Letters to My Representatives 5-9-2018

kept today’s letters short again. They were all the smae except in the letter to Moolenaar I took out the part on judicual nominees (House doesn’t vote on judicial nominees) and instead added:

I demand that work requirements for SNAP be removed from the Farm Bill.

Short and sweet. For more information and scripts visit I Called My Reps!

Dear Senator Stabenow,

I ask that you vote NO on Engelhardt (5th), Brennan (7th), Carson (10th), Nalbandian (6th), Scudder (7th), and St. Eve (7th) as Trump’s judicial nominees.

Please vocally and vehemently oppose Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran Nuclear Deal and counter the lies he is telling. According to the IAEA there is no evidence of a nuclear program in Iran since 2009. They are in compliance with the terms of the 2015 deal, and Trump has been unable to clarify what he means by saying Iran is in violation of the “spirit” of the deal. Moreover, President Rouhani has already said he will not renegotiate . We cannot risk having Iran exit out of the deal entirely. It would be better to follow France’s plan of seeing the deal as one branch of a new accord, while also preserving the deal as is.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

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Letters to My Representatives 5-2-2018

Today’s letters focused on only one issue: protecting Mueller’s investigation. I think this is an important issue not only because of Trump, but what it can mean for the future of our democracy. All three reps received essentially the same letter, though Rep. Moolenaar’s was worded slightly different as he is in the House and not the Senate and therefore can’t actually vote on the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act. But I do expect him to voice support for it and demonstrate to his Republican colleagues in the Senate that he expects them to support it as well. I know, I know, it’s asking a lot for A Republican to actually stand up for anything these days, but I have to try.

As always, feel free to sue my letter for your own, and scripts can be found at I Called My Reps though I added a bit this time from my own perspective.

Keep resisting!!

Dear Senator Stabenow,

I ask that you support the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act to protect Robert Mueller as introduced by Senators Tillis, Coons, Booker, and Graham. Following the Senate Judiciary vote it is clear that there is bipartisan support for efforts to protect Mueller’s investigation. While McConnell has stated that the bill will not go to the floor I urge you to speak out, reiterate the results of the Judiciary vote, and do what you can to push the majority leader for a floor vote. Prominent members of the GOP keep reiterating that they believe in Mueller and want to let him do his work. If that’s true then please encourage your Republican colleagues to advocate for the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act to be considered and voted on as soon as possible.

This act is not only in the interest of protecting the investigation being conducted by Robert Mueller, but also in the interest of protecting our democracy in that no one being investigated in our government should have any power to disrupt that investigation. The American people deserve to know that their elected officials are not breaking the law and are here for the best interests of the American people, and not a foreign power or themselves. We need to take back the integrity of Washington, which has been absent for far too long. This is not just a Trump issue. It’s a vital vaccine for our democracy against corruption and abuse. And I think it’s high time we had a few more shots to fix things.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Austin

Letters to My Representatives 4-27-2018

Today’s letters are very similar to last weeks, but I sent them any way! It’s important to keep the issues in front of our representatives even if we’ve already voiced out opinions once. Please write your own letters or make your own phone calls and encourage your friends an family as well. You are welcome to use my letters, but you can also visit I Called My Reps for information and scripts!

Dear Senator Stabenow,

I ask that you support the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act to protect Robert Mueller, as introduced by Senators Tillis, Coons, Booker and Graham. The NYT’s latest report indicates that Trump considered ending the Russian investigation in the fall, the second time he has made such considerations. That move along with his continued rhetoric suggests Trump might try to end Mueller’s work sooner than later. Prominent members of the GOP keep reiterating they believe in Mueller and want to let him do his work. Please pass the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act as soon as possible. I would also like to ask that you reiterate that Rod Rosenstein cannot be fired as well.

Please vote NO on Ronny Jackson for Head of the VA and NO to Haspalo for CIA Director.

I want you to address the fact that our country has only taken in 11 Syrian refugees this year. If we are to seriously address the challenges being faced by Syrians, the refugee restrictions put forth by this administration need to be reversed.

I demand you call for Scott Pruitt’s resignation. The daily scandals that keep coming out of the EPA are absolutely unacceptable. Not only is he repeatedly committing ethics violations, he clearly doesn’t spend enough time doing his job, versus trying to defend his job.

I want you to vote in favor of Senator Markey’s resolution to repeal the FCC’s December decision to unwind Net Neutrality, via the Congressional Review Act. Polling suggests 60-80% of Americans do not support the rollback of the net neutrality, and voting in support of this bipartisan resolution will help ensure this issue isn’t singlehandedly decided by five people.

