Letters to My Representatives: 11-16-2017

Here are today’s letters. There are some really important things on here, so be sure to write your own letters or make phone calls. Resistance doesn’t happen with out participation. Visit It’s Time to Fight for more information and scripts.

Dear Senator Stabenow,

I do not support the tax bill, and I want you to vote NO on letting this bill onto the floor for a full floor vote. I also want you to address the addition of the repeal of the individual mandate of the ACA by the Senate GOP in committee. The CBO and independent analysts have repeatedly demonstrated that repealing the individual mandate will ensure millions will lose health insurance. This addition cannot be allowed to continue.

I am calling to ask you to continue to publicly support a clean DREAM Act, and to push for its passage. There has been no movement on any DACA-related legislation since the summer, and we’re getting closer to a point where DACA recipients are running out of options. I am also calling on you to do everything in your legislative power to pressure USCIS to change their rejections of the DACA applicants who had their applications refused, due to USPS-acknowledged problems. Please act quickly on this; the DREAMERs are depending on action.

I would like to voice my support for Senator Wyden and Hatch’s bipartisan bill extending the funding of the CHIP program, and am urging you to call for it to be brought to the floor for a vote. Approximately 9 million children rely on the CHIP program for health insurance, and a number of states will lose funding by the end of the year, if the extension is not passed. Please do not gamble with the health and well-being of our youth. ​

I would like to express concern with potential interference from Trump in the Time Warner merger. Government merger reviews are supposed to be politically impartial, but news reports involving the White House’s interest in the merger suggests it’s anything but impartial. I am not necessarily opposed to the merger, but I do want you to record my concern on this issue, and join Senator Klobaucher in expressing their concern.

I ask that you vote NO for Brett J. Talley’s nomination for a lifetime federal judgeship in Alabama. Not only does Mr. Talley have little to no judicial experience that would be appropriate for the position in question, he also failed to disclose pertinent information about his spouse’s position as White House Counsel Donald McGahn’s chief of staff. As a judge, Mr. Talley would have to show clear ethics and principle, something he has already failed to display. I am calling on you to vote no.

I ask that you support the Murray-Alexander deal to stabilize the ACA. This is a needed step in protecting healthcare for millions, particularly given that agreements adds two years of much-needed subsidy funding, along with potential further steps to help 2018 enrollees.  Please support this agreement, and do everything in your power to encourage your colleagues put their support behind the agreement as well. We need to add quickly, particularly with open enrollment coming up, and the newly allocated $106 million.

Please continue to support and work hard for sensible gun control including universal background checks. And please speak out against the violence permeating our country with more than thoughts and prayers. The time for wishful thinking is over. It is a time for action. Many conservatives have said that immediately after a mass shooting is not the time to talk about gun control, but as they occur regularly, when IS the right time to talk about it? We can’t wait for a “more appropriate time” because by then another shooting has occurred.

I am calling on you to do everything in your power to support the investigations that are currently being undertaken regarding the 10/4 ambush in Niger. I believe the American people deserve answers about what happened to the Americans who died in Niger, particularly what happened to Sgt. La David Johnson. But more importantly, the families of the soldiers also deserve answers.

Please continue to push for more resources and aid for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in the wake of their devastation. Only 50% of Puerto Rico has power restored and this is unacceptable. Also, I saw reports of the food being sent to the islands including Airhead candy being listed as fruit, a candy bar as dessert, and very little else in the way of nutritious food. While I have no problem with the victims of the hurricane receiving things like candy (everyone needs a little bright spot in their day) I would hope that FEMA is supplying the people with needed, healthy food, not just junk food. Please look into this.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

 

Dear Representative Moolenaar,

I want you to vote NO to the House’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Not only does it not have bipartisan support, the bill will also increase our national debt by $1.5 trillion dollars. Furthermore, the bill will largely hurt the individual tax payer, with changes to the property tax deduction, changes to business taxes, while concurrently benefiting corporations and the wealthy, including cut and elimination of previous taxes. I know you will vote for it anyway, since you vote party lines every time, but I will be certain to remind your constituents not only that you voted for this, but also to take away their health insurance numerous times. They have the right to know, and I will be happy to remind them, that you have voted against their best interests and for tax cuts for the rich time and time again.

