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[personal profile] tanaqui
From [personal profile] watersword in a comment in our suggestions post:
Rep. Ted Lieu (D - CA) has introduced a bill to ban conversion therapy (aka abusing queer people to make them not-queer) nationwide: HR.2119 - Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 2017. There's a companion bill in the Senate, S.928 - Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 2017. People can contact their reps or senators to thank them for co-sponsoring (the list of cosponsors is available at those links), or urge them to vote for the bills if and when they get out of committee.
tanaqui: Illumiinated letter T (Default)
[personal profile] tanaqui
Public Participation in EPA's Regulatory Reform
Deadline: 15 May 2017

From [personal profile] watersword in our suggestions post:
The EPA is soliciting public comment on the plan to roll back environmental regulations; they're required by law to take comments into account when deciding next actions.
You can submit comments in writing using Email, Docket or mail, with the EPA page on the consultation providing the contact details for each method. Note that: All public comments will be accessible online in [the] docket

The docket page helpfully provides a Tips for Submitting Effective Comments (PDF) which is packed with good advice, and you can include attachments. We also have an excellent post from [personal profile] tassosss on how to turn a phone script into a letter (and structuring letters in general) that may be helpful when you're drafting your comment. As both suggest, the most effective comments are likely to be those that are specific and, if relevant, personal. It may also be worth revisiting the post we made about George Lakoff's suggestions for re-framing the debate, so that the focus is on talking about the "protections" that the EPA provides (rather than "regulations").

To figure out what you want to comment on, this article summarises some of the main areas of protection at risk under the proposed cuts. The EPA website provides information on:
  • Regulatory Information by Topic, as well as
  • how to find regulations and
  • how to get regulatory information for your state or region, since many EPA regulations are adminstered by state agencies.
  • tassosss: (awesomecakes)
    [personal profile] tassosss
    On Wednesday, [personal profile] executrix  posted a link to Resistbot. I finally got around to trying it out today and I am here to now convert the rest of you into using it.

    Resistbot is my new favorite thing.


    Story time: The first week after Inauguration it wasn't hard to get over my fear of phones and call my representatives in Congress. It sucked but I did it. Then three things conspired to make me pretty much stop. 1) I live in a very vocal blue state. My senators and reps are already doing what I want them to do, so the urgency tapered as 2) real life reasserted itself and things simmered down since I can't live in crisis mode, and 3) when I did call, there were so many calls that I wasn't getting through anymore and it all felt pointless.

    I'm going to pause here and recommend you read What Calling Congress Achieves (The New Yorker) that [personal profile] snickfic  posted in today's linkspam. It reinvigorated my urge to contact Congress People because it DOES matter. It matters that we do it collectively in large numbers over the long haul.

    Back to Resistbot. Here's what it is. You text "resist" to their number 50409 and the bot answers. I got to grin and imagine I was talking to a droid in Star Wars.

    The bot asks for your name and zipcode. It finds your senators (it will add your representative if you use it again). Then it asks what you want to tell them. Here's where I messed up this time around: I talked to the bot instead of my senators. Don't do that. What you text to the bot is what's going to be put in the fax addressed to them, so you should address your representatives directly.

    I gotta say, it was really easy to do, and I really liked being able to text what I wanted to say. At this point in my life, texting is one of my major forms of communication, so it wasn't hard to come up with something. I think it's good because it also forces you to be short. Make one point and then send.

    The bot formats it into a letter, which it screenshots for you, and then faxes to the appropriate offices. All told it took about five minutes.


    To sum up:

    You basically get to text Congress without looking up their contact info
    The resistbot sends it to them as a faxed letter
    You don't have to call over and over again to get through jammed lines or full inboxes
    You don't have to talk to a person or wait for open office hours




    executrix: (Default)
    [personal profile] executrix
    Organizing for Action is concentrating on Obamacare, but the tool could be adapted to other issues:

    https://my.ofa.us/page/m/55c1917e/6d273671/484448699/1ac84b49/691587917/VEsH/p/eyJKU1ZGVFVGSlRDVWwiOiJkc2hpbGxpbmdAdmVyaXpvbi5uZXQiLCJKU1ZhU1ZBbEpRPT0iOiIwNzMwMiJ9/

    BTW I thought of two new tags: #RESISTAGE and #THE FANS HIT THE SHIT
    tanaqui: Illumiinated letter T (Default)
    [personal profile] tanaqui
    The Army Is Accepting Your Comments On The Dakota Access Pipeline
    The Standing Rock Sioux are calling on members of the public to let the government know exactly how you feel about the Dakota Access Pipeline.

