Information

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: yesterday

Discussion Forum

Examine your state legislators

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Jan 1. 2 Replies

The Center for Public Integrity presents a data base of state level legislative conflicts of interest. Find your state legislators' financial interests…Continue

Tags: state political corruption

Robert Mercer's psyops behind the extremist takeover

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan Aug 17, 2017. 6 Replies

Two hundred years ago the founding fathers created three branches of government, assuming that one party wouldn't dominate all three at once, and assuming that the legislative and executive branch actually wanted to govern the country as a…Continue

Tags: changing beliefs, white supremacist takeover, data analytics, psychological warfare, bio-psycho-social profiling

Action alerts and talking points

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by Grinning Cat Jun 13, 2017. 4 Replies

Where do you find useful information on issues to communicate with your legislators about, or talking points you might not have thought about for calling or writing them?Continue

Tags: representatives, legislators, congresscritters, senators, political actions

How are we doing ? As of February 17, 2017

Started by Joan Denoo Feb 17, 2017. 0 Replies

block H.R.958 elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency - Wasteful EPA Programs Elimination Act of 2017, 115th Congress (2017-2018) | (Became law)block Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court (Hearing is set for March 20)cosponsor and support S200,…Continue

Tags: support, confirmation, oppose, campaign, writing

How To Write Letter to Congressional Representative.

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by kathy: ky Feb 16, 2017. 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, 2017. 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, 2017. 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 May 9, 2017 at 4:37pm

Today's house letter:

I urge you to end partisan investigation obstruction with a special prosecutor, and cosponsor H.R. 356 that would establish the National Commission on Foreign Interference in the 2016 Election.

GOP behavior at the hearing titled "Russian Interference in the 2016 United States Election," in which Sally Yates testified, made it clear that the House Intelligence Committee's investigation has been corrupted by partisan loyalty and politically motivated actions. Shameful partisan politics are obstructing congressional investigations from moving forward in a real, significant way.  All but one GOP Senator spent the entire hearing focused on the Muslim ban, unmasking leaks, and even Hillary Clinton's emails. At one point during the hearing, every GOP Senator aside from Chairman Lindsay Graham had left the room. It is time for Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, who now oversees the Russia investigation, to appoint a Special Prosecutor.

Yates briefed White House legal counsel Don McGahn on evidence of Flynn's misconduct, stating that Flynn was lying to White House officials and to Mike Pence about his contact with the Russian Ambassador. But Flynn remained the National Security Advisor for 18 days. It wasn't until after the news media broke the story, and after Yates had been fired for refusing to defend Trump's Muslim-ban executive order, that Flynn was finally removed.

I urge you to oppose HR 2090, the so-called Election Integrity Act of 2017, which would require government-issued ID in order to vote. Voter fraud is near zero. This bill’s purpose is to prevent many ordinary citizens from voting.  An Arizona State University study found that, of the 2,068 cases of alleged election fraud that were found in an exhaustive search of public records between 2000 and 2012, only 10 were cases of voter impersonation - the only kind of election fraud that a photo ID requirement would be able to stop. Advocate instead for a law similar to that passed by the Illinois Senate in which Illinois residents would be automatically registered to vote.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on May 8, 2017 at 3:42pm

Today's letter to my Republican Senator who is on the GOP committee to rewrite the trumpcare bill:

Dear Senator Toomey,

Why are liberals calling the GOP senate committee writing their own version of trumpcare, upon which you sit, an all-white all-male Senate Death Panel? Because the House Trumpcare bill isn’t a healthcare bill. What kind of healthcare bill takes away services from millions of people, hurts patients, doctors, hospitals, and even insurers to reward the wealthy? The rich get a cut in their income taxes, then they get a cut on capital gains taxes, they get expanded tax credits for “certain tax-advantaged accounts,” then they get some special healthcare perks that would reward the rich for being … rich.

The House AHCA could wind up making 7 million military veterans ineligible for health care tax credits. Trumpcare will strip tax credits from potentially millions of veterans, and flood the VA with new patients at a time the VA is understaffed to handle a rush, thanks to the Donald Trump’s hiring freeze. Veterans who benefited from a program called Veterans’ Affairs or had the option of getting tax credits would now get neither under that legislation. I urge you to protect your constituents who are veterans. They overwhelmingly supported the GOP, but that will change in 2018 when they’re betrayed.

