Congress is on hiatus from 13 to 21 February, which means they are back in their states and districts, which means it is time to contact them directly. There are several legislative initiatives that you may want to support and ways that you may want to use to make your voice heard.
I’ve recently made several posts about the new and improved aspects of contacting your MoC. Please follow these links:
- Call Your Members of Congress: The Fix Our Democracy, edition: This post goes through two important pieces of information: (1) The ways that the Repubes have rigged our democracy to ensure minority rule. And (2) the ways we can fix them. This is important because HR 1, For the People Act of 2021 addresses many of these concerns. More on that in the Legislation Before the House section.
- Call Your Members of Congress: The Save Our Democracy, edition: This post goes through two more important pieces of information: (1) New and improved tips and suggestions for contacting your MoC including a hierarchy of contact methods and how to use the media to your advantage — you won’t want to miss those updated tips and suggestions. And (2) it tailors the ways you should be messaging your MoC depending on where on the political spectrum they stand. So, there are tips on how to influence your conservative, moderate, and progressive Democratic MoC, your Repube MoC, and your member of leadership MoC. You’ll see those showing up below, too. So, fun!
Legislation Before The House
Here is a list of some of my favorite pieces of legislation before the Congress — the House really because the Senate has yet to recover from MqQonnell’s — as all the kids are saying these days — hex of being a non-legislative body that he has put it under.
- Biden’s #COVID19 Rescue Plan: This is the plan that seems to be perpetually under consideration, on the precipice of getting bi-partisan support if #BidenHarris would just use this one weird trick, and about to be reconciliationed if the Repubes don’t bi-partisan good. Honestly, they have just marked it up in the House. It should pass there sometime in the week after it Congress returns from hiatus. Then it is off to the Senate to be mucked about with for a week or so. And, it is off to reconciliation land so that it can become law. You should remind your MoC of a few things:
- HR1 – For the People Act of 2021: This is the democracy reform bill that will help guarantee everyone the right to vote by countering many of the Repubes’ efforts to suppress the vote in their states. It would do things like end partisan gerrymandering (good because we fucked up and lost state legislatures in 2020, so the GOP is poised to gerrymander us out of existence), allow for easier voter registration, fund election security, allow for vote-by-mail, allow for federal matching funds for small dollar donors to reduce the influence of big donors on the elected, and strengthen ethics laws.
Taking group action will give you more bang for your buck! So, you have a couple of options:
- Make your own group! Organize your friends, family, neighbors, those within arms reach into an action group. It’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s something you can do.
- Join a group. There are lots of groups that are out there to join. It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s something you can do:
- Indivisible: Find an Indivisible group near you! They’re well organized and organizing ways to make the most of this time period.
- The Democratic Party: Believe it or not, the Democratic Party has plans for the week ahead and other actions that you can participate in to help pass legislation.
- Black Lives Matter: They have a list of issues that they want YOU to call your MoC about and an automated method of connecting you, so be ready!
- Start: START is a group that has a self-study course ideal for six to eight people to study in order to create a better world. I haven’t looked at it very closely, so I don’t know much about it, but they do have an overwhelming list of 500 progressive organizations that you could consider joining or somehow working through.
Let us know in the comments about your experience whether you worked alone, in a group of friends and family, or with a more permanent organized group. We’d love to hear from you!
We’re doing something a bit different here, so bear with us as we sort out the bugs and stuff. We’ll be supplying THREE! Count ’em, THREE! That’s right, THREE! scripts, one for each type of MoC.
Calling or Writing
Use this script when calling or writing your Members of Congress. Adapt as needed.
Regardless of the type of MoC you have, they all should begin the same:
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [STATE and LOCALITY].
I’m calling today to express my support for President Biden’s #COVID19 rescue plan to jump start our economy and get the pandemic under control and for HR 1 – For the People Act of 2021, which will help restore our voting rights, secure our elections, ensure our elections are fair, reliable, and transparent.
The Member of Leadership
Our country, party, and Congress need strong leadership on these two bills. The Republicans will attempt to water-down these two crucial bills with false appeals to unity and bipartisanship. As we saw in Obama’s presidency, they are not sincere. We need to stand strong and demand the relief and support that the American people need right now.
