union and then endorsed by a unanimous vote in the U.N. Security Council, exactly as it was negotiated.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 14, 2017 at 1:49pm

Letter to Rep Senator page 2:

Trump’s solipsism - that he’s the final arbiter of what is true and what isn’t - directly threatens us all, and not just with nukes. His direct assault on the first amendment, threatening licenses of all media who disagree with him, isn’t just a fascist move, it’s a serious mental health symptom of how out of touch he is with reality.

I’m sure you’re aware of Trump’s puerile temperament, the infantile nicknames, his rage tweets, his narcissism, and of public perception that he’s coming unraveled. Even among his supporters, there is growing acknowledgement that Trump doesn't understand the job and isn't able to learn it. Tim O’Brien points to public evidence that Trump believes his own lies, not facts right in front of his face, in a way that lasts for decades. Most GOP legislators are cravenly cowering before the throne, hoping to get their donors’ tax cuts passed and their right-wing judges seated before Trump hits the nuclear button. I urge you to support Trump’s impeachment, and to join the chorus who speak of the danger he poses to our country. Saving yourself and your family from this madman must take precedence over ideology and career.

I urge you to defy administration pressure on the Iran deal and support renewing that accord which was struck after 18 months of negotiations between the Obama administration, Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union and then endorsed by a unanimous vote in the U.N. Security Council, exactly as it was negotiated.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 14, 2017 at 1:48pm

Letter to Rep Senator page 1:

I urge you to reconsider your opposition to The Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act, S. 1916. Bump stocks allow a gun to shoot as many as 13 shots per second. If automatic weapons have been banned since 1986 because they’re too dangerous, bump stocks should be banned as well. Firing bullets that fast has only one function, crowd slaughter. How do you justify enabling someone to rapidly mow down large crowds of your constituents?

I urge you to oppose Kathleen Hartnett White to serve as chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. She disparages the work of mainstream climate scientists, baselessly likening their work to “dogmatic claims of ideologues and clerics.” As a senior fellow of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank funded by fossil-fuel companies that include Koch Industries, ExxonMobil and Chevron, she wrote a policy paper titled "Fossil Fuels: The Moral Case." It’s not moral to threaten human existence for short-term profit!

I urge you to sponsor legislation that would bar the president from launching a first nuclear strike without a declaration of war by Congress, with a requirement that the secretaries of defense and state also approve any decision to use nukes. Robert Jay Lifton, a leading American psychiatrist, advises that ,”It’s hard to read him [Trump], because his behavior, as I understand it, is completely solipsistic. He sees the world through his own sense of self, what he needs and what he feels. He can’t have empathy for others. He can’t really think into the future the consequences of his actions, because he’s totally preoccupied with the immediate event and how he can deal with it or manipulate it as emerging through the perception on the part of his sense of self. That’s very extreme. People who are psychotic behave that way. And yet, for the most part, Trump is not psychotic.”

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 14, 2017 at 1:47pm

Letter to Dem Senator:

Thank you for cosponsoring The Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act, S. 1916. Firing 13 bullets per second has only one function, crowd slaughter.

I urge you to oppose Kathleen Hartnett White to serve as chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. She disparages the work of mainstream climate scientists, baselessly likening their work to “dogmatic claims of ideologues and clerics.” As a senior fellow of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank funded by fossil-fuel companies that include Koch Industries, ExxonMobil and Chevron, she wrote a policy paper titled "Fossil Fuels: The Moral Case". It’s not moral to threaten human existence for short-term profit!

I urge you to sponsor legislation that would bar the president from launching a first nuclear strike without a declaration of war by Congress, with a requirement that the secretaries of defense and state also approve any decision to use nukes. Trump’s solipsism - that he’s the final arbiter of what is true and what isn’t - directly threatens us all, and not just with nukes. His direct assault on the first amendment, threatening licenses of all media who disagree with him is more than a fascist move, it’s a mental health symptom of how out of touch he is with reality.

I urge you to support Trump’s impeachment, and to join the chorus who speak of the danger he poses to our country.

I urge you to defy administration pressure on the Iran deal and support renewing that accord which was struck after 18 months of negotiations between the Obama administration, Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union and then endorsed by a unanimous vote in the U.N. Security Council, exactly as it was negotiated.

Comment by Grinning Cat on October 13, 2017 at 6:51pm

Ruth's computer is acting up, so I offered to post the letters Ruth shared with me earlier today.

They were useful for talking points as I called my (Democratic) congressman about protecting national monuments and public lands, and for all three of my members of Congress about freedom of the press, healthcare (including another push for Expanded and Improved Medicare for All, HR676, or Bernie Sanders' S.1804), and tRump's sabotage of Obamacare, violating the Constitutional mandate that the President "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed", as a reason to impeach and remove him.

Comment by Grinning Cat on October 13, 2017 at 6:39pm

Ruth's letter to her Republican congressman: (modified as necessary for our senators, one Republican, one Democratic)

Wall Street Journal reporter Ayla Albayrak was just convicted and sentenced to prison by a Turkish court for “engaging in terrorist propaganda”. Most countries would respond to such an extremely unusual move with vigorous protest. Instead of condemning this move, which continues Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s troubling pattern of making Turkey the world’s leading jailer of journalists, Trump encouraged it by escalating his own unconsti­tutional assault on the press – threatening to pull the licenses of not only NBC but all news networks who dare to criticize him. Trump’s constant lying requires that he delegitimize the press and all independent sources of information and criticism, to extend his reach for dictatorial power. Dictators begin by criticizing the media, then abuse government power to crush them. If the First Amendment means anything, it’s that government can’t censor unfavorable news. I urge you to support freedom of the press and of speech, and to protect the Federal Communi­cations Com­mission’s independence. The FCC should not become an axe to chop up the Constitution.

