Letters to My Representatives 7-26-2017

Here are today’s letters. I also called my Senators directly to thank them for standing with the ACA and fighting against any efforts to repeal it.

Dear Senator Stabenow,

As I said in my call earlier, thank you for standing with the ACA and pushing for fixing it’s problems not repeal as the Republicans are demanding. Please continue to fight and convince Republican colleagues that this is a dangerous bill (BCRA) that will damage the lives of millions,

I would also like to express my extreme concern at the Senate Republican’s attempts to thwart the normal rules of order in an effort to get this and other bills passed. I understand the parlimentarian ruled against a lot of the points of the bill, yet the Republicans do not seem concerned. They have broken the “rules” numerous times already and continue to breach standard procedure and long held norms. While this in itself is not always bad, it is apparent that they are damaging the very structure of our legislative democracy. Couple that with Trump’s repeated attempts to circumvent the Constitution and checks and balances put in place, leaves me wildly alarmed at the GOP behavior, motives and possible outcomes.

I would like to voice my support for Senator Durbin and Graham’s Dream Act of 2017. I believe that we should help all under 18 young adults who were brought to the US and have fulfilled all the legal requirements instituted by the government, be put on the pathway to legal citizenship. Many of these young adults were brought to the US at a young age and have contributed academically and professionally to our country. I believe helping them achieve permanent and legal status as a citizen can only benefit our country. Please support this bill.

I ask you to speak out against the ongoing changes at the State Department, including the closure of the War Crimes office and the folding of the cyber office into another department. I ask that you go on record in addressing how these changes will impact our diplomatic capabilities globally. Your constituents need to hear you speak out against these measures.

I ask you to take a continued stand against the rollback of Net Neutrality. A change in rules would take away our freedom on the internet and negatively impact individuals and small businesses alike. Please stand against the FCC’s efforts to change Net Neutrality.

I would also like to ask for the continued investigations into Trump, his son Don, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and well quite frankly the whole crooked lot of them. Don Jr. admitted to collusion, Kushner has omitted important financial ties to Russian influence on his security clearance forms, and others have had meetings and ties to Russia, many of which originally lied about it. Please support the continued investigations, protest Trump’s every move to thwart them, and demand answers to the questions of Trump’s, his surrogates’, and his campaign’s ties to Russia and any collusion in the election.

Please speak out against Trump’s second secretive meeting with Putin at the G20 summit. We need total transparency from this suspect administration and this meeting is highly suspicious as there are no other American witnesses to confirm Trump’s statement on the meeting. It is also highly unusual and concerning considering the suspicion of collusion in the election.

I am livid over the White House’s continued blocking of reporters from recording or broadcasting the daily White House press briefings. Denying the American public the right to hear what is being discussed by our government is anti-transparency and not what a democratic government is supposed to do. Please speak out against and challenge the White House on this practice.

I am appalled at what happened at the Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia. Please speak out against Trump’s inappropriate use of his platform and the sinister attempted indoctrination of children. This is reminiscent of Hitler Youth and we should all be concerned about the direction in which this man is leading our country.

Please speak out strongly against Trump’s intended ban of transgender people in the military. This is nothing more than an attempt to bolster support from his far right base in an effort to look strong and as if he is doing something to further their agenda. I am strongly against any attempt to discriminate against transgender people, or anyone for any reason. Please do not let this heinous attack go unanswered, nor those coming from a number of GOP Senators and Congresspeople.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

 

Dear Representative Moolenaar,

Here is your weekly reminder that I will work hard to inform all your constituents come 2018 what your vote for the AHCA will mean for their healthcare. While I’m sure you are confident that this measure will be good for America, all the evidence leads to the contrary opinion and I will take no pleasure in telling people why they have no insurance, substandard insurance, or insurance too expensive to purchase because of their pre-existing conditions, but I will do it. I will do everything I can to make sure voters know who to blame and help get them to the polls when you are up for re-election.

I do not support the House Budget Committee’s bill released July 17th. The proposal’s plan to cut Medicare and Social Security is unacceptable. Any proposal that has $200 billion cuts to entitlement programs would unduly damage the safety nets that many of our oldest and most vulnerable populations depend upon. Please do not vote in favor of this budget.