The Moderate Democrat
Now is not the time for cautious half-measures. Trump’s and the Republican Party’s year of inaction on the #COVID19 pandemic has left us badly damaged as a nation. We need bold action to help restore our economy and our nation’s health as we go through the worst part of the pandemic. As we saw on 6 January during Trump’s Insurrection Riot and during the impeachment trial, our democracy is under attack. HR 1 will address many of the weak areas of our democracy. We need bold action to secure our elections.
The progressive Democrat
I know you support both of these bills. Please fight for them and resist attempts to weaken them through negotiations with the Republicans. The American people need strong champions to restore our economy, our health, and our elections.
The conservative Democrat
It won’t matter whether you support these bills or more moderate bills, the Republicans are going to paint you as a radical liberal. The economy and health of the nation have been so damaged by Trump’s and the Republican Party’s year of inaction on the #COVID19 pandemic that drastic action is needed to get us through the worst part of the outbreak. Do not fall for false attempts at negotiation in the name of unity and bipartisanship. We need these bills as they are now.
After a year of inaction and inattention by both Trump and the Republican Congress, it is time for bold action to restore our democracy, our economy, and our health. We must pass these bills as they are and we expect that you will put the needs of our country above the needs of your party and your personal ambitions.
Thank you for your time and attention.
IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied.
The Starter Tweet
Copy and paste this starter tweet. You may need to adjust the wording to fit the character limits. And,, don’t forget to @ your MoC!
We need to pass Biden’s #COVID19 Rescue Plan to restore the health of the nation and the economy to get through the worst part of the pandemic. We need to pass HR 1 to restore confidence in our elections.
Tips for Calling
When you call your representative’s office, please remember the following:
- Only contact YOUR MoC! They only listen to their constituents and dismiss requests from non-constituents.Ask for the aide working on the policy-related issues.
- Be polite! No matter whose office you’re calling. No matter what their positions are. No matter how inflamed you are about the issue — and you should be very passionate — be polite.
- Remember that the people you are talking to are people! So, be nice.
- Call during business hours of the area code their office is in. Typically, that is 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
- Have a script or notes to follow so you don’t forget anything.
- Maybe call with friends. You know like a party.
In Addition to Calling
I’ve heard back from readers that some MoC’s voice mail boxes are always full! It’s as if they don’t want to hear from their constituents. Kinda like those MoC’s who don’t hold town halls or other open forum meetings. Here are some other ways to contact your MoC:
- Send a postcard to their office. Nothing says I care like kicking it old school and using snail mail.
- Email their office. Lay out your concerns in a brief email and send it in. We all know how easy it is to email. Make sure you include the issue you are addressing in the subject line.
- Use the contact page on their website. This is the surest way of getting a message to them. Each MoC has an official government website and each has a contact page that comes with it automatically.
- Write a letter to the editor or other opinion piece for your local media. Mention your MoC by name in the letter. They monitor the media in their districts for just this purpose.
- Contact them using social media. It’s hard to break through all the noise on social media, but it can’t hurt to try given all the time we all spend using it. Be sure to tag your MoC’s when social mediaing about about a specific issue. Be clear and respectful, though, when addressing an issue that you want your MoC to act upon. Make sure you let them know you are a constituent.
Contacting Your MoC
Find out how to contact your MoC using these links!
- Common Cause will give you the names, party affiliation, direct phone number, website link, and social media platforms of all of your federal, state, and local elected officials.
- USA.gov is the official guide to information and services of the US government. This page explains clearly how to contact everyone from the Ol’ Pussy Grabber to your representative to specific government agencies. Through it you can find the following information about your MoC’s:
- Their phone numbers: DC and state offices
- Their mailing addresses both in DC and their state offices
- Official website with their contact page including email, request a meeting, town hall schedules, and social media
- And, the committees they sit on
- Congress.gov is the official clearinghouse of information on all bills before Congress. You can find the sponsors, summaries, text, and status of every bill before Congress. It is a great tool.
- 5 Calls: Sign-up for 5 Calls because they help you contact your member of Congress and keep you abreast of on going issues that are important to you! Now, that is a good deal.
- The Capital Hill Switch Board: (202) 224-3121.
- MassacreMitch and #MoscowMitch: His DC office, (202) 224-2541.
- Nancy Pelosi: Her DC office, (202) 225-4965; her California office, (415) 556-4862
- The Ol’ Pussy Grabber: The WH switchboard, (202) 456-1414 or the comments line at (202) 456-1111 during business hours
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