I support the FCC Inspector General case against Chairman Pai and I ask that you do as well. Chairman Pai’s potential connections with Sinclair Broadcasting need to be explored, particularly given the potential Sinclair-Tribune merge on the table. I also ask you to consider passing anti-trust laws, so Chairman Pai’s actions to help Sinclair in the merger process, cannot be repeated.

I am adamantly opposed to John Bolton’s appointment as National Security Advisor, and demand you do everything in your power to protest this appointment. John Bolton has a track record for advocating for extreme foreign policy views, often to the detriment of the nation. It’s for that reason Senate Foreign Relations determined Bolton was unfit to serve TWICE during the Bush Administration, and why he’s still unfit to serve now. I understand that you have no confirmation power when it comes to Bolton. But I demand you push forward w/ other options, including pushing forward w/ the Markey/Lieu bill limiting POTUS’s ability for first strike.

I expect you to take a stand against the Trump Administration’s latest attempts to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military. The administration’s justification for banning transgenderĀ  individuals is based on flawed, discriminatory research. Moreover, many active service duty members have already reiterated: this discriminatory act against potential/serving officers, only damages unit cohesion. It doesn’t improve it. I expect you to take a stand, and let your constituents know you are supportive of any and all who choose to serve.

I ask that you do what you can to defend Andrew McCabe from the administration’s latest attack. Firing him days before he’s scheduled to retire is, as Senator Hirono called it, “sadistic”. He will lose his pension, after a twenty-two year career at the Bureau. I encourage you to call to let McCabe retire and receive his full pension, and continue on with whatever investigations are needed at that point.

I want to know why Trump is meeting with Putin and why Russia made the announcement.

I am against Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, and I am demand you take a stand against these measures. According to economists, the tariffs will likely cause trade wars, disrupt the US economy and cause job losses in certain industries. Moreover, history has shown us before, tariffs simply are not effective. Please take whatever steps you can to oppose these measures.

I demand you work with your colleagues, to determine a concrete solution to address Dreamers. Since the Trump administration has announced the end of DACA, more than 19,000 immigrant youth have lost their protections from deportation. 850 more lose it every week. We need action NOW, especially as Leader McConnell wants the immigration debate to end. Now the bipartisan budget bill is out of the way, I demand you take the promises you made in the lead-up to that vote seriously, and figure out a solution for DACA. Please take this seriously. Please support a clean DREAM/SECURE Act for all then people currently in this country who need it, including 200k Slavadorans who will lose their protected status.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

March for Our Lives, Postcards to Voters, and Letters to My Representatives 4-19-2018

Okay, so it’s been a wee while since I posted. This is the first day I’ve had time to write my reps and you will find a letter below, but I haven’t been completely out of the Resistance loop.

On March 24th I joined over 4000 people in Ann Arbor, and more than 1.2 million in the United States (and more globally!) to demand reform on gun control and gun safety measures. I was part of a group known as Kid Lit Marches for Kids organized nationally by author Jenny Han and regionally by local writers. Me being who I am I made signs for all our participants and handed out the extras to the surrounding crowd. Here are a few pictures from the event:

I also participated in Postcards to Voters a program to allow volunteers to write postcards to registered Democratic voters coming up to an election. It’s a small thing you can do to encourage voter participation even in small elections. Here’s a picture of mine and you can check out my Twitter Thread on how you can get involved!

img_3916.jpg

And now for my letter to my reps. It was essentially the same to all three so I’m only sharing the Letter to Senator Debbie Stabenow:

Dear Senator Stabenow,

I ask that you support the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act to protect Robert Mueller, as introduced by Senators Tillis, Coons, Booker and Graham. The NYT’s latest report indicates that Trump considered ending the Russian investigation in the fall, the second time he has made such considerations. That move along with his continued rhetoric suggests Trump might try to end Mueller’s work sooner than later. Prominent members of the GOP keep reiterating they believe in Mueller and want to let him do his work. Please pass the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act as soon as possible. I would also like to ask that you reiterate that Rod Rosenstein cannot be fired as well.

I demand that you speak up about the airstrikes on Syria. You need to push the Trump Administration to provide clarification on what’s a “sustained response” to address the situation might look like. I would rather not get into a sustained conflict in the region, and any effort we do engage in needs to be focused on gaining freedom for the Syrian people and humanitarian aid for the millions affected by this crisis.

I would also like for you to push for changes to the presidential war powers. The lack of clarity in the language allows the president the leeway to carry out limited precision strikes and that needs to be changed. Similarly I also want you to bring up the need to debate the Authorization for the Use of Military Force passed in 2001. What scope does the authorization now cover?