The GOP’s economic justification for the AHCA tax breaks are lies. Warren Buffett pointed out corporate tax payments as a percentage of GDP have shrunk from 4% in 1960 to just 2% now. On the other hand, medical costs have ballooned from 5% of GDP to 17% of GDP currently. “Medical costs are the tapeworm of American economic competitiveness,” as he said, NOT taxes on the 1% most wealthy. A single payer system, like that of Australia, would deliver better health care and avoid Martin Shkreli-style drug profiteering.

I urge you to oppose the SCRUB Act, which passed the house as H.R.998 and will soon be voted on in the Senate. The Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act is yet another attempt to undermine the regulatory agencies responsible for protecting the water we drink, the food we eat, and the air we breathe, among countless other potential threats to the public health and safety.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on May 8, 2017 at 3:41pm

Today's letter to Democratic Senator:

I urge you to oppose the SCRUB Act, which passed the house as H.R.998 and will soon be voted on in the Senate. The Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act is yet another attempt to undermine the regulatory agencies responsible for protecting the water we drink, the food we eat, and the air we breathe, among countless other potential threats to the public health and safety.

President Donald Trump, signing a measure on Friday to keep the federal government funded for the rest of the fiscal year, argued in a lengthy statement that he isn’t legally bound by a series of limits lawmakers imposed on him in the bill. Trump’s signing statement signaled his intention to usurp power from the legislative branch. Trump also claimed he may ignore congressional requirements for advance notice before taking a range of foreign policy and military actions. Claiming that presidential prerogatives supersede the restrictions Congress placed on him as a condition for funding government operations defies the constitution. I urge you to defend the legislature. Spearhead a united congressional pushback to all of Trump’s dictatorial actions.

I urge you to organize Senate Democrats to communicate to the public, to push back against the GOP “big lie” strategy. The GOP House AHCA bill is involved in a strategy developed by Machiavelli and perfected by Goebbels. The White House PR stunt after the House vote—lie about lowering premiums, lie about expanding availability, lie about preexisting conditions, lie about how Obamacare is “failing”— was a perfect example of Goebbels “Big Lie” technique. In Step 2, when the Senate GOP team improves the monumentally awful bill with a merely terrible one, they can blame Democrats for “watering down” health care. Republicans will claim victimhood, blaming Democratic obstruction for whatever “bad” things are included. Republican voters will credit every improvement over the house version to GOP efforts, as they now “own” health care. Don’t let the public buy this from FOX news and Breitbart! Unite to promote an independent Democratic Senate narrative of truth.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on May 8, 2017 at 3:40pm

Today's house letter:

The Presidential Tax Transparency Act would require Donald Trump and all future presidents and major party presidential nominees to release their tax returns for the last three years. But this bill is stuck in committee. This should not be a partisan issue. All presidents and presidential candidates for the last 40 years have released their tax returns. I urge you to sign the discharge petition that would let this legislation bypass the committee and be brought to the House floor for a vote. The American people deserve to know who President Trump owes money to, how much he pays in taxes, how he would personally benefit from his own tax plan, and the financial conflicts of interest the president might have with respect to legislation and executive actions he supports.

I urge you to cosponsor and support the Climate Solutions Commission Act of 2017. Support efforts of the House Climate Solutions Caucus to set up a commission, with five members appointed by Democrats and five by Republicans, to conduct a review of public policies and private actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The bipartisan commission would make recommendations to the president, Congress and the states, and base its emissions reductions goals on the latest scientific findings regarding what is needed to avoid serious health and environmental consequences.

President Donald Trump, signing a measure on Friday to keep the federal government funded for the rest of the fiscal year, argued in a lengthy statement that he isn’t legally bound by a series of limits lawmakers imposed on him in the bill. Trump’s signing statement signaled his intention to usurp power from the legislative branch. Trump also claimed he may ignore congressional requirements for advance notice before taking a range of foreign policy and military actions. Claiming that presidential prerogatives supersede the restrictions Congress placed on him as a condition for funding government operations defies the constitution. I urge you to defend the legislature. Spearhead a united congressional pushback to all of Trump’s dictatorial actions.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on May 6, 2017 at 6:34pm

Today's house letter:

Measures have been introduced in both chambers of Congress, before the Congressional Review Act window expires, to roll back regulations on coal valuation, chemical safety, pre-paid credit cards and regional haze in Utah. I urge you to defend Obama’s legacy and oppose these measures. CRA resolutions are payback to corporate donors, designed to roll back bills that had overwhelming public support. For example, the Electronics Transactions Association is pushing to scrap the regulation that requires issuers of pre-paid credit cards to improve fee transparency, provide protection against fraud, and limit overdraft fees – all protections your constituents need.

