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: 10-25-2017

Here are today’s letters. Most of the scripts have been taken from It’s Time to Fight so visit the site for more info and scripts, or use my letters if you like. It’s a lot of the same information from last  week, but adding parts about Trump’s refusal to certify the Iran deal, cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, Niger investigation, and the treatment of Jane Doe in Texas.

These letters have gotten pretty long so next week I’m going to trim some things I have been talking about for a while and focus on new issues, or at least alternate the issues form week to week. I don’t know that it makes much difference, but on the one hand it might be nice to give these poor interns a break from reading my long letters, and I don’t know if focusing on one or two per week would be more effective than a laundry list every week.

Dear Senator Stabenow,

I ask that you do everything in your power to protest the GOP’s attempts to cut funding to Medicare and Medicaid in the GOP budget resolution. Cutting Medicare by $473 billion and Medicaid by approximately $1 trillion over 10 years is unacceptable.

I ask that you 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 like to protest the steps the federal government has taken in the case of Jane Doe’s abortion in Texas, and demand that you do everything in your power to help this young woman. The young woman in question should be allowed to get an abortion, with legal justification as outlined in the dissent by Judge Patricia Millet. These continued delays are putting an undue burden on her health, and can be construed as being part of a personal agenda by E. Scott Lloyd, who is known for his anti-abortion views. I demand that you push for E. Scott Lloyd to putting the welfare and health of the young woman at risk, and allow her to do what is in her best interest and best for her health.

I would like for you to support the Murray-Alexander Deal to stabilize the ACA. This is a needed step in protecting healthcare for millions, particularly given that the agreement 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 to put their support behind the agreement as well. We need to act quickly, particularly with open enrollment coming up and the newly allocated $106 million.

I demand that you publicly condemn Trump’s reported statements to the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson in that “he knew what he was getting into”. Please demand an apology from Trump. He claims that is not what he said and he has proof. Please demand that he produce proof or apologize to the widow as well as to the military and the American public.

I would like for you to publicly denounce the Trump administration’s decision to end cost-sharing reductions for the Affordable Care Act. The CBO and independent studies all show this will increase health premiums by 20 percent or more, and the deficit will be up by $194 billion. (Per the CBO). I am also demanding you work with your colleagues to appropriate funding for CSR payments. You have to focus on the goal of market stability and reducing premiums, for the good of the constituents you represent. I will be monitoring how you choose to respond, and whether you chooses to respond in a way that shows a commitment toward improving healthcare for all.

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 to demand you vote NO on the Hearing Protection Act and the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, if/when it comes to a vote on the floor. Both bills would potentially put law enforcement and the general public at risk, and make it easier to commit violence. We just experienced the largest mass shooting in US history in Las Vegas; any support of either bill would strongly indicate that you do not support public safety. Additionally, I demand you commit to legislation that will result in sensible gun control, including universal background checks. I also ask that you filibuster these bills if they come to the floor.

I ask that you support S.1916, Senator Feinstein’s bump stock bill. Bump stocks were a key addition for several of the weapons found in the Las Vegas shooting. There appears to be no conclusive reason why bump stocks are needed, and/or should be legal. They simply cause more damage. Senator Feinstein’s bill to ban them has tentative bipartisan support, and I would like you to commit to signing on.

I am calling to protest the Trump Administration’s narrowing of the contraception coverage mandate. Many women use contraception for health, and not just to prevent pregnancy. I ask that you denounce this denial of access to contraception for women who need it for health reasons, simply based on the religious objections of certain groups. Women should have the option to decide their own reproductive rights. I demand you speak out for women’s health and protest this narrowing, but also support women’s health through legislation.

I ask that you push for a full disaster declaration for Puerto Rico – there is only a partial disaster declaration at the moment. Additionally, I would also like you to request a waiver regarding matching funds requirements for relief. Puerto Rico’s economy is currently unable to handle said requirements. I would also like you to request expanded military personnel, to help with infrastructure and recovery efforts. You should also add additional supplemental relief funds to the FAA authorization bill. We cannot wait until October for another round of funding. Finally, I am asking that you push for additional military personnel to be brought onto the island, beyond current numbers cited by the Pentagon. The island is in need of support to rebuild their infrastructure.