    The Department of the Army is accepting public comments leading up to its environmental impact statement in connection with Dakota Access’ request for them to grant an easement for the pipeline to cross North Dakota’s Lake Oahe. The comment period is open until Feb. 20, according to the document.
    You can send a letter or an email.
    tassosss: (cameron writing)
    [personal profile] tassosss
    The question has come up for folks who can't make phone calls but who still want to get in touch with their representatives: how do you take a phone script and make it a letter?

    Guidelines - I pulled this list off of my representative's website and it's sound advice, I think:
    • In an easy to read format, with a clear purpose stated in the first paragraph
    • Regarding a single issue, not a group of unrelated issues
    • Not attempting to begin a dialogue, which is better conducted on the phone or in person
    • Directed to the appropriate office: committee business to the committee, and constituent business to the Member's personal office
    • In your own words, not copied from a form letter or Web site
    • From an individual, not an intermediary organization or Web site

    Example
    I'm going to use the ACA script from the We're His Problem Now google doc, since I have it handy.

    Here's the phone script
    I’m ---- ---- a constituent calling to let <Senator/Representative ____> know that I want <him/her> to stand up for the subsidized health care plans that cover millions of Americans. Please ask <him/her> not to support cuts to Medicaid or Medicare or changes to the ACA that would result in a loss of coverage. Affordable health care is a priority issue for me and I will be paying close attention to how <Senator/Representative ____> votes.

    Step 1: Break the script into its parts. The easiest way is to put each sentence on a separate line.

    I’m ---- ---- a constituent calling to let <Senator/Representative ____> know that I want <him/her> to stand up for the subsidized health care plans that cover millions of Americans.

    Please ask <him/her> not to support cuts to Medicaid or Medicare or changes to the ACA that would result in a loss of coverage.

    Affordable health care is a priority issue for me and I will be paying close attention to how <Senator/Representative ____> votes.

    Step 2: Use each script sentence as the first line for each paragraph in your letter. This is your outline.


    Header with your address

    Header with Senator/Representitve's address

    Dear Senator/Representaitve -----

    I’m ---- ---- a constituent calling to let <Senator/Representative ____> know that I want <him/her> to stand up for the subsidized health care plans that cover millions of Americans.

    Please ask <him/her> not to support cuts to Medicaid or Medicare or changes to the ACA that would result in a loss of coverage.

    Affordable health care is a priority issue for me and I will be paying close attention to how <Senator/Representative ____> votes.

    Sincerely
    Badass Letterwriter

    Step 3: Change any words needed to address the representative directly

    Header with your address

    Header with Senator/Representitve's address

    Dear Senator/Representaitve -----

    I’m ---- ---- a constituent writing to let you know that I want you to stand up for the subsidized health care plans that cover millions of Americans.

    Please do not support cuts to Medicaid or Medicare or changes to the ACA that would result in a loss of coverage.

    Affordable health care is a priority issue for me and I will be paying close attention to how you vote.

    Sincerely
    Badass Letterwriter

    Step 4: Personalize the letter. Read through and probably in the second paragraph add something personal that makes this real to you. This letter is from the script where the LW isn't personally covered by an ACA plan, BUT that does not mean the LW is not personally affected by it. Drug prices. If you have female parts you may get contraceptive coverage, or equal premiums that you wouldn't otherwise. Young adults have staying on their parents insurance till 26. You may have a family member who has an ACA plan. Pre-existing conditions.

    This part can be as short as a couple sentences, as in the example below, or you can go on for a paragraph. I wouldn't do more than that though unless it's a good story.

    Header with your address

    Header with Senator/Representitve's address

    Dear Senator/Representaitve -----

    I’m ---- ---- a constituent writing to let you know that I want you to stand up for the subsidized health care plans that cover millions of Americans.

    Please do not support cuts to Medicaid or Medicare or changes to the ACA that would result in a loss of coverage. My sister has a pre-existing condition that prevented her from being covered by health insurance until the ACA. Before the ACA she was handed a $50,000 hospital bill for surgery that saved her life. Under the ACA she doesn't have to fear that she has to choose between her life or bankruptcy.

    Affordable health care is a priority issue for me and I will be paying close attention to how you vote.

    Sincerely
    Badass Letterwriter

    (If you want to throw down, you can add as a last line before Sincerely: "See you at your next townhall." But only if you're actually going to go.)

    Step 5: You're done! Sign the letter, pop it in the mail, and wait anxiously by the mailbox to see if you get a form letter in response.

    tassosss: Farscape Posse (Posse)
    [personal profile] tassosss
    From tumblr user tikkunolamorgtfo

    TLDR: The advice here is to write a snail mail letter in protest.

