Call Your Senators about Protecting Our Democracy, Economy, and Climate — #HotCallSummer UPDATE

Tuesday 15 June 2021: As is the case with so many of these Call Your MoC posts, this one gets updated straight out of the gate! We got two points to make in this here update: (1) Stacey Abrams of Fair Fight fame has launched their Hot Call Summer campaign and (2) Mitch McQonnell has announced that he more than likely won’t be allowing Biden to appoint SCOTUS Justices if he is Majority Leader after 2022.

#HotCallSummer: Call yo’ mo’fo’n senators EVERYDAY, y’all! Everyday! That’s what Stacey Abrams says. So, call 1-888-453-3211 to get YOUR senators’ contact info or visit the handy-dandy links below, but we know you already have them on speed dial, and get to calling them! Tell them to pass the For the People Act even if it means modifying the filibuster!

Filibuster relief: What more do we need to know? Mitch McQonnell ain’t going to bipartisanship with no one. The onliest thing that man knows is unipartisanship. It is the GQP way or the concentration camps for you! Can we quit expecting McQonnell to play nice and get to passing legislation? So, call your senators and tell them: (a) If they is progressive and wanting to modify the filibuster, to lobby Manchin, Sinema, et al. to do so; (b) they are against modifying the filibuster, that it is high time they got over their delusions of democracy and bipartisanship; or (c) if they are Repubes that they become the tenth vote in breaking any filibuster.

There’s a lot going on and little time to get it done in. Because our political environment is so chaotic and confusing, we have to prioritize. So here’s the list and what to do.

Protect Our Democracy

To save our democracy, it is imperative that both of these acts are enacted into law:

  1. S1, For the People Act of 2021: The bill currently is in the Senate after passing the House. It is unlikely to pass in the Senate unless we pressure our senators to pass it. So call call call! The bill will preempt much of the voter suppression state laws and circumvent the gerrymandering that the state legislatures are about to undertake. To
  2. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (I know that this is the bill from the 116th Congress, but I can’t find the bill from the current 117th Congress either because of ineptness on my part (probably) or it hasn’t yet been introduced): This law restores the Voting Rights Act that the Roberts Court gutted declaring that we are past all the racisms because Barak Obama, so suck it liberals! We aren’t going to suck it or past racism. We need to restore the preclearance provision that required states to get DoJ pre-approval before enacting any changes to their voting laws to ensure that they don’t adversely affected PoC.

Without these laws, we won’t have a democracy after the 2022 elections. Without these laws, the GQP led state legislatures will take over the elections in heavily Democratic counties and districts and dismiss massive numbers of ballots because fraud. And, they’ll refuse to certify Democratic wins. It is as simple as that. With the ability to disenfranchise voters at will and gerrymander away challenges, they are no longer at risk of being voted out of office no matter how large the turnout. Do you think for a moment that they will not use that ability to maintain their majorities in state houses, state offices, Congress, and the Presidency?

That’s why the have to get passed now. Now, so they can be in place to protect the 2022 election.

In case you haven’t realized it, in our current political environment, the most important election in the history of the country is the next election because if the GQP gains a majority, our democracy is over.

S1 For the People Act

Call your senators about passing the For the People Act.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

Call your members of Congress (both your representative and senators) about passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

The American Jobs Plan

This is the so-called infrastructure bill that Joe Manchin is pissing all over in a vain attempt to find bipartisanship and assuage his conscious or appease his Koch Bros pay masters or whatever is motivating him to indulge Mitch McQonnell’s delaying tactics. I know Sen. Shellac Me Crapitall (R – WV) is a “good” person so everything she does is good and all. I know she and all the other moderates in the moderate negotiating group think they can pull a win out of the ass of McQonnell, but they are wrong. McQonnell is just using them, whether they know it or not, to delay the bill until it either dies in this Congress, and, therefore, never gets passed because once the 2022 campaigns get started there ain’t no meaningful legislation getting passed.

McQonnell knows that if the Dems can go into 2022 demonstrating a pattern of legislation that substantially helps the American people economically and environmentally that he and the GQP stand a real chance of not taking back the Senate and House. His entire plan is to make sure that the Dems are ineffective. We cannot let that happen.