I support HR 3364.

I ask you to speak out against the ongoing changes at the State Department, including the closure of the War Crimes office and the folding of the cyber office into another department. I ask that you go on record in addressing how these changes will impact our diplomatic capabilities globally. Your constituents need to hear you speak out against these measures.

I ask you to take a continued stand against the rollback of Net Neutrality. A change in rules would take away our freedom on the internet and negatively impact individuals and small businesses alike. Please stand against the FCC’s efforts to change Net Neutrality.

I would also like to ask for the continued investigations into Trump, his son Don, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and well quite frankly the whole crooked lot of them. Don Jr. admitted to collusion, Kushner has omitted important financial ties to Russian influence on his security clearance forms, and others have had meetings and ties to Russia, many of whom originally lied about it. Please support the continued investigations, protest Trump’s every move to thwart them, and demand answers to the questions of Trump’s, his surrogates’, and his campaign’s ties to Russia and any collusion in the election.

Please speak out against Trump’s second secretive meeting with Putin at the G20 summit. We need total transparency from this suspect administration and this meeting is highly suspicious as there are no other American witnesses to confirm Trump’s statement on the meeting. It is also highly unusual and concerning considering the suspicion of collusion in the election.

I am livid over the White House’s continued blocking of reporters from recording or broadcasting the daily White House press briefings. Denying the American public the right to hear what is being discussed by our government is anti-transparency and not what a democratic government is supposed to do. Please speak out against and challenge the White House on this practice.

I am appalled at what happened at the Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia. Please speak out against Trump’s inappropriate use of his platform and the sinister attempted indoctrination of children. This is reminiscent of Hitler Youth and we should all be concerned about the direction in which this man is leading our country.

Please speak out strongly against Trump’s intended ban of transgender people in the military. This is nothing more than an attempt to bolster support from his far right base in an effort to look strong and as if he is doing something to further their agenda. I am strongly against any attempt to discriminate against transgender people, or anyone for any reason. Please do not let this heinous attack go unanswered, nor those coming from a number of GOP Senators and Congresspeople.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

For more information and scripts, visit It’s Time to Fight. Keep calling your Senators. Though the GOP won the vote to proceed with debate and hearings on the BCRA, the fight isn’t over. Call your Senators every day. Especially if they are Republicans!

Letters to My Representatives 7-19-2017

Here are today’s letters! Still trying to unpack all the moving boxes (and looking for ideas—writing-related ideas—for new blog posts) but I managed to find some time to write my reps.

Dear Representative Moolenaar,

I am writing today to let you know that I do not support the House Budget Committee Bill released Tuesday, July 17th. While I do recognize the need to balance the budget and reduce the Federal Deficit, I do not thinking raising military spending at the expense of needed programs for the disadvantaged is a viable solution. The proposal’s plan to cut Medicaid and Social Security is unacceptable. Any proposal that has $200 billion cuts to entitlement programs would unduly damage the safety nets that many of our oldest and most vulnerable populations depend on. I understand that the budget is being marked up today. If the budget reaches the House floor, please vote no.

Despite your letter to me regarding the Net Neutrality laws, I would still like to tell you that I am not in favor of rolling back Net Neutrality protections. Obviously you have already made up your mind, but it is just another item that should it go through (as it appears to be happening) and should there be consequences as many Democrats have warned against for individual people, small businesses, etc., I will be sure to remind your constituents come election time that you supported rolling back Net Neutrality protections and inhibiting and damaging their experience and accessibility to the internet.

I also ask that you use whatever resources are available to you to investigate Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Trump’s denials of the meeting and then lies about the purpose of the meeting – countered by the emails from Rod Goldstein – indicate collusion. This is something that must be taken seriously and investigated. Please push for the truth. It is time for Republicans to stop putting party before constituents and recognize and accept that the Trump Presidency is damaging to this country in so many ways. If you do not actively fight to preserve our Democracy, you will be remembered as one of the people who tried to destroy it.