I am calling to ask you to continue to publicly support a clean DREAM Act, and to push for its passage. There has been no movement on any DACA-related legislation since the summer, and we’re getting closer to a point where DACA recipients are running out of options. I am also calling on you to do everything in your legislative power to pressure USCIS to change their rejections of the DACA applicants who had their applications refused, due to USPS-acknowledged problems. Please act quickly on this; the DREAMERs are depending on action.

I would like to express concern with potential interference from Trump in the Time Warner merger. Government merger reviews are supposed to be politically impartial, but news reports involving the White House’s interest in the merger suggests it’s anything but impartial. I am not necessarily opposed to the merger, but I do want you to record my concern on this issue, and join Senator Klobaucher in expressing their concern.

I ask that you support the Murray-Alexander deal to stabilize the ACA. This is a needed step in protecting healthcare for millions, particularly given that agreements adds two years of much-needed subsidy funding, along with potential further steps to help 2018 enrollees.  Please support this agreement, and do everything in your power to encourage your colleagues put their support behind the agreement as well. We need to add quickly, particularly with open enrollment coming up, and the newly allocated $106 million.

Please continue to support and work hard for sensible gun control including universal background checks. And please speak out against the violence permeating our country with more than thoughts and prayers. The time for wishful thinking is over. It is a time for action. Many conservatives have said that immediately after a mass shooting is not the time to talk about gun control, but as they occur regularly, when IS the right time to talk about it? We can’t wait for a “more appropriate time” because by then another shooting has occurred.

I am calling on you to do everything in your power to support the investigations that are currently being undertaken regarding the 10/4 ambush in Niger. I believe the American people deserve answers about what happened to the Americans who died in Niger, particularly what happened to Sgt. La David Johnson. But more importantly, the families of the soldiers also deserve answers.

Please continue to push for more resources and aid for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in the wake of their devastation. Only 50% of Puerto Rico has power restored and this is unacceptable. Also, I saw reports of the food being sent to the islands including Airhead candy being listed as fruit, a candy bar as dessert, and very little else in the way of nutritious food. While I have no problem with the victims of the hurricane receiving things like candy (everyone needs a little bright spot in their day) I would hope that FEMA is supplying the people with needed, healthy food, not just junk food. Please look into this.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

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Letters to My Representatives: 11-8-2017

One year ago today I was hopeful of an historic victory. By the same time the next day I was severely depressed and have felt this depression hanging over me like a cloud for a full year. But that darkness also inspired me to become an active participant in my democracy. And yesterday millions of Americans voted to continue that participation and change the status quo by electing Democrats, people of color, and those who represent the LGBTQIA+ community to key seats in our local and state governments. We are poised to continue this into 2018 where we will maintain Blue seats and flip Red to Blue. Today I write my weekly letters knowing that I cannot change the world alone, but rather my small act joins with another small act, and another and another, until all these Liberal Snowflakes become a mountain of change. Find your small act today!

It’s Time to Fight

The Road to 2018

Flippable

Dear Senator Stabenow,

I am not in support of the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Not only does it not have bipartisan support, the bill will also increase our national debt by $1.5 trillion dollars. Furthermore, the bill will hurt the individual tax payer, with elements like the elimination of the medical expense deduction and elimination of the student loan interest deduction. The bill will concurrently benefit corporations and the wealthy, including cut and elimination of previous taxes. I call on you to not support this bill, and wish to be recorded.

I oppose Jim Bridenstein for NASA coordinator. Mr. Bridenstein does not have any formal qualifications in science or engineering – unlike previous coordinators like Charles Bolden – and is also does not believe in climate change. I do not believe he can capably serve in the capacity of this position. If the vote comes to the floor, please vote NO.

Please support Senator Graham and Durbin’s DREAM Act. The majority of those young individuals who are enrolled in DACA, were brought to the country at a young age. They have contributed to society, excelled in academics, and have even had a positive impact on the community. The DREAM Act would give these individuals a way of continuing their positive contributions to our nation. I would like to reiterate, as I have said before, that a person’s contributions to society are not what makes a human being valuable. Their value lies in their status as a human being, and whether they are a college graduate or a hotel maid, Dreamers should remain in this country and be given a path to citizenship.

