Letters to Congress: Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, Cabinet appointees must be able & willing to stand up to him

Write your senators. I did:

Dear Senator,

President Trump pledged throughout his campaign to appoint an anti-choice nominee who would overturn Roe v. Wade, and his first 11 days in office have shown that we absolutely should take him at his word when he threatens to enact policies that restrict our freedoms.

As your constituent, I’m asking you to ensure that Trump’s Supreme Court nominee commits to upholding the Constitution, all of the Constitution, including Roe v. Wade. If they won’t, I ask that you commit to blocking the nominee by whatever means necessary.

Trump has shown he will go to any length to get what he wants, regardless of legality, up to and including purging Cabinet departments of senior career leadership, using Congressional committee staff while not even telling the Members what he is doing, and firing officials who refuse to fall obediently into line.  It is imperative that if he is to be given a new Justice, that it be someone who is not afraid to stand up to him.

Sincerely,

I.Buffalo
Pittsburgh

(via NARAL Pro-Choice America.)


Once again, you can also write your House reps and other elected officials—they may not have a vote, but they know the folks who do a lot better than we do. Don’t forget to thank your local Democrat for standing against the illegal executive order on immigration.  A simple note such as the one below should suffice: 

Mr Doyle,

Thank you for standing up and joining as a cosponsor HR 724 to void the President’s unconstitutional travel ban. Please continue to do everything necessary to oppose this disastrous Trump/Bannon regime.

Letters to Congress: Ben Carson

Write your senators. I did:

Dear Senator,

As your constituent, I urge you to oppose the nomination of Ben Carson for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Carson has no experience working in government or running large organizations. But he has a long record of intolerance and of opposing fair housing laws and programs that help the poor—laws and programs he’d be in charge of at HUD.

Carson calls transgender people “abnormal” and same-sex couples “an abomination.” How can I expect him to prevent discrimination against gay couples, or ensure HIV+ individuals have equal access to public housing facilities? I believe Ben Carson would be a nightmare for gay and trans youth and adults facing poverty and housing discrimination.

As a member of the LGBT community, I am disturbed by Carson’s appalling comments about me and my community and his opposition to the very safety net programs HUD administers. Please vote no on the Carson nomination.

Sincerely,

I.Buffalo,
Pittsburgh

(via National Center for Transgender Equality.)


You can also write your House reps and other elected officials—they may not have a vote, but they know the folks who do a lot better than we do.  Here’s the letter I sent to Pittsburgh’s rep in the House, Mike Doyle:

Dear Congressman Doyle,

I realize that as a member of the House, you do not have a direct vote on Secretary confirmations. However, I hope you will use your influence on your colleagues in the Senate and urge them to oppose the nomination of Ben Carson for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

[…]

As a member of the LGBT community, I am disturbed by Carson’s appalling comments about me and my community and his opposition to the very safety net programs HUD administers. While I know you do not have a vote yourself, I hope that you will oppose and urge your friends and colleagues to do everything possible to defeat the Carson nomination.

Thank you,

I.Buffalo
Pittsburgh

Letters to Congress: TIGER Edition

Via People for Bikes: The U.S. Senate is currently working on a proposal for TIGER grants, an important source of federal transportation funding for projects to build roads, transit, ports, and bicycle infrastructure. The House has proposed $100 million in funding for next year, far less than the $500 million that TIGER was funded at this year. Let your senators know that you support full funding of the program and the bicycle projects it helps make possible.

Dear Senator ________,

The Senate Appropriations Committee proposed $500 million in funding for U.S. DOT’s popular TIGER program in Fiscal Year 2016. As Congress continues to work on FY16 appropriations for the U.S. DOT, please support this funding level.

Surveys have shown 60% of Americans would ride a bike if they felt safer on the roads. In Pittsburgh, we’ve made great strides toward implementing safer cycling infrastructure, and we’ve seen results: the Census ACS survey has shown a gain of over 400% in commuting by bicycle in the last 15 years in Pittsburgh. But we’ve still got a long way to go, and we’ll need funding to get there.

The TIGER program helps states and communities build a broad range of innovative transportation solutions across the variety of modes, including improvements to ports, highways, rail, transit and bicycle infrastructure. The TIGER grant program and the broad set of project eligibilities are critical to allowing states and communities to secure funding for multimodal and multi-jurisdictional projects that are hard to fund through traditional U.S. DOT programs.

I hope you will weigh in with your colleagues in support of the final FY2016 THUD bill including the $500 million in funding for TIGER with a broad set of project eligibilities included in the Senate Appropriations Committee passed legislation.

Check out the links above and send your own message to your Senators.

And yes, it really is called the THUD Bill.

Letters to Congress: Bike Summit Edition

The League of American Bicyclists is currently hosting the 2015 National Bike Summit in Washington, DC.  Here are the main issues they’re talking to Congress about today.  For those of us that can’t be there, they’ve got a campaign up at bikeleague.org to email our representatives–here are the slightly-fleshier versions I sent instead of the default texts.

House edition:

Today participants of the National Bike Summit are on Capitol Hill to highlight the critical issues facing bicyclists in communities across the country. As your constituent, I encourage you to support the Vision Zero Act, HR 1274, an innovative strategy to bring roadways death to zero. You can read more about the Vision Zero Act here: http://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/VZ_FAQ.pdf — As we here in Pittsburgh push our local leaders to adopt a Vision Zero plan for the City, it would be a great help to know that we have the backing of our friends in Washington.

Additionally, I hope that we can count on your office’s support for continued–even, if possible, expanded–funding for bicycling and walking as part of a multi-modal federal transportation program. Please encourage your colleagues in the Senate to support the Transportation Alternatives Program Improvement Act, which will ensure greater local control over transportation funding decisions and priorities for these program funds. You can read more about the TAPIA here: http://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/TAPIA_FAQ.pdf

Senate edition:

Today participants of the National Bike Summit are on Capitol Hill to highlight the critical issues facing bicyclists in communities across the country. As your constituent, I encourage you to support the Transportation Alternatives Program Improvement Act, which will ensure greater local control over transportation funding decisions and priorities for these program funds. You can read more about the TAPIA here: http://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/TAPIA_FAQ.pdf

I hope, too, that you will encourage your colleagues in the House to support the Vision Zero Act, HR 1274, an innovative strategy to bring roadways death to zero. You can read more about the Vision Zero Act here: http://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/VZ_FAQ.pdf — As we here in Pittsburgh, and in cities across Pennsylvania, push our local leaders to adopt a Vision Zero plan for the City, it would be a great help to know that we have the backing of our friends in Washington.

Check out the links above and feel free to use these templates to send your own message to your Representative and Senators.