Hello Dear Readers,
In today’s world of constant political change, this July 4th week, let’s pause to think about our freedoms as Americans (such as they are) and what we can do to protect them. Below, are tips on how to use an important tool in your arsenal (your phone!) to take action and get involved in the political process.
Make the call.
One way to promote our political interests is to call our Congresswomen (and men!) and Senators to tell them about the policies that we object to or support. We know. These days there are a lot of issues that keep us up at night, including protecting the right to vote, having affordable healthcare, reforming our criminal justice system, and more. In just the past week, here are just two issues that are top-of-mind for us and may be top-of-mind for you too!
- The Supreme Court vacancy: The POTUS says that on July 9th he is going to nominate a new Justice to the Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. We don’t know who the President will select to appoint to the Court, but the nominee will no doubt be a conservative, who may be anti-choice, anti-gay, and pro-corporate rights. Senators vote on Supreme Court nominees. Once you have done your research on Trump’s pick, you might want to tell your Senators whether or not you support the nominee.
- “Zero tolerance” immigration policies: Citizens throughout the country have protested the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policies, which split up families and assign babies and young children to “tender care” detention centers. The Trump administration has altered these policies in response to public complaints. However, these changes may not go far enough for many of us, since 2,000 children have yet to be reunited with family members. You might want to tell your representatives how you feel about the “Zero tolerance” policies.
As surely as we can count on the sun rising in the East and Presidential tweets, there will be new issues on which to express our views in the coming weeks, if not days. Let your representatives know where you stand.
Here’s how to do it
In her excellent article, Calling Congress is Easier Than You Think – Here’s How To Do It, Angela Gonzalez-Ramirez shares these tips for calling elected officials. Again, “calling elected officials is fast and easy, and it is one of the most powerful ways to put pressure on representatives – even more so than social media, email or regular mail – because it shows commitment to a cause.”
- Determine who your representatives and Senators are: Click here or here and input your zip code or state to find their names and contact information.
- Don’t be shy! It’s their job to take your call, to note your position on important issues, and to vote in a manner that reflects the majority of their constituents’ views.
- Keep it simple! When you call, you will talk to a legislative assistant or staffer. Be clear about what issue you’re calling about and briefly state whether you support or oppose the action at issue.
- Let your representatives know that you are a legitimate constituent. You’ll be asked to provide your zip code to show that you are in the official’s district. Provide it so that your call can be counted. The bigger the number of calls for or against a particular issue, the more likely the representative will be to pay attention to the calls.
This July 4th week, exercise your freedom and power as a constituent by calling your elected officials to let them know your position on the issues that matter most to you. And enjoy your friends and family!