Please support the Murray-Alexander deal to stabilize the ACA. This is a needed step in protecting healthcare for millions, particularly given that agreements adds two years of much-needed subsidy funding, along with potential further steps to help 2018 enrollees.  Please support this agreement, and do everything in your power to encourage your colleagues put their support behind the agreement as well. We need to add quickly, particularly with open enrollment on going, and the newly allocated $106 million.

I would like to voice my support for Senator Wyden and Hatch’s bipartisan bill extending the funding of the CHIP program, and am urging you to call for it to be brought to the floor for a vote. Approximately 9 million children rely on the CHIP program for health insurance, and a number of states will lose funding by the end of the year, if the extension is not passed. Please do not gamble with the health and well-being of our youth. ​

I am calling on you to do everything in your power to support the investigations that are currently being undertaken regarding the 10/4 ambush in Niger. I believe the American people deserve answers about what happened to the Americans who died in Niger, particularly what happened to Sgt. La David Johnson. But more importantly, the families of the soldiers also deserve answers.

I ask that you do everything in your power, including investigate, why Trump Administration appointees are already working at the departments they have been appointed to, without actually being confirmed. Even if these actions are not an official violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, it challenges the appropriate order of senate confirmations, and lessens the public’s faith in the rule and order of government. Please do what you can to investigate and stop this practice from continuing.

I would also like to know, and encourage you to pursue investigations, into why Whitefish Energy received a contract to restore Puerto Rico’s power. There are a number of “fishy” circumstances regarding this, and I apologize for the pun, but it was hard to resist.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

 

Dear Representative Moolenaar,

I am not in support of the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Not only does it not have bipartisan support, the bill will also increase our national debt by $1.5 trillion dollars. Furthermore, the bill will hurt the individual tax payer, with elements like the elimination of the medical expense deduction and elimination of the student loan interest deduction. The bill will concurrently benefit corporations and the wealthy, including cut and elimination of previous taxes. I call on you to not support this bill, and wish to be recorded.

Please support the Murray-Alexander deal to stabilize the ACA. This is a needed step in protecting healthcare for millions, particularly given that agreements adds two years of much-needed subsidy funding, along with potential further steps to help 2018 enrollees.  Please support this agreement, and do everything in your power to encourage your colleagues put their support behind the agreement as well. We need to add quickly, particularly with open enrollment on going, and the newly allocated $106 million.

I am calling on you to do everything in your power to support the investigations that are currently being undertaken regarding the 10/4 ambush in Niger. I believe the American people deserve answers about what happened to the Americans who died in Niger, particularly what happened to Sgt. La David Johnson. But more importantly, the families of the soldiers also deserve answers.

I would also like to know, and encourage you to pursue investigations, into why Whitefish Energy received a contract to restore Puerto Rico’s power. There are a number of “fishy” circumstances regarding this, and I apologize for the pun, but it was hard to resist.

I see you have signed on as a co-sponsor of HR 620 and I want you to know I am not in favor of this bill. The law as currently written would harm the rights of the disability community by allowing businesses to opt out of Title III. The bill would also put the onus on making sure a business is ADA-compliant onto the individual who is in need of those requirements – with an extensive time delay – which puts undue burden on the individual. I condemn you for your support of this bill. Putting the needs of small businesses ahead of the individual is is unacceptable.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

Letters to My Representatives: 11-1-2017

Today I’m going to share my letter to Senator Gary Peters (I usually share the one I write to Senator Debbie Stabenow) because Sen. Peters is on the Commerce Committee and there is a part in there specifically for him.

Dear Senator Peters,

I ask that you let the Commerce Committee know that I want them to oppose Jim Bridenstein for NASA coordinator. Mr. Bridenstein does not have any formal qualifications in science or engineering – unlike previous coordinators like Charles Bolden – and is also does not believe in climate change. I do not believe he can capably serve in the capacity of this position. I call on you to vote no. Please do not move his nomination forward.

I want you to know that I support the move to block Brownback vote. His track record of opposing LGBTQIA+ rights is alarming, and he should not be confirmed as U.S. Ambassador at Large for Religious Liberty. I understand that it will be a challenge to delay the vote indefinitely, but I applaud the Senate Democrats for continuing to take a stand.