Scott Pruitt and his hand-picked staff are no longer even lying about it - they are admitting that their only priority is to help corporate polluters. EPA senior policy advisor Mandy Gunasekara told coal industry executives that she wants to make sure the EPA is working for them. Meanwhile Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made it clear Wednesday that human rights would “not get in the way” of Trump’s "America First" foreign policy. He obviously implies that America’s corporations are first and human beings last. When the administration openly espouses wielding power and fossil fuel profit over human rights and a healthy environment, it’s time for Congress to push back. Numerous respected institutions are describing our current government with terms such as a “corporate coup”, “take-over by fossil fuel interests”, and “Billionaire Coup d’État”. Corruption at the highest level can only be fought by congressional demands for transparency and accountability. I urge you to demand subpoenas of Trump’s taxes, and real investigation of his own and his appointees’ conflicts of interest and possible treason. Failure to lance this boil will bring our democracy down!

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on May 6, 2017 at 6:34pm

My opening of today's letter to Casey is unique. You might have to rewrite the opening of paragraph 2 for other senators.

Dear Senator Casey,

Thank you for doing your best to defend the Honduran immigrant and her 5-year old who were abruptly deported from the Berks county detention facility. Your tweets and your Politico interview were helpful ways to inform the public about the way Homeland Security and ICE target innocent immigrants while claiming to focus on criminals.

I urge you to use the same bully pulpit tactics to help constituents understand why a trillion-dollar tax cut disguised as a health-care “plan”, which destroys health care for millions, shouldn’t even be called a health care bill. Because Republicans are using a fast-track budget process of reconciliation to repeal Obamacare without Democratic support or a chance to filibuster, make sure the GOP bear the blame when Americans' healthcare is devastated, families go bankrupt, and millions die.

On May 4th, Trump signed an executive order that would allow churches and other tax-exempt organizations to endorse political candidates. While the executive order cannot repeal the Johnson Amendment, it instructs the IRS to ease up on the enforcement of the law so that violators no longer lose tax-exempt status. Under this order, religious institutions — which do not have the same filing and disclosure requirements as other tax-exempt nonprofits — can become major money players in our government. Individuals and big donors will be able to skirt campaign finance laws by making tax-free donations to churches supporting political campaigns, incentivizing dirty-money interests to exploit houses of worship. I urge you to publicly commit to upholding the Johnson Amendment and blocking any legislation that enables the implementation of this unconstitutional order in any way.

Measures have been introduced in both chambers of Congress, before the Congressional Review Act window expires, to roll back regulations on coal valuation, chemical safety, pre-paid credit cards and regional haze in Utah. I urge you to defend Obama’s legacy and oppose these measures. CRA resolutions are payback to the corporate class that elected Republicans to Congress, designed to roll back bills that had overwhelming public support.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on May 6, 2017 at 6:31pm

Toomey, my senator, is on the GOP senate committee writing their own version of trumpcare. See this link to see your senator is one of the other members. My letter today:

Dear Senator Toomey,

Since you are on the GOP Senators working group on health care, your constituents will hold you personally responsible for whatever health care bill is crafted. I appreciate that the group will start from scratch, take the time they need to understand the House bill’s ramifications, and insist on a score from the Congressional Budget Office before voting. As Senator Alexander would not say Thursday whether he’ll have public hearings, I urge you to push for them. Health care will be the defining issue of the upcoming election, and likely of the Republican party’s survival of the Trump administration. Because Republicans are using a fast-track budget process of reconciliation to repeal Obamacare without Democratic support, the GOP will bear the blame, when Americans' healthcare is devastated, families go bankrupt, and millions die.  A trillion-dollar tax cut disguised as a health-care “plan”, which destroys health care for millions shouldn’t even be called a health care bill.

Since President Trump correctly stated, “Of course the Australians have better healthcare than we do” I urge you to institute a universal single-payer system identical to theirs!

Education Voters of PA is telling all PA constituents exactly how much funding each of their Trumpcare-supporting representatives took from their own school districts. Losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in guaranteed Medicaid reimbursements for students with disabilities will force struggling PA school districts to cut even more vital programs and services. Expect the same scrutiny for Senators.