I want you to address the fact that our country has only taken in 11 Syrian refugees this year. If we are to seriously address the challenges being faced by Syrians, the refugee restrictions put forth by this administration need to be reversed.

I demand you call for Scott Pruitt’s resignation. The daily scandals that keep coming out of the EPA are absolutely unacceptable. Not only is he repeatedly committing ethics violations, he clearly doesn’t spend enough time doing his job, versus trying to defend his job.

I ask that you vote NO on against Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State if the vote comes to the Senate floor. Mike Pompeo has little to no background in diplomacy, and has been unable to fully answer many of the questions that were asked during his confirmation hearing.

I want you to vote in favor of Senator Markey’s resolution to repeal the FCC’s December decision to unwind Net Neutrality, via the Congressional Review Act. Polling suggests 60-80% of Americans do not support the rollback of the net neutrality, and voting in support of this bipartisan resolution will help ensure this issue isn’t singlehandedly decided by five people.

I support the FCC Inspector General case against Chairman Pai and I ask that you do as well. Chairman Pai’s potential connections with Sinclair Broadcasting need to be explored, particularly given the potential Sinclair-Tribune merge on the table. I also ask you to consider passing anti-trust laws, so Chairman Pai’s actions to help Sinclair in the merger process, cannot be repeated.

I am adamantly opposed to John Bolton’s appointment as National Security Advisor, and demand you do everything in your power to protest this appointment. John Bolton has a track record for advocating for extreme foreign policy views, often to the detriment of the nation. It’s for that reason Senate Foreign Relations determined Bolton was unfit to serve TWICE during the Bush Administration, and why he’s still unfit to serve now. I understand that you have no confirmation power when it comes to Bolton. But I demand you push forward w/ other options, including pushing forward w/ the Markey/Lieu bill limiting POTUS’s ability for first strike.

I expect you to take a stand against the Trump Administration’s latest attempts to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military. The administration’s justification for banning transgenderĀ  individuals is based on flawed, discriminatory research. Moreover, many active service duty members have already reiterated: this discriminatory act against potential/serving officers, only damages unit cohesion. It doesn’t improve it. I expect you to take a stand, and let your constituents know you are supportive of any and all who choose to serve.

I ask that you do what you can to defend Andrew McCabe from the administration’s latest attack. Firing him days before he’s scheduled to retire is, as Senator Hirono called it, “sadistic”. He will lose his pension, after a twenty-two year career at the Bureau. I encourage you to call to let McCabe retire and receive his full pension, and continue on with whatever investigations are needed at that point.

I want to know why Trump is meeting with Putin and why Russia made the announcement.

I am against Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, and I am demand you take a stand against these measures. According to economists, the tariffs will likely cause trade wars, disrupt the US economy and cause job losses in certain industries. Moreover, history has shown us before, tariffs simply are not effective. Please take whatever steps you can to oppose these measures.

I demand you work with your colleagues, to determine a concrete solution to address Dreamers. Since the Trump administration has announced the end of DACA, more than 19,000 immigrant youth have lost their protections from deportation. 850 more lose it every week. We need action NOW, especially as Leader McConnell wants the immigration debate to end. Now the bipartisan budget bill is out of the way, I demand you take the promises you made in the lead-up to that vote seriously, and figure out a solution for DACA. Please take this seriously. Please support a clean DREAM/SECURE Act for all then people currently in this country who need it, including 200k Slavadorans who will lose their protected status.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

So that’s it for today. It looks like the site It’s Time to Fight has merged with the I Called My Reps website, so for more information and scripts be sure to head over there! And if you do call or write your reps be sure to use #ICalledMyReps on Twitter to talk about it. We need to see each other resisting to maintain our morale and momentum!

Letters to My Representatives 3-22-2018

I missed a couple weeks because of life! To be honest, I almost didn’t do this week’s, but I buckled down and got it done. So here are today’s letters to my representatives. As always, check out It’s Time to Fight for scripts and information.

Also, if you are able, please find a March for Our Lives event near you this Saturday, March 24th.

Dear Senator Stabenow,

I am against Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, and I ask that you take a stand against these measures. According to economists, the tariffs will likely cause trade wars, disrupt the US economy and cause job losses in certain industries. Moreover, history has shown us before, tariffs simply are not effective. Please take whatever steps you can to oppose these measures.

I am in support of Senator Cornyn and Senator Murphy’s FIX NICS bill, with the understanding Concealed Carry Reciprocity can’t be attached, as it is in the House. I ask that Senators continue to push for debate and consideration of the other legislation available for gun safety, including Senator Feinstein and Flake’s Age 21 bill. Simply fixing NICS isn’t enough to address the gun safety challenges in our nation.