I urge you to support Trump’s impeachment. Trump’s willful destruction of Obamacare, a law passed by the Congress – not a regulation promulgated by federal departments – would violate his oath to uphold the Constitution, whose Article Two demands that the president “take care that the laws be faithfully executed”. Trump’s executive order on Obamacare violates that “Take Care” clause. Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman advises, “The Constitution recognizes that the president can’t necessarily enforce every law. But it requires a good-faith effort. And declining to enforce the law so that the law itself ceases to be able to function isn’t good faith.” Former Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story said, “the [impeachment] remedy ‘is not so much designed to punish an offender, as to secure the state against gross official misdemeanors. It touches neither his person, nor his property; but simply divests him of his political capacity.’”

Trump’s single-handed Obamacare destruction could lead to a double-digit spike in insurance premiums, unless Congress intervenes. Even if you would prefer to replace Obamacare, this isn’t a good way for Republicans to do it. I urge you to immediately pass legislation to stabilize the insurance market and ensure the ACA’s cost-sharing subsidies are fully funded. The American people want a bipartisan fix to the ACA, not a political sabotage of the law. Junk insurance will not only destroy employer-based healthcare, it will pave the way for outraged universal demand for Medicare-for-All. It would also pave the way for the demise of the Republican Party.

I urge you to criticize Trump for his hater-in-chief tweets that insult and offend American citizens. He’s made San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz a symbol of strength, competence, and compassion while bringing shame to all Republicans.

I also urge you to oppose withdrawal from UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

I urge you to work together to craft a bipartisan law that preserves the Iran deal. The Iran deal is an important element of our national security plan, and by walking away now, we’d make our country more vulnerable to nuclear threats. Any actions we take with regard to Iran will have a ripple effect with North Korea, and the consequences could be catastrophic. Don’t let the US become a rogue nation that reneges on treaties.

(cont. below for the congressman)

Comment by Grinning Cat on October 13, 2017 at 6:37pm

Part 2 of Ruth's letter to her Republican congressman:

I urge you to oppose H.R. 3990, the Orwellianly-named “National Monument Creation and Protection Act”. It would bar the Antiquities Act from being used to protect land­marks, prehistoric structures, public lands, and objects of “scientific interest,” restricting the law’s scope to the vague term “object or objects of antiquity.” Rob Bishop’s bill is a killing blow aimed at the very foundation of the American public lands tradition. The goal is to not only roll back what has been protected in the past, but to prevent protections in the future.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 12, 2017 at 10:13pm

Today's letter was similar to all, excepting I removed the "your party" bit for Democrats.

I am outraged by Trump’s intent to abandon 3.4 million US citizens in Puerto Rico. As far as I’m concerned Puerto Rico’s $72 billion in pre-hurricane debt, being overseen by a federal oversight board, is a legacy of colonial and Wall Street exploitation. I urge you to forgive their debt with a bankruptcy proceeding,  just as if they were Detroit – which wasn’t totally ravaged by a hurricane. This is our country! Widespread food shortages are reported. The US government is providing only 200,000 meals a day. A senior FEMA official said they are 1.8 million meals a day short.  World Central Kitchen, founded by chef José Andrés,  had their contract to cook and distribute 20,000 meals a day expire Tuesday, and FEMA is in no hurry to renew it. More than a third of Puerto Ricans still don’t have clean drinking water. Continual mudslides and flooding hamper emergency response. This is a humanitarian crisis on American soil and the manifestly negligent and heartless administration brags about their “exceptional” response – recalling the paradoxical Orwellian maxims that “war is peace”, “freedom is slavery”, and “ignorance is strength”.

Even before the challenge of Zika and before Hurricanes Maria and Irma, Puerto Rico’s healthcare needs were significantly underfunded because federal Medicaid funding was provided through a block grant. Now Puerto Rico’s needs are far more dire. I urge you to support legislation to provide Puerto Rico with additional Medicaid funds. Immediate action is needed, but occasional Congressional additions to the block grant have never been enough to overcome the health and infrastructure challenges associated with long-term underinvestment in services or Puerto Rico’s recent economic decline. I urge you to support the stabilization provided by Medicaid matching payments, which incentivize state investment and increase when economic conditions worsen.

The House included FEMA cuts in the 2018 budget proposal, in order to fund a border wall and further fatten the wealthiest with tax cuts. FEMA can’t even do an adequate job for current hurricane and wildfire emergencies. I urge you to push for increased FEMA funding in the Senate. The 2017 fire season and a hurricane seasons thus far are consistent with models of a changing climate. Science tells us such crises will get worse as Earth gets hotter. Cuts are malicious and voters will remember. I urge you to turn you corrupt political party around, to abandon their wealthy donors in favor of actually taking care of citizens – as you took an oath to do, and as your reelection will depend on.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 10, 2017 at 3:31pm

Page 2 to Senator:

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."

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.

 

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