I ask that you speak out against Trump’s decision to hold a second meeting with Vladimir Putin, without any members of the American delegation present. This is highly unusual and considering all that has been happening, alarmingly concerning as well as bad for the image of the presidency. Even though Trump is claiming that the meeting was innocent and standard, there is no way of confirming the veracity of this statement because no other Americans were present. Moreover, the lack of transparency involving this meeting continues a trend by the Trump administration to not publicly disclose meetings involving the Russians. I am alarmed by this repeatedly happening and I ask that you condemn this practice of secrecy by the administration.

I would also like to express my concern over the White House’s decision to continuously block reporters from recording or broadcasting the daily White House briefing. Denying the American public the right to hear what is being discussed by our government is anti-transparency and not what a democratic government is supposed to do. Please speak out against this practice and challenge the White House on this practice.

I would also like to express concern over Interior Secretary Zinke’s recommendation for the Bear’s Ear monument in Utah to be scaled back, and for Congress to step in management for some sections. The monument is considered sacred by many Nations and is home to 100,000 cultural and archaeological sites. Co-management or sepaating the sites – as proposed by Zinke – will not work. Please speak out against any attempts to scale back Bear’s Ear or any of the other 26 monuments.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

 

Dear Senator Stabenow,

Thank you for your continued support of the ACA, opposition to the BCRA & AHCA, and opposition to any attempts to repeal the ACA without replacement.

I would also like to ask that you continue to take a stand against the rollback of Net Neutrality. A change in rules would take away our freedom on the internet and negatively impact individuals and small businesses alike. Please stand up against the FCC’s efforts to change Net Neutrality.

I also ask that you use whatever resources are available to you to investigate Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Trump’s denials of the meeting and then lies about the purpose of the meeting – countered by the emails from Rod Goldstein – indicate collusion. This is something that must be taken seriously and investigated. Please push for the truth.

I ask that you speak out against Trump’s decision to hold a second meeting with Vladimir Putin, without any members of the American delegation present. This is highly unusual and considering all that has been happening, alarmingly concerning as well as bad for the image of the presidency. Even though Trump is claiming that the meeting was innocent and standard, there is no way of confirming the veracity of this statement because no other Americans were present. Moreover, the lack of transparency involving this meeting continues a trend by the Trump administration to not publicly disclose meetings involving the Russians. I am alarmed by this repeatedly happening and I ask that you condemn this practice of secrecy by the administration.

I would also like to express my concern over the White House’s decision to continuously block reporters from recording or broadcasting the daily White House briefing. Denying the American public the right to hear what is being discussed by our government is anti-transparency and not what a democratic government is supposed to do. Please speak out against this practice and challenge the White House on this practice.

I would also like to express concern over Interior Secretary Zinke’s recommendation for the Bear’s Ear monument in Utah to be scaled back, and for Congress to step in management for some sections. The monument is considered sacred by many Nations and is home to 100,000 cultural and archaeological sites. Co-management or separating the sites – as proposed by Zinke – will not work. Please speak out against any attempts to scale back Bear’s Ear or any of the other 26 monuments.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

Visit It’s Time to Fight for scripts and more info!

What do you want to see from me?

Hey there. I know my blog has been predominantly political these days. I don’t plan on changing that FYI. I just don’t see how we can go about our daily lives and pretend that politically our country isn’t falling apart. Okay, it’s been falling part for a while, but we’ve reached critical level. Anyway, I digress. I will continue my Letters to My Representatives indefinitely.

But I’d also like to write about writing! That’s what this blog was supposed to be about. But to be honest, I don’t know what to write about. Maybe it’s because even after ten years of writing I still feel like an imposter.

Okay, there’s an idea: Imposter Syndrome

But what else? What would you like to hear about? If you’ve had a burning writing/publishing/reading question let me hear it. I’ll give you one writer’s not-so-expert opinion!

Letters to My Representatives 7-13-2017

So it’s been FOUR weeks since my last letter! I’m a little angry at myself (and disappointed), but between Sandler’s graduation party and moving, there just wasn’t time. Even now I’m sitting in the new house surrounded by boxes and eking out the time to write a few letters. So, before I go work on the new book, here’s my last letter to Representative Paul Mitchell:

Dear Representative Mitchell,

I’m sorry it’s been almost four weeks since my last letter. I’m sure you missed them. But due to my son graduating high school and a big move, I was unable to set aside the time to write to you. The good news for you, is that this will be my last letter to you. I am now living in the 4th District and will be represented by John Moolenaar. But I had a few last parting words.