I ask that you support the Office of the Inspector General (OIG)’s investigation of Secretary Tom Price’s use of chartered planes when conducting official government business. Not only do Secretary Price’s actions violate federal law when it comes to travel by executive branch officials, it is also a questionable use of tax dollars particularly due to the cuts he wants to implement. Please publicly state that you support the investigation.

I want to express my objections to the latest incarnation of Trump’s travel ban. Even with the addition of North Korea and Venezuela, this ban is clearly targeted at Muslim nations, and should be construed as a Muslim ban. There is no documentation or justification for this ban. There is no research to prove that our country is safer. Keep speak out against this absurd ban.

I would like to voice my support for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and opposition to the Senate Republicans’ attempts to overturn the CFPB’s arbitration rule. I believe that consumers deserve the right to their day in court, particularly in light of the unfolding situation with Equifax. Please protect the individual, and not the corporation.

I ask that you issue a public statement opposing the Trump administration’s efforts to end DACA, and to support Senator Graham and Durbin’s DREAM act.

I demand that you publicly condemn Richard Spencer’s return to Charlottesville last Saturday. Even just a few people demonstrating hate like Spencer cannot be tolerated and should be rejected in the strongest possible terms.

I am ask that you continue to pressure the Trump administration to seek diplomatic solutions with North Korea. What we need right now are strategic talks to help influence what steps North Korea might choose to take next; inflamed rhetoric will only escalate the situation. I am also asking you to push the Trump Administration to not undertake moves that will upset key allies in the region. The Trump administration has indicated they will withdraw from the South Korea trade deal; to do so is shortsighted, and will cause tensions with a key ally needed to address Kim Jong Un’s regime. Please consider long-term strategy, verses short-term moves.

I ask that you NOT snapback sanctions for the Iran nuclear deal, unless international inspectors actually see resumption of activity that is in violation of the agreement. I also ask that you carefully evaluate any decision to renegotiate the deal. At minimum, all of the previous parties involved in the previous round of negotiations must be brought back to the table, along with a realistic consideration of positive incentives. Any attempts to renegotiate the deal must be taken seriously, and in good faith.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

 

Dear Representative Moolenaar,

I ask that you NOT snapback sanctions for the Iran nuclear deal, unless international inspectors actually see resumption of activity that is in violation of the agreement. I also ask that you carefully evaluate any decision to renegotiate the deal. At minimum, all of the previous parties involved in the previous round of negotiations must be brought back to the table, along with a realistic consideration of positive incentives. Any attempts to renegotiate the deal must be taken seriously, and in good faith.

I ask that you 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 like to protest the steps the federal government has taken in the case of Jane Doe’s abortion in Texas, and demand that you do everything in your power to help this young woman. The young woman in question should be allowed to get an abortion, with legal justification as outlined in the dissent by Judge Patricia Millet. These continued delays are putting an undue burden on her health, and can be construed as being part of a personal agenda by E. Scott Lloyd, who is known for his anti-abortion views. I demand that you push for E. Scott Lloyd to putting the welfare and health of the young woman at risk, and allow her to do what is in her best interest and best for her health.

I would like for you to support the Murray-Alexander Deal to stabilize the ACA. This is a needed step in protecting healthcare for millions, particularly given that the agreement 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 to put their support behind the agreement as well. We need to act quickly, particularly with open enrollment coming up and the newly allocated $106 million.

I demand that you publicly condemn Trump’s reported statements to the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson in that “he knew what he was getting into”. Please demand an apology from Trump. He claims that is not what he said and he has proof. Please demand that he produce proof or apologize to the widow as well as to the military and the American public.