Our economy needs the American Jobs Plan as written. It puts money in the pockets of the American people who will spend it unlike the 1% who will move it offshore and invest it in their luxury survival bunkers.

Our environment needs the American Jobs Plan as written. It invests in green energy and moving away from a reliance on fossil fuels, which we’ll need if we want to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Call your senators and demand that they support the American Jobs Plan as it is written.

The Filibuster

We are all frustrated about the ability of a minority of senators being able to stop legislation from being passed by emailing the Senate Majority Leader saying that they filibuster a bill. That’s all they have to do. Then, sixty votes are required to break the filibuster: the 50 Dems plus 10 Repubes. I can never get passed seven possible Repube votes and we never get more than two to seven actual Repube votes. So, produce your ten Repube votes or shut the fuck up, Joe and Kyrsten and any other Dem that thinks there is some magic in the filibuster that ensures our democracy will continue.

Don’t call Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema. They won’t pay any attention to you. They are only interested in hearing from constituents. Sure you can lie and give them some WV address, but that would be lying and ends justifying the means mentality which is what got us here in the first place. So, don’t do it.

Instead call YOUR senators and to support filibuster reform in one of these three ways:

  1. If she is a filibuster-reform supporter, then urge her to lobby Manchin, Sinema, and other moderate Dem senators who oppose filibuster reform.
  2. If she is a filibuster-reform opposing Dem senator, then urge her to support filibuster reform.
  3. If she is a Repube, then let them know that you expect them to be one of the ten votes that supports breaking a filibuster against these bills.

For this edition of call your MoC, we’re dispensing with the scripts. You can find those in the linked posts. Otherwise, use the tips, suggestions, and info links to successfully lobby your Member of Congress!

Let us know how your call to your MoC turns out in the comments!

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.

Other Suggestions

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:

In Addition to Calling

  • in person visit, or what passes for in person during the time of #COVID19. Being in their office either in person or virtually and talking to the Congress person or a staff member is your best bet for getting your message heard.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A form letter or petition. You see these on social media all the time. Text to this number and they’ll send a postcard. Sign the petition and they’ll deliver it. It makes it easier for you to do, and I guess it makes up for its lack of impact through its larger numbers? But, you wouldn’t be here reading this and thinking about calling your MoC if you were all about ease and comfort. There’s nothing easy, comforting, or comfortable about reading my syntactically garbled ranting snarky posts.

Coordination Makes an Impact

  • Group Action. Visiting, calling, or mailing letters as a group has a bigger impact than just one person doing it, and it’s more fun. So, get your friends, neighbors, acquaintances, kidnap victims, whoever together and pass the phone around. Make it a day drinking game. Call in sick to work. It’s fun for the whole family!
  • Join an Indivisible chapter. If you haven’t already joined an Indivisible chapter, consider doing it now. There are thousands of them dotted across the land. They sprouted and grew like invasive bamboo or mushrooms after 2017.
  • Subscribe to Email Groups. I know those emails that claim to be from Elizabeth Warren, other political celebrities, or at least a real name are annoying, but they do help coordinate national action on issues. So, if a Congress person realizes that they just got a gazillion calls on issue X on the same day, then they know there’s a group that is pushing the issue and has voters behind it. See how that works for the anxious-to-be-re-elected Congress critter?

Film at 11:00

If you meet with your Congress person or staffer, film the interaction — this is where having a group comes in handy, one person talks, another one glares, and the third one films. So, if they are squirming or hemming and hawing or saying stupid stuff, you could go viral, and isn’t that everyone’s dream in this age of social media?

Use the Local Press

Again, if you’re going down as a large group, the press will cover it. If you’ve got a large phoning party, the press will cover it. And, you know who reads the local press? Congress folk, do, or at least their interns do. If you make the hometown newspaper or TV news, you’ve got that Congress person’s attention! So, go on, grab ’em by the press!

Informational Links

Useful links for getting the contact information for your MoC’s and anyone else in government local, state, or federal as well as tracking legislation, activism, and other information.

  • 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.
  • LegiScan uses the LegiScan API to search the LegiScan Data Service to provide a non-partisan federal and state legislation tracking service.
  • 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 WH Switchboard: (202) 456-1414 or the comments line at (202) 456-1111 during business hours

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Image Attribution

“Telephone operators, 1952” by Seattle Municipal Archives is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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