This past weekend, I organized a get together in my neighborhood. The effort was inspired by the 10 ACTIONS / 100 DAYSfrom the Women’s March on D.C.
Given that most people were focused (and attending) the SEATAC protest and/or preparing for the protest at Westlake Center, our mighty effort was very well attended, enjoyed, and most of all–appreciated.
People ordered their drinks and got to work.
Several folks wrote me on the side that they wanted to know how to do one in their neighborhood, so I thought I would share my materials so you can do one in your neighborhood before the next action comes out.
Make it easy for people to write a letter by giving them a template they can sign, or use to inspire their own story. These were taken from form letters I found online and the unity principles of the march. Use this or make your own! Make a label sheet for your senators.
Be inclusive. Have crayons for the kids.
Make it easy on yourself. Go to Kinko’s and use their paper cutter. Much easier.
Highlight a great place to meet and make sure you call ahead to work in conjunction with their down periods. We brought business and traffic to a local beer hall and exposed several people to a new place in town.
Get the word out through meetup, nextdoor.com, facebook groups, organizations in your community that care about what is happening and aren’t intimidated by appearing partisan.
Make it cheap.
Use 4×6 index cards as postcards.
Let people pick their issue and the representative they want to contact.
Tape everything down.
Materials all in cost me about $40 (tape, crayons, cards, copies, and postage for a few groups). I collected donations for about this much so broke even.
It should look something like one of these cards:
Postcards cost $.40!
People should send on their own, or you can collect donations. I did both. Most people wrote between 25-50 cards a person.
Folks enjoyed meeting one another. Genuine connections were made that would not have been otherwise. The reasons people shared for coming were:
Every day I wake up and don’t know what to expect
I don’t recognize my country anymore
What’s happening isn’t what America is about
I want to do my part
I’m a therapist, and my latino/latina clients are feeling anxious and suicidal. I am here to represent them.
Because I want to help but feel overwhelmed with all the lists I’m being sent my so many organizations. Having this helped me focus and feel like I’m doing something, with others, that matters.
You have three members of Congress who represent you in D.C. – two Senators and one Representative.
Senators serve 6-year terms in the Senate and there are two from each state.
Representatives serve 2-year terms in the House of Representatives. The number of representatives from each state is determined by population. For example, there are numerous Representatives from New York City while there is only one Representative serving the entire state of Alaska.
Representatives are frequently referred to as Congressmen, Congresswomen or Reps.
Good: Call your 3 congressional leaders once a week.
Better: Call on specific bills and issues.
Best: Teach friends, family and co-workers how to call their leaders.
First, track down the phone numbers for your senator’s national office, as well as their regional offices throughout your state. Although you may find it easiest to always call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 to reach your senators or representative, you can also find the direct number to any member’s office by consulting the Senate phone list or House phone list.
Work out ahead of time precisely what to say, in a polite yet firm and concise manner, and write it down so that you don’t lose your train of thought mid-call. If this kind of outreach to Congressional leaders is uncommon for you, you might find yourself feeling nervous or losing your train of thought when you’re actually on the phone, so it’s good to have things planned out ahead of time. Staffers have a checklist they work from. Here is mine:
Full review of Trump’s taxes
Full investigation of Trump/Russia and FBI’s biased handling of this issue
Reject Trump’s NYC and FL residences at taxpayer’s expence
Support any bill or committee seeking Trump’s impeachment
Prevent the Gutting of the Cardin-Lugar Anti-Corruption Law
Reject the Muslim Ban
Say NO to a Border Walll and ICE raids
Support Human Rights at Standing Rock
We no longer have adequate healthcare, bring back ACA. Do not allow the heads of other departments and agencies to waive or delay the implementation of any ACA provisions that would impose a financial burden or any state or a regulatory burden on any individuals.
We no longer have safe, accessible women’s care, protect Women’s Health. Women should have access to confidential, safe, and accessible health care. The president reinstated the so-called “Mexico City Policy”, which blocks the use of U.S. taxpayer dollars to fund foreign non-governmental organizations that perform or promote abortions. It was established by former president Ronald Reagan and has been rescinded by Democratic presidents and reinstated by Republican presidents ever since.
Indians are not being recognized and the environment is being damaged, protect Sovereign Lands. Trump encouraged the construction of two controversial pipelines, the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone XL Pipeline. The DAPL action instructs an expedited review and approval of the remaining construction and operation of the pipeline by the Army for Civil Works and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Keystone XL action invites TransCanada, the Canadian energy company behind the pipeline, to re-submit its application for a presidential permit to construct the pipeline. It also instructs the Secretary of State to reach a final determination within 60 days.
We no longer have a true, free, global market, resist non-discrimination. The President should not dictate how companies go about their business. Trump wants the Secretary of Commerce to create a plan for pipelines created, repaired or expanded in the United States to use materials and equipment produced in the country “to the maximum extent possible.” It establishes that all steel and metal used in such pipelines be completely produced in the United States, from the initial melting stage to the application of coatings.
We no longer are stewarding the land, protect the Environment. Trump issued an action that instructs the Secretary of Commerce to contact stakeholders to review the impact of Federal regulations on domestic manufacturing. After the review, the Secretary of Commerce is instructed to create a streamlined Federal permitting process for domestic manufacturers.
Trump signed an executive order that directed the secretary of homeland security to:
Prioritize certain undocumented immigrants for removal, including those with criminal convictions and those who have only been charged with a crime
Hire 10,000 additional immigration officers at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, subject to the availability of existing funding,
Prohibit federal funding, with the help of the attorney general, to “sanctuary” jurisdictions, where local officials have declined to help enforce federal immigration laws
Reinstate the Secure Communities program, which was terminated in 2014 and enables state and local law enforcement to effectively act as immigration agents
Sanction countries, with the help of the secretary of state, that refuse to accept the return of undocumented immigrants deported from the U.S.
Create a list, updated weekly, of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants in sanctuary jurisdictions
Create an “Office for Victims of Crimes Committed by Removable Aliens” to “provide proactive, timely, adequate and professional services to victims of crimes committed by removable aliens and family members of such victims”