I would like for you to publicly denounce the Trump administration’s decision to end cost-sharing reductions for the Affordable Care Act. The CBO and independent studies all show this will increase health premiums by 20 percent or more, and the deficit will be up by $194 billion. (Per the CBO). I am also demanding you work with your colleagues to appropriate funding for CSR payments. You have to focus on the goal of market stability and reducing premiums, for the good of the constituents you represent. I will be monitoring how you choose to respond, and whether you chooses to respond in a way that shows a commitment toward improving healthcare for all.

I demand you commit to legislation that will result in sensible gun control, including universal background checks.

I am calling to protest the Trump Administration’s narrowing of the contraception coverage mandate. Many women use contraception for health, and not just to prevent pregnancy. I ask that you denounce this denial of access to contraception for women who need it for health reasons, simply based on the religious objections of certain groups. Women should have the option to decide their own reproductive rights. I demand you speak out for women’s health and protest this narrowing, but also support women’s health through legislation.

I ask that you push for a full disaster declaration for Puerto Rico – there is only a partial disaster declaration at the moment. Additionally, I would also like you to request a waiver regarding matching funds requirements for relief. Puerto Rico’s economy is currently unable to handle said requirements. I would also like you to request expanded military personnel, to help with infrastructure and recovery efforts. You should also add additional supplemental relief funds to the FAA authorization bill. We cannot wait until October for another round of funding. Finally, I am asking that you push for additional military personnel to be brought onto the island, beyond current numbers cited by the Pentagon. The island is in need of support to rebuild their infrastructure.

I want to express my objections to the latest incarnation of Trump’s travel ban. Even with the addition of North Korea and Venezuela, this ban is clearly targeted at Muslim nations, and should be construed as a Muslim ban. There is no documentation or justification for this ban. There is no research to prove that our country is safer. Keep speaking out against this absurd ban.

I ask that you issue a public statement opposing the Trump administration’s efforts to end DACA, and to support the Bridge Act.

I demand that you publicly condemn Richard Spencer’s return to Charlottesville last Saturday. Even just a few people demonstrating hate like Spencer cannot be tolerated and should be rejected in the strongest possible terms.

I am ask that you continue to pressure the Trump administration to seek diplomatic solutions with North Korea. What we need right now are strategic talks to help influence what steps North Korea might choose to take next; inflamed rhetoric will only escalate the situation. I am also asking you to push the Trump Administration to not undertake moves that will upset key allies in the region. The Trump administration has indicated they will withdraw from the South Korea trade deal; to do so is shortsighted, and will cause tensions with a key ally needed to address Kim Jong Un’s regime. Please consider long-term strategy, verses short-term moves.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

Letters to My Representatives 8-2-2017

Here are today’s letters. Senator Stabenow & Senator Peters received the same letter, and Rep. Moolenaar’s letter was similar, but instead of thanking him for fighting for the ACA, I reminded him that I will do all in my power to remind his constituents come 2018 election that he stood against the ACA and what that means for their insurance, and I omitted the paragraph about the Dream Act of 2017 because that is in the Senate, not the House.

Dear Senator Stabenow,

Thank you again for standing with the ACA and the American people in the fight to ensure healthcare for all its citizens.

I would like to express my concerns about the White House’s threats to cut off CSR payments for the month of August. These threats are destabilizing the markets and contributing to market uncertainty. I am asking that you make sure that CSR payments are fully funded. I recognize that this is a contentious issue given House vs Price but we cannot accept anymore market instability. I’ll be monitoring the office to see how they choose to handle this issue.

I would like to voice my strong objection, nay, my unmitigated disgust and anger, to Trump’s announcement barring transgender individuals from serving in the Armed Forces. This is bigotry and discrimination. Though Trump claims it is based on monetary issues and “strengthening” our military, he obviously has little understanding of the military budget, and of the strength and professionalism of our military. It is an insult to our people serving, to transgender people in particular, and to the American people. It is a bid to pacify certain segments of Trump’s supporters and not based on any factual evidence that Trump purports. I ask that you speak out against Trump’s decision and affirm to any of your LGBTQIA+ constituents that you respect their courage and their willingness to serve. And I ask that you do whatever you can to fight this decision.