I just want to remind you that I will make every effort to remind 10th District Constituents that you voted for the AHCA and what that will mean for their healthcare come the 2018 election. That’s of course not the only issue I will keep fresh in their minds as they contemplate who to vote for in 2018, but it is probably the biggest. And though I don’t know who your opponent will be, I’ll be sure to campaign for them as well. I realize that the GOP has a strong hold on the 10th District, and I don’t expect to break it, but I will do my part to make it more difficult for you or any other Republican to hold office. There was a time I thought that to be Republican was just a slightly different view on spending money, but now I know it is a drastically different view on who deserves to live and who doesn’t. So I’m just going to make sure your constituents know that.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Austin

Here is my first letter to Representative John Moolenaar, Republican from the 4th District:

Dear Representative Moolenaar,

Hello. I am a new constituent. Until recently, Representative Paul Mitchell has had the pleasure of receiving my weekly emails. Now it’s your turn.

First, I’d like to talk about Net Neutrality. I am concerned about Chairman Pai’s recent announcement regarding his intention to change pre-existing net neutrality rules. I am asking for you to take a stand against this change.

Net neutrality helps ensure that there is an even playing ground for all consumers. Without net neutrality, telecom and cable companies could very well influence internet searches, news and how we access the internet as a whole. This would influence the ability for individuals to create and communicate openly and freely on the internet. Without net neutrality, telecom and cable companies could also negatively influence services, to their advantage.

Moreover, this uneven playing field would also disadvantage entrepreneurs. Small businesses wouldn’t necessarily have the financial clout of larger companies, to pay into this uneven playing field.

Please do whatever you can to help keep current rules in place.

I would also like to encourage you to use whatever resources you have available to investigate (or call for the investigation) into Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Trump’s denial of the meeting and then lies about the purpose of the meeting (countered by the email from Rod Goldstein) indicate collusion. This is something that must be taken seriously and investigated. Please push for the truth.

I would like to protest the Pentagon’s decision to delay the lifting of the ban for transgender individuals to enlist. Mattis’s decision harms the progress that we’ve made in the military and we shouldn’t go back. Please call on the Pentagon to lift the six month delay and lift the ban now.

I would also like to express my deepest concern over the White House’s decision to continuously block reporters from recording or broadcasting the daily White House press briefing. Denying the American public the right to hear what is being discussed by our government is anti-transparency and not what a democratic government is supposed to do. Please speak out on this practice and challenge the White House on this stance.

I would like to express my concern over Interior Secretary Zink’s recommendation for the Bear’s Ear monument in Utah to be scaled back and for Congress to step in management for some sections. The monument is considered sacred by many Nations (Native American Nations, if you were unsure about my use of the word Nations) and is also home to over 100,000 cultural and archaeological sites. Co-management or separating the sites (as proposed by Zink) simply will not work. Please speak out against any attempts to scale back Bear’s Ear, or any of the other 26 monuments.

Lastly, I want to express my support for a continued investigation, including a specialized commission, to investigate Donald Trump and all of his associates and their ties with Russia. The American people deserve to know if, how, when Trump and/or his associates colluded with Russian officials to win the 2016 election. A special prosecutor is a great start, but I want to see a full independent commission working on this.

Thank you for your time. You can definitely look forward to hearing from me next week, and since I missed a few weeks due to our move, I may just email you every day for awhile.

Oh, and I almost forgot! As I have told Representative Paul Mitchell repeatedly, I want to let you know that I will be sure to remind your constituents during the 2018 election that you voted for the AHCA and what that means for their healthcare. I wouldn’t want them to forget how you sold them out for petty vengeance against “Obama’s legacy” and towing the party line. Or that the Republicans have had 8-odd years to fix the problems with the ACA but would rather fritter people’s lives away rather than do something that’s good for the country if it means giving any credit to a Democrat.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Austin

As always, many of my words come from scripts written on It’s Time to Fight site. Please feel free to use my letter and/or visit It’s Time to Fight for more information. Good luck and keep Resisting!!