Tracker Pixel for Entry

Resisting the Trump agenda

by Tom Bixby | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Editorial | February 1st, 2017

A friend in Washington DC, a high-level Senate staffer who doesn’t wish to be identified, gave us some good advice.

There are two things that all Democrats should be doing all the time right now, and they're by far the most important things.

You should NOT be bothering with online petitions or emailing.

The best thing you can do to be heard and get your congressperson to pay attention is to have face-to-face time. If they have townhalls, go to them. Go to their local offices. If you're in DC, try to find a way to go to an event of theirs.

Go to the "mobile offices" that their staff hold periodically (all these times are located on each congressperson's website). When you go, ask questions. A lot of them. And push for answers. The louder and more vocal and present you can be at those the better.

But those in-person events don't happen every day. So the absolute most important thing that people should be doing every day is calling.

You should try to make six calls a day: two each (their Washington DC office and your local office) to your two senators & your one representative.

The staffer was very clear that any sort of online contact basically gets immediately ignored, and letters pretty much get thrown in the trash -- unless you have a particularly strong emotional story; but even then it's not worth the time it took you to craft that letter.

Calls are what all the congresspeople pay attention to. Every single day, the senior staff and the senator get a report of the three most-called-about topics for that day at each of their offices (in DC and their local offices), and exactly how many people said what about each of those topics. They're also sorted by zip code and area code.

She said that Republican callers generally outnumber Democrat callers 4-1, and when it's a particular issue that single-issue voters pay attention to (like gun control, or Planned Parenthood funding, etc), it's often closer to 11-1, and that has recently pushed Republican congressmen on the fence to vote with the Republicans.

In the last eight years, Republicans have called, and Democrats haven't.

So, when you call the DC office, ask for the staff member in charge of whatever you're calling about ("Hi, I'd like to speak with the staffer in charge of healthcare, please"). Local offices won't always have specific ones, but they might. If you get transferred to that person, awesome. If you don't, that's okay - ask for their name, and then just keep talking to whoever answered the phone.

Don't leave a message (unless the office doesn't pick up at all -- then you can...but it's better to talk to the staffer who first answered than leave a message for the specific staffer in charge of your topic).

Give them your zip code. They won't always ask for it, but make sure you give it to them, so they can mark it down. Extra points if you live in a zip code that traditionally votes for them, since they'll want to make sure they get/keep your vote.

If you can make it personal, make it personal. "I voted for you in the last election and I'm worried/happy/whatever" or "I'm a teacher, and I am appalled by Betsy DeVos," or "as a single mother" or "as a white, middle class woman," or whatever.

Pick one or two specific things per day to focus on. Don't go down a whole list -- they're figuring out what 1 or 2 topics to mark you down for on their lists.

Ideally, your topic should be something that will be voted on or taken up in the next few days, but it doesn't really matter. Even if there's not a vote coming up in the next week, call anyway. It's important that they just keep getting calls.

Be clear about what you want: "I'm disappointed that the Senator..." or "I want to thank the Senator for their vote on..." or "I want the Senator to know that voting in that specific way is the wrong decision for our state because..." Don't leave any ambiguity.

They may get to know your voice and get sick of you. It doesn't matter. The people answering the phones generally turn over every six weeks anyway, so even if they're really sick of you, they'll be gone pretty soon.

From experience since the election: If you hate being on the phone and feel awkward (which is a lot of people), don't worry about it. There are a bunch of scripts. Indivisible has some, and there are lots of others floating around. After a few days of calling, it starts to feel a lot more natural.

Put the numbers in your phone, DC office and local office, all under P for Politician: Politician Franken MN; Politician Franken DC; Politician Heitcamp ND, Politician Heitcamp DC; Hoeven ND, Hoeven DC; Kramer ND, Kramer DC; Klobuchar MN, Klobuchar DC; Peterson MN; Peterson DC. That makes it really easy to click down the list each day.

_________________

YOU SHOULD KNOW

https://indivisiblefm.com/2017/01/21/welcome/

https://www.indivisibleguide.com/web

Recently in:

Katrina Klett grew up running in fields with bees stinging her bare feet. Her parents constantly reminded her to put on shoes, but she rarely listened. Today, the family company she helps run in Jamestown, Klett Beekeeping, has…

How long have you had your computer monitor? Is it time to get a new one? How do you know if it is time to get a new one? Many people got their monitor bundled with their computer. I don’t have too much to complain about if that…

May 31-June 1Fargo Civic Center 207 4th St N, FargoA platform for you to build your business, your unmanned expertise, or network with fellow enthusiasts. Even more useful, on May 30 and June 2, Part 107 Drone Ground Training…

We’ve just read Mike McFeely’s interview with Governor Burgum, are intrigued by the governor’s vision of the future of higher education; that online courses will largely obviate the need for campuses, tenured faculty, and…

The rich live 20 years longer than the poorSeveral recent incidents in the airline industry are sending messages to the Ninety-Nine Percent around the world. If you can’t hold it, don’t book a flight. A male passenger was…

The moment of truth has arrived. After seven weeks of sampling and judging some of the finest libations in the area the results for this year’s Cocktail Showdown have arrived. Christopher Larson, Raul Gomez and Sabrina Hornung…

Do you eat enough vegetables? Almost no one does. The current USDA nutrition guidelines for adults recommends 2.5 to 3 cups of vegetables to be eaten daily. Other nutrition sources indicate this number can be upwards of 6 cups of…

Nine band lineup at The AquariumLocal radio listeners are likely to be familiar with 95.9 Radio Free Fargo, a station devoted to serving the Fargo-Moorhead area and run completely by volunteers. The station plays a little bit of…

Cinema

​Killer serial makes Blu-ray debut

by Christopher P. Jacobs

“Daredevils of the Red Circle.” Who are they? What is it? Before the internet, before television, serialized drama was still a significant part of popular culture. Novels were serialized in magazines and newspapers going back…

Artist Anna Lee brings years of knowledge to Fargo in new workshopsOrganizing and participating in locally-grown fashion shows, years at corporations like Target. And now working as an independent artist, Anna Lee has done it all,…

When we had a chance to catch up with Corey Ruffin, the mastermind behind the Grand Rapids-based traveling burlesque troupe Super Happy Funtime Burlesque, he was at the repair shop getting a tune-up on their tour bus. The retired…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

This Memorial Day weekend, thousands of hands will be reaching into icy cold coolers for a refreshing beer to wet the whistle. Mark Bjornstad, co-founder and president of Drekker Brewing Company hopes that at least once during the…

Wellness

​Gut instinct

by Amber Schmidt

While many of us suffer with the occasional upset stomach, long-term digestive issues can lead to increased problems down the road. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 60 to 70…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

With the recent passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) by the U.S. House of Representatives, it is important to have an honest and truthful discussion regarding what the AHCA is and what it is not. But before we get into…