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 ask that you pressure the White House to use all diplomatic measures possible to resolve issues with the DPRK.

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.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

Remember to visit It’s Time to Fight for scripts and information. And feel free to copy and paste my letter for your own letters to your reps! Keep Resisting!

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!

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!!

Letters to My Representatives 6-16-2017

I almost didn’t get my letter in this week. Between our upcoming move and a graduation party in 7 days, I’ve been scrambling for time. So I called my Senators on Tuesday (and I’ll call again in a few minutes) to ask them to vote NO on the AHCA, to demand public disclosure and hearings on the bill, and to fight against it with all they have. Here are some scripts from ItsTimetoFight.com to help you in your own calls:

I know it seems pointless to call, but really, it’s a few minutes out of your day. And here are some good reasons to call:

  • Democratic Senators use the call/email volumes to better argue against the bill; if we call, they can report those numbers to their GOP colleagues to help convince them to vote NO
  • Republican Senators who will vote YES still need to hear that we are displeased. They need to know they may be facing election loss if they do this.
  • Republican Senators who are undecided or on the fence NEED to know how their constituents feel about this issue. The more calls, the more likely we can sway them to vote NO.

Here is the letter I wrote to Representative Mitchell today. It doesn’t highlight any particular issues, but rather my crumbling view of the GOP. Will it do any good? Maybe not, but it is cathartic for me, so I guess there’s the good.

Dear Representative Mitchell,

I was prepared today to send you my usual weekly letter listing all the issues that concern me and how I want you to vote, respond or proceed on them, which you would then ignore and continue with your own party-line agenda. But I decided to go another route today and explain a few things to you.

First, I’d like to say that I have voted for Republicans before. I tend to lean left, but have generally remained centered, giving due consideration to both a conservative and liberal view point. I have even, on occasion, taken the conservative side of an issue. I do believe that both conservatives and liberals have something to add to the discussion and compromises can be reached on many issues to better serve all Americans.

I used to believe that the Republican Party stood for family values and tradition. I believed they upheld Christian ideals and that even though I didn’t agree with 90% of what they stood for, there was still something of value there.

I no longer believe this.

This isn’t a conclusion I have come to simply because of one election. It has been progressing over years and years, though I stubbornly hung onto the hope that there was something good and benevolent left in the GOP. That hope has since been dashed. The GOP, and this includes Trump, though he is by no means the sole perpetrator, have become the villains in American politics. I know you of course don’t see it that way, but I believe you have a very narrow view of what will help America. You are focused solely on what white middle class Christian America “needs” not seeing that by raising the lesser among us, we bring all of us up.

Between cuts to healthcare funding, repealing the ACA, imposing the heinous AHCA on us, proposed cuts to everything from Medicare to NEA to PBS. Pulling out of the Paris Accord, destroying climate change data, and proceeding with the DAPL, the GOP, and especially Trump, have created lasting damage to the fabric of our society that will take generations to correct, if we are able to. They have also demonstrated ignorance concerning matters of science and hypocrisy to Christian teachings. In fact, the blatant hypocrisy displayed has caused me to question my own beliefs, because how can I possibly belong to a religion that doesn’t understand nor follow the teachings of Jesus on such a large scale? It makes me sick.

And the fact that you have stood by and not said one word while Trump spoke dangerously on the campaign trail, inciting violence that continues to plague us, or done anything about the EO Travel Ban discriminating against Muslims, or condemned his inappropriate talk about multitudes of people from the Kahns to Comey to Mueller, or spoke out against his inappropriate remarks about women just goes to show that you wish to go down with his sinking ship. You neither have the moral fortitude nor the courage to denounce this dangerous man who is damaging our country. You didn’t speak out against him during the campaign, you have done nothing about him now, and history will remember those that fought against this degradation of America’s democratic system. They will not remember those who stood quietly by and allowed the erosion of our democracy. History will not remember you, sir.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Austin