I demand that you push for the release of Rosa Maria Hernandez. The fact that the Border Patrol agents followed her ambulance to the hospital, tried to persuade her family to let her be deported to Mexico before she could receive critical care, and have now taken her into custody (and separated her from her family) is not only counter to practice but reprehensible. We need answers to this heinous situation and you need to commit to speaking out for her release, and investigate the practices in this situation.

I am calling on you to issue a statement against Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sander’s statement that it is the official position of the White House that all of Trump’s accusers are lying. Not only is wholly inappropriate for the administration’s Press Secretary to be issuing these kinds of statements from the podium (it’s an abuse of the position), it’s also counter to the national dialogue on the importance of supporting women who do speak out against sexual assault.

Also, please do your part to spread the word about open enrollment for the ACA. We can’t let trump destroy this important benefit for Americans.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

 

Dear Representative Moolenaar,

I demand that you push for the release of Rosa Maria Hernandez. The fact that the Border Patrol agents followed her ambulance to the hospital, tried to persuade her family to let her be deported to Mexico before she could receive critical care, and have now taken her into custody (and separated her from her family) is not only counter to practice but reprehensible. We need answers to this heinous situation and you need to commit to speaking out for her release, and investigate the practices in this situation.

I am calling on you to issue a statement against Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sander’s statement that it is the official position of the White House that all of Trump’s accusers are lying. Not only is wholly inappropriate for the administration’s Press Secretary to be issuing these kinds of statements from the podium (it’s an abuse of the position), it’s also counter to the national dialogue on the importance of supporting women who do speak out against sexual assault.

Also, please do your part to spread the word about open enrollment for the ACA. We can’t let trump destroy this important benefit for Americans.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

Scripts taken from It’s Time to Fight.

Writing Challenge: Day 31 – VICTORY!

So today was the last day of my writing challenge and here are the stats for Day 30 and Day 31:

Day 30:

  • Words Written: 4808
  • Total Word Count: 84,185

Day 31:

  • Words Written: 1518
  • Total Word Count: 85,703

I WIN!!!!!!! Sort of.

If you recall my tentative challenge was to write 2472 words per day x 31 days giving me approximately 85,000 words. But my overall goal was to have a completed first draft by midnight on the 31st of October. I did achieve the word count goals, but not the completed first draft. I estimate I have 10,000 words to go. which will make this a very long first draft, but it is what is.

But even though I didn’t meet the overall challenge, I feel pretty good about writing 85k in 31 days. I hit 50k (the Nano goal) on Day 18, so that’s something to be proud of.

I’m going to take it a little easier now since the challenge is over. is till want to get this first draft finished ASAP, but there’s no rush to be worrying about word count. Tracking your word count is just an arbitrary goal to help you push yourself through writing, especially if you have a tendency to get bogged down in making things perfect. NaNo can be a great tool to help the writer with a chronic unfinished manuscript problem to get past those hurdles holding you up and push through to THE END.

For anyone attempting NaNo starting tomorrow, good luck! I wish you the best writing and no interruptions!

And even if NaNo is not your thing, good luck with your writing, at whatever speed that is. It’s important to remember that speed of writing does not determine how good of a writer you are, and we all need to find the methods that work best for us!

Writing Challenge: Day 29

I wrote 1656 words today which brings me to 79,377 words and I am only 141 words behind.

I could have done more writing tonight, but I got to a point where my characters are going to do their “great big mission” and I still don’t know exactly how that’s going to play out. I’m fine with pantsting it a little bit, but I’d like to have a little outline to start with.

In this case, I need to make sure I know what order things are going to happen in because they will be taking place in numerous scenes that will converge into one big scene, so I’m going to make a spreadsheet of all the plot points and then arrange them in the order they should probably occur. I’ve done this for scenes before, and also for entire books. Sometimes you just need to be a little organized.

Status Sheet 10292017

Writing Challenge: Day 28

I didn’t write a single word yesterday. Between preparing for Halloween, soccer games, Craig’s birthday, and the fact the poor man came down with the flu, there wasn’t any time. Luckily I’m still 945 words in the black due to several good days this week. I’m sitting down to write right now, so we’ll see how that goes. Kids are on the loose and Craig’s too down in the dumps to do much, but we’ll get done what we can.