    Okay, everybody. A friend of mine in the publishing industry just shared a post on Facebook about this, and has given me permission to share the information (with her name redacted):

    Hi. I’m someone who’s worked in publishing her entire career, and I’m here to explain the Milo Yiannopoulos issue (notorious troll just got a hefty book deal from Simon & Schuster; internet is freaking out) and how to handle it:

    BACKGROUND: Let’s get the “free speech” arguments out of the way: Yiannopoulos is an actively dangerous man who leads bullying mobs against selected targets, and spreads hate speech as a life ethos. Even a person as vile as Yiannopoulos has the right to speak his mind, but decent people owe it to the world not to give him additional platforms and the air of legitimacy. That’s doubly the case in this political climate, which insists that all opinions should be valued equally, regardless of whether they’re true or false, and whether they make the world a better or worse place to live in. This is rather like deciding to publish “Mein Kampf” - is that really what you want your legacy to be as an organization?

    WHAT NOT TO DO: No “I’m going to boycott Simon & Schuster” talk unless you are a published author and you’re talking about not contracting with them. This is not like buying toilet paper or leather jackets - they sell the work of real, living, struggling authors who really really want you to read what they’ve labored over for years, and it’s unfair to penalize them because their publishing company is being dumb. Print media is a fragile industry these days, and that’s why we’re seeing these big stupid controversial book deals - it’s because we no longer have a world where people walk into their local independent neighborhood bookstore and let the kindly old cashier recommend you a book of poetry with a 500-copy print run that speaks perfectly to your reading sensibilities. You gotta have your crossover blockbusters or the whole enterprise crosses the December finish line in the red. Insisting on a boycott just makes people who haven’t bought a book since college want to run out and pre-order this to spite you. Simon & Schuster knows you “I love books, here’s a shared image macro about how I would literally make gentle love to a piece of printed paper if it were socially acceptable” folks get all your books used from Amazon for $3.99 + shipping, anyway, so they don’t care whether you’re their friend. This is for the business traveler with gross views who needs something entertaining for the plane flight to the Atlanta conference. You gotta convince them not to sell to THAT guy.

    WHAT TO DO: Write them letters, hard-copy ones that need a stamp and an envelope. At any major publishing house, the people at the bottom are mostly clever, thoughtful, progressive gals who don’t like this sort of thing any more than you do. They want to be able to go to their bosses’ bosses’ bosses with a massive stack of post and say, “Hey, this is the only reader correspondence we’re getting now,” because that wastes time, and the easiest way to piss off a publishing house is to waste their employees’ time. Wasting time = less time for making books. Remember also that everybody who gets into publishing does it because fundamentally they love to READ, they READ anything that is put in front of them, even the guys at the top who spend more time on the phone and at cocktail parties than working with text believe in words as a magical conduit of ideas, and if you write them a long heartfelt letter, they may scoff at it but they will read it, and if they have 1000 heartfelt letters a day, then sooner or later all those words will sink in.

    This is not a plastics manufacturer, this is not a bank. This is a book company. Write to the people who are in the business of reading.

    CONTACT INFO:

    Corporate Headquarters
    SIMON & SCHUSTER, INC.
    1230 Avenue of the Americas
    New York, NY 10020
    PHONE: 212-698-7000

    And individual contacts here, best to address it to someone in particular: http://about.simonandschuster.biz/leadership/

    Normally, the best tactic is to write directly to a specific editor or the imprint, but Threshold is conservative, so they may not care. Still, perhaps try:

    Threshold Editions
    General Phone: 212-698-7006
    General Fax: 212-698-2858
    Jennifer Robinson
    Vice President, Director of Publicity
    GalleryPublicity@simonandschuster.com

    And make the point that the views of this author are not conservative views, they are fundamentally hateful and aggressive views which seek to undermine the rights of other citizens. He did, after all, help lead the hate mob against Leslie Jones that got her hacked - they should ask themselves whether that’s something with which they want their otherwise respectable work to be associated, especially since the published book may end up becoming associated with additional hate crimes should readers take it too literally. Surely they don’t want their book to start making news for being repeatedly found in the homes of every homegrown militant for the next 10 years.

    I’ll also add that Louise Burke is president and publisher of the Gallery imprint, which Threshold falls under, so you could send to her as well.



    tassosss: (cameron writing)
    [personal profile] tassosss

    Via [personal profile] umadoshi Write the Electoral College - form letter and addresses can be found here

    Write up of Jeff Strabone on Brooklyn who found the addresses for 260 of Trump's electors. This is an extreme long shot, but it's the only one we have. I personally think the form letter on the website is too long and would reduce it to easy to read bullet points, and I would highlight the Russian interference with the election.

    You'll need a printer, envelopes, and stamps for this one. The website has a good to do list. It suggests writing all of the electors, but you can also select them individually.

    If you want to do this one, it needs to be this week as the Electoral College votes on December 19, which is next Monday.

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