I want you to vote in favor of Senator Markey’s resolution to repeal the FCC’s December decision to unwind Net Neutrality, via the Congressional Review Act. Polling suggests 60-80% of Americans do not support the rollback of the net neutrality, and voting in support of this bipartisan resolution will help ensure this issue isn’t single-handedly decided by five people.

I would like to express my concerns regarding Speaker Ryan’s decision to replace Matthew Masterson from the Election Admission Commission. The Speaker’s office has been unable to justify the decision to replace him, and Mr. Masterson’s state colleagues have been vocally against the move. Given the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia is clearly working to interfere in the 2018 midterms I demand to know 1) Why Mr. Masterson is being replaced before he has a chance to implement his recommended protection measures, and 2) who Speaker Ryan plans to replace Mr. Masterson with and when.

I ask that you vote NO on Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State and also NO on Gina Haspel for CIA Director. Both candidates are completely unfit for their positions, with Pompeo having little to no background in diplomacy, and Gina Haspel having spent a portion of her career both working on assignments involving torture and also possibly destroying tapes. Please vote AGAINST their appointments if/when they come to a vote on the floor.

I demand you work with your colleagues to determine a concrete solution to address Dreamers this week. Since the Trump administration has announced the end of DACA, more than 19,000 immigrant youth have lost their protections from deportation. 850 more lose it every week. We need action NOW, especially as Leader McConnell wants the immigration debate to end this week. Now that the bipartisan budget bill is out of the way, we demand you take the promises you made in the lead-up to that vote seriously, and figure out a solution for DACA. Please take this seriously.

I am against Trump’s tariffs that will affect the solar panel and washing machine industries. This will debilitate both industries. Please do what you can to protest these actions.

I am strongly against Trump’s decision to end protection for Salvadorians seeking refuge in this country. Sending them back to an unsafe place is tantamount to murder. Please do what you can to protest and prevent this heinous measure.

Please work to stabilize the ACA in light of the current spending bill needed to be passed this week. So many Americans rely on ACA and we must do all we can to continue affordable coverage for those who need it.

I ask that you do all you can to protect the investigation being done my Robert Mueller. Please help ensure that he has the time and resources to complete this as well as protection from Trump’s petty vindictiveness. It is imperative that this investigation be concluded in an appropriate and legal manner to ensure not only that we protect America from outside influence, but also that we know the investigation itself was not tampered with.

I ask that you call for hearings regarding the firing of Andrew McCabe.

I ask that you call for hearings regarding Facebook’s involvement with Cambridge Analytics, as well as an investigation into CA itself.

Thank you for your time and consideration. If you need volunteers during the 2018 Midterms I would be happy to contribute my time to your campaign.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

 

Dear Representative Moolenaar,

I am against Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, and I ask that you take a stand against these measures. According to economists, the tariffs will likely cause trade wars, disrupt the US economy and cause job losses in certain industries. Moreover, history has shown us before, tariffs simply are not effective. Please take whatever steps you can to oppose these measures.

I am in support of Senator Cornyn and Senator Murphy’s FIX NICS bill, with the understanding Concealed Carry Reciprocity can’t be attached, as it is in the House. I ask that Senators continue to push for debate and consideration of the other legislation available for gun safety, including Senator Feinstein and Flake’s Age 21 bill. Simply fixing NICS isn’t enough to address the gun safety challenges in our nation.

I want you to vote in favor of Senator Markey’s resolution to repeal the FCC’s December decision to unwind Net Neutrality, via the Congressional Review Act. Polling suggests 60-80% of Americans do not support the rollback of the net neutrality, and voting in support of this bipartisan resolution will help ensure this issue isn’t single-handedly decided by five people.

I would like to express my concerns regarding Speaker Ryan’s decision to replace Matthew Masterson from the Election Admission Commission. The Speaker’s office has been unable to justify the decision to replace him, and Mr. Masterson’s state colleagues have been vocally against the move. Given the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia is clearly working to interfere in the 2018 midterms I demand to know 1) Why Mr. Masterson is being replaced before he has a chance to implement his recommended protection measures, and 2) who Speaker Ryan plans to replace Mr. Masterson with and when.

I demand you work with your colleagues to determine a concrete solution to address Dreamers this week. Since the Trump administration has announced the end of DACA, more than 19,000 immigrant youth have lost their protections from deportation. 850 more lose it every week. We need action NOW, especially as Leader McConnell wants the immigration debate to end this week. Now that the bipartisan budget bill is out of the way, we demand you take the promises you made in the lead-up to that vote seriously, and figure out a solution for DACA. Please take this seriously.