On May 4th, Trump signed an executive order that would allow churches and other tax-exempt organizations to endorse political candidates. While the executive order cannot repeal the Johnson Amendment, it instructs the IRS to ease up on the enforcement of the law so that violators no longer lose tax-exempt status. Under this order, religious institutions — which do not have the same filing and disclosure requirements as other tax-exempt nonprofits — can become major money players in our government. Individuals and big donors will be able to skirt campaign finance laws by making tax-free donations to churches supporting political campaigns, incentivizing dirty-money interests to exploit houses of worship. I urge you to publicly commit to upholding the Johnson Amendment and blocking any legislation that enables the implementation of this unconstitutional order in any way.

Comment by Grinning Cat on May 5, 2017 at 4:27pm

Good, powerful letters, Ruth!

I called my congressman thanking him for voting against the AHCA, and called our senators urging them to oppose it. I mentioned that President Trump was right to say “Of course the Australians have better healthcare than we do” -- it's a universal, single-payer system, which could save the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars while covering everyone. That's the only change we should be considering!

[Of course, private insurance executives and shareholders lose out, but since when have the Greedy Old Prevaricators put corporations above people?]

Indivisible Guide has updated resources: "Enough is enough: stop Trumpcare. We lost the battle, here's how we win the war."

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on May 5, 2017 at 3:49pm

Today's senate letter:

I urge you in the strongest possible terms to kill the wildly unpopular, staggeringly inadequate American Health Care Act passed by the house. Budget reconciliation will make it immune to filibuster. The AHCA was passed without public hearings and without a CBO estimate because House Republicans knew it was a bad bill that would not stand up to scrutiny. The AHCA draft that passed the House resolved none of the original draft's issues and is even worse for Americans' health. Republicans included a provision exempting their own insurance from new AHCA rules.

The insurance of half of all babies born in the U.S. is threatened by Trumpcare. Fines would be eliminated for large employers that don't provide health plans. Small-business tax credits would end in 2020. About half of US citizens, those who obtain health insurance through their employers, could be at risk of losing protections that limit out-of-pocket costs for catastrophic illnesses. AHCA would also prohibit federal funding for Planned Parenthood’s reproductive health, maternal health, and child health services for one year, mostly through Medicaid. It guts Medicaid by $880 billion in order to get that money into the pockets of the wealthy top percent. Five to 18 million individuals are predicted to lose Medicaid coverage entirely. Even people who aren’t on Medicaid themselves count on it for long-term care for their parents. Medicaid also keeps rural hospitals afloat and is a mainstay in small communities that insurance companies avoid. 130 million of us also stand to lose the guarantees the Affordable Care Act put in place to protect us from discrimination for pre-existing conditions. Sexual assault is a preexisting condition! It would raise premiums for older, low-income Americans with health insurance from the individual market. Premiums could increase by $8,400 for a 64-year-old earning $15,000 a year.

I urge you to cosponsor and support of the Equality Act of 2017 introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley. Trump’s Presidency has ushered in a despicable wave of hateful discrimination and bigotry against LGBT people, and Republicans like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are pressuring the White House to issue a sweeping discriminatory executive action targeting LGBT people. The Equality Act would provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBT people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on May 5, 2017 at 3:48pm

Before you use the house letter, check how your representative voted on trumpcare.

Thank you for voting “NO” on the staggeringly inadequate American Health Care Act!

I urge you to oppose Trump’s removal of the US from the United Nations Human Rights Council. We need to holding corporations legally responsible for their human rights violations. Implementing the UNHCR 2014 initiative to “elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises” would be a first step. This treaty would be the best defense of flesh-and-blood human beings from out-of-control corporate amorality. The US has refused to cooperate with the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group established to coordinate the negotiations for the proposed treaty.

I urge you to cosponsor and support the Equality Act of 2017 introduced by Rep. David Cicilline. Trump’s Presidency has ushered in a despicable wave of hateful discrimination and bigotry against LGBT people, and Republicans like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are pressuring the White House to issue a sweeping discriminatory executive action targeting LGBT people. The Equality Act would provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBT people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.

I urge you to object to the disappearance of vital scientific information from the EPA's website. It's robbing Americans of information that they paid for, and that is vital to founding good decisions and being informed citizens. The EPA needs to clarify that the updates will be consistent with science and that such science will remain easily accessible to the public. So far, the EPA has given no timeline for when the revised websites will go online.

 

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