1928e537Ok, Many of us are reeling from this election and its implications for the future of our country. Personally, after the appointment of Stephen Bannon (former executive chairmen of the Bre*tbart News Network – a “News” organization he once called “the platform for the Alt Right”) to Chief strategist, I found myself in a panic to contact my representatives ASAP.

But…How do you do that? Who do you call? What do you say?

Short answer: It’s most effective to call your Senators and your House Representatives, but as a concerned citizen you can call ANY majority or minority leader in the House or the Senate, regardless of your state or party affiliation. For more local issues, such as your state’s response to the administration’s impending immigration policies, you can call your governor and your city mayor, ESPECIALLY if you’re lucky enough to live in a sanctuary city

Here is how you find your Senators and Representatives Call them at your district office first

ANYONE may call:

  • The House Oversight committee: (202) 225-5074
  • Paul Ryan (Wisconsin –  Speaker of the house) Website DC office: (202) 225-3031,
  • Nancy Pelosi (California – House minority leader) Website DC: (202) 225-0100
  • Mitch McConnell (Kentucky – Senate Majority Leader) Website DC: (202) 224-2541
  • Chuck Schumer (New York – Senate Minority leader) Website NYC (212) 486-4430, DC: (202) 224-6542.

If any of these people represent the state you live in, you can refer to yourself as a constituent, instead of a concerned citizen and they have even more reason to listen to you

You may call them about your concerns regarding Trump’s cabinet appointments, Trump’s attacks on the first amendment (Freedom of speech, press, religion and the right to peaceably assemble), Climate change, Obamacare, Medicare, Women’s reproductive rights, Marriage Equality, Police brutality, Immigration, Refugees, Gun Violence Protection  along with other concerns

If you cannot get through to DC, you may also call ANY of their other offices listed online

A number of people have posted FANTASTIC guides as to how to contact, when to call and what to say, some of my favorites are:

The Best way to contact your congress people, from a former staffer

And “We’re his problem now” an amazing google doc with scripts and calls to action

In broad strokes:

  1. If you really want to be heard, gather a group and show up at a town hall meeting
  2. Phone calls cannot be ignored. Get your friends and family to flood the office with calls about important issues
  3. Call your representatives before calling leadership
  4. Call a state or district office first.
    • Leave a voicemail. If voicemail is full, press “0.” This will typically connect you to a receptionist who may be able to take your message or transfer you to a voicemail that isn’t full.
    • Call the national office, if you can’t get through. Or to see if you can get a real person.
    • Be prepared to give your name and your location. You can refer to yourself as a constituent, as per the script, and they might not ask.
    • Note that the operator is likely using some kind of form to mark your call, the goal is to generate a high volume of calls that require the operator to check off individual boxes. That means it’s critical to name your issues specifically and not just say something like “oppose Trump.”
  5. If you want to write a letter, write it to your district office
  6. Emails are batched and sorted
  7. Twitter and Facebook are largely ineffective

I’m personally working on a handout, to bring to the protest in NYC this weekend, with the names and numbers of my local representatives along with some basic talking points. I want to make it easier for people to know who to contact when about what issues.

you’re obviously free to say whatever you want, but here is a basic idea of what to say:

“I’m a concerned citizen, I oppose ____ I would like the (rep/senator) to ____

Some basic scripts:

Hello, I’m a concerned citizen. I very much oppose President elect Trump’s appointment of ____ to his cabinet. This appointment is in opposition to the President Elect’s promise to unify the country and I do not support his/her confirmation by the senate. I hope that (rep/senator) will register and consider my complaint.

I’m ____, a constituent concerned about the President-Elect’s record of denying climate change. I ask that the <Senator/Representative> publicly condemn Trump’s threats to repeal the Clean Power Plan and withdraw from the Paris agreement. I want the <Senator/Representative> to refuse to compromise with the President-Elect if he appoints climate change deniers.

source: “We’re his Problem Now”

I’m personally working on a handout, to bring to the protest in NYC this weekend, with the names and numbers of my local representatives along with some basic talking points. I want to make it easier for people to know who to contact when about what issues. I’ll make the text available in both a printable and editable form once I’m finished

 

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