I am against Trump’s tariffs that will affect the solar panel and washing machine industries. This will debilitate both industries. Please do what you can to protest these actions.

I am strongly against Trump’s decision to end protection for Salvadorians seeking refuge in this country. Sending them back to an unsafe place is tantamount to murder. Please do what you can to protest and prevent this heinous measure.

Please work to stabilize the ACA in light of the current spending bill needed to be passed this week. So many Americans rely on ACA and we must do all we can to continue affordable coverage for those who need it.

I ask that you do all you can to protect the investigation being done my Robert Mueller and I strongly condemn the House Intelligence Committee’s decision to end their investigation. This partisan politics at its most damaging. Please help ensure that Mueller has the time and resources to complete this investigation as well as protection from Trump’s petty vindictiveness. It is imperative that this investigation be concluded in an appropriate and legal manner to ensure not only that we protect America from outside influence, but also that we know the investigation itself was not tampered with.

I ask that you call for hearings regarding the firing of Andrew McCabe.

I ask that you call for hearings regarding Facebook’s involvement with Cambridge Analytics, as well as an investigation into CA itself.

Do not support S.2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which passed the Senate. We are only a decade out from the 2008 economic crisis, and several months out from the Wells Fargo banking crisis. Wall Street and the banking industry have clearly demonstrated time and again, they need the regulations that were put into place by Dodd-Frank and the Volcker rule. Rolling back many of the safeguards implemented by Dodd-Frank, including those outlined in Section 401 may temporarily help banks now, but would also create a climate that might very well lead to another financial crisis in the future. Vote NO.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

Letters to My Representatives 2-21-2018

I am not posting today’s letters because they are exactly the same as last week’s with one exception. I asked Rep. John Moolenaar to vote NO on HR. 620, an act that would remove protections from the ADA and thereby greatly hamper a person with a disability from recourse against discrimination and remove incentives for businesses to comply with ADA standards. He of course voted YES so that part was replaced with my opinions on that decision and a reminder that I will keep his constituents informed of his decisions.

As always, scripts came from It’s Time to Fight. Please visit the site for information and scripts. And if you are feeling generous, please consider donating to the Ko-Fi that helps It’s Time to Fight continue running.

 

Letter to My School Superintendent Concerning School Walkouts

As many of you are aware there are several events in the near future planned to address the epidemic of gun violence that is devastating our schools. Here is the letter I wrote to my school superintendent concerning these events. Let’s hope I get a positive response.

I encourage all of you to address these issues with your own schools, but if you attend Midland Public Schools, I’ll make it easy for you. Here is the email address of the superintendent:

sharrowme@midlandps.org (Michael E. Sharrow)

And here are two more email addresses of the associate superintendents:

brutynbr@midlandps.org (Brian R. Brutyn)

cooperrg@midlandps.org (Robert G. Cooper)

 

Dear Mr. Sharrow,

As I am sure you are aware there are various nationwide events planned to draw attention to the epidemic of gun violence and our schools. On March 14th the Women’s March is sponsoring a school walkout, on March 24th the kids of MSD are sponsoring March for Our Lives (nationwide marches), and on April 20th a student from Connecticut is organizing another school walkout on the anniversary of the Columbine shooting. I would like to know what the school plans to do to facilitate the students in their right to participate in these walkouts. I know that high school, and even middle school kids, are quite capable of participating with or without the approval of the school, and I think after the students at MSD have proven, we will never underestimate our teenagers again. But I would like to be clear that I support theses students without repercussions to their decision and will be greatly displeased if any are perpetrated against them.

I also would like to ask if the school has given any thought in how the elementary age students could participate, or better yet, their parents. I have elementary age kids at Woodcrest and if the school devises a way to allow them to participate I will gladly help in that endeavor, but I do have hesitation about using our children to make a point when some may be too young to understand. I know my 4th grader would understand the concepts, but I have twin kindergarteners and I worry about how a protest of this nature (walking out during class silently) might affect them, though I would find a way to explain it to them if the walkout is possible. As an alternative I think allowing parents to gather outside the school at the time of the walkouts in solidarity for concerns of what needs to be done to prevent further tragedies would be a great way to still participate in this needed movement while not involving children too young. Having said that, I still think it might be a good idea to give the older kids an opportunity to participate if they so choose. If this issue is handled properly ahead of time, parents will have the opportunity to discuss the issues with their children so they can decide if they wish to participate.

In closing, I would like to say, if our children must participate in lockdown or active shooter drills to potentially save their lives one day, I think they should be able to participate in events that draw attention to the very problem that causes those drills.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin