Issues/Addresses Write-Ups

There was a LOT going on this past week! I’ve just finished up the weekly issues/addresses list for my postcarding group. Please use/share/distribute as you see fit. Some will speak to you; some won’t. Choose what matters to you.

2.24.2018 Issues:Addresses for Blog

A couple of reminders:

• I’m in California’s 20th District. If you’re not in CA or not in this particular district, you may occasionally want to write to your own reps, rather than the people listed here.

• Drop me a note in comments if you use any of these. It feels good when I know the work is paying off beyond my local group.

New Issues/Addresses for 2.17.2018

Yesterday was another day devoted to prepping issues/addresses write-ups for my postcarding group. It include 26 new items, 17 national and 9 California-specific.

Please use/share this in any way you’d like. The list is big, so I always encourage people to skim it and choose what most speaks to them.

If you do use these, please leave me a note in the comments. It is heartening to see this work being put to use.

Happy resisting!

Issues and Addresses 2:17:2018

Issues and Addresses, 2/16/2018

My postcarding group has its next meeting in early March, so I’m getting started on Issues/Addresses write-ups. You’re welcome to download the pdf for your own use, your group’s use, for distribution. There are 29 entries here on a range of topics. Choose what speaks to you and start writing/calling. You don’t have to do it all, but if we each do a little and a little and a little… think of your postcards as drops of water carving a hole into a granite boulder one drip at a time.

If you do use any of these, drop me a quick note in the comments section, please. It would do my heart good to know these materials are of use to people outside my own little postcarding circle.

2018 First issues addresses for March

Prepare Your Postcards: Long List and Short List

My monthly postcarding group meets later this morning, so I spent time Friday finalizing the full list of issues/addresses. If you’d like that document, you can download it here:

2018 February FINAL

If you’ve been using my lists already in the past month, all you’ll need is the installment of the full document, which you can download here:

2018 February Final Short

Be of good courage! Keep writing! Keep calling!

If you’d like me to email you the full list once a month, let me know in the comments. (You’ll have to include your email to comment, but it won’t show up on the blog.)

New Issues and Addresses

I’ve been plugging away at the issues and addresses info for when my postcarding group next meets at the start of February. However, everything I’ve written up is pertinent now, so I’m sharing what I have, instead of waiting until February to post. (It’s the “Blog.2.22.2018” link down at the bottom of this post; downloads as a pdf.)

There are lots of topics and the total document is long, so I suggest downloading it, then choosing the issues and addresses that matter most to you.

I’ve included

• Basic Decency

• Civil Rights

• Cybersecurity

• Education

• Elections

• Environment

• Ethics

• Health

• Immigration

• International

• Internet

• Judiciary

Blog 2.22.2018

 

More on Government Comment Pages (aka Keep Speaking Truth to Power)

So, did you click through to either of the government comment pages on my last post? If not, here’s another chance to give it a try. If you did, then you know how easy the process can be. Go for it!

Topic 1: Treatment of Animals Whose Eggs/Meat Are Labelled Organic.

You may think that animals at organic farms are treated better than animals at conventional farms, but that’s not necessarily true. In fact, there are no specific rules for treatment of animals on organic farms. Earlier this year, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) was scheduled to enact standards for treatment of animals at organic farm, but after multiple delays, the USDA plans to pull the rules that were set to go into effect. Let the USDA know that you think it’s appropriate to hold organic farms to a higher standard when it comes to the treatment of animals. You can comment here, but the comment period ends on the 17th, so act now!

Topic 2: Gun Control

Want to see “bump stocks” like those used in the Las Vegas mass shooting regulated they way we regulate machine guns? Click here to let the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives know.

Topic 3: Clean Power

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to rewrite the Clean Power Plan, which it claims are burdensome to industry. Step one in that process would be eliminating the current Clean Power Plan—even as the new (assuredly weaker) plan is hashed out. You can stand up for our planet, our children, and our lungs right here.

I’ll keep posting these as I find more. Feel free to add suggestions in the comment section.

Using the Federal Register to Speak Your Truth to Power

Many proposed federal rules cannot be enacted until after a  30-day period for public comments. Using the Federal Register will allow you to make these comments on a government platform.

Let’s look at two current public comment opportunities.

First, there’s the issue of nutrition regulations for children’s school lunches. This proposed rule change is titled “Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements.” If that word “flexibilities” strikes you as ominous, you’re on the right track. These rule changes would weaken school lunch program regulations allowing “flavored” (aka sweetened, with higher calories and no additional nutritional benefit) milk, the use of “whole” grains that are less “whole” than required by current guidelines, and loosened limits on the sodium content of school lunches. Click on the green “Submit a Formal Comment” button to go to the comment page and to let the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service know exactly what you think about feeding our children sweeter, saltier, lower-fiber lunches.

Second, there’s proposed expansion of offshore oil drilling with reduced safety regulations. Have some opinions on that topic? I bet you do! Click that green comment box and explain how you feel about opening up our coastlines to drilling and the potentially catastrophic spills that come with it.

Why does commenting matter?

• Commenting matters because these are rule changes that will have significant impacts on our daily lives, the health of our children, and the security of some of our nation’s most beautiful territory.

• You can bet that the vested-interests crowd is making comments and that they have sophisticated strategies for doing this.

Spambots. During the comment period on rules to end net neutrality thousands of posts were made supporting an end to neutrality and falsely submitted using the personal information of individual Americans. The state of New York is currently investigating these false comments—you can use a site they’ve set up to see whether any comments were filed in your name.

(Note: These are resources I’m just learning to use, so for the moment, I’m sharing two specific links. I’ll write more about using your own searches, etc., once I’m more adept at doing them. If you know more than I do and want to add information in the comments section on this blog, please do.)

 

 

The January List

Our postcarding group meets once a month. The day/week varies, but we’re stalwart about the once a month.

People like being able to write political postcards, but they don’t all have the time/energy to research issues and addresses—so my job is providing those. I do get a bit obsessive about it. This month’s list runs to twenty pages, but I sort things by topic so it’s easy for people to pick out the entries that really matter to them.

Here’s a pdf of our January list. I suggest downloading it and skimming through it to make your choices. You’re welcome to print the whole thing—I’m just warning you that it’s long. And feel free to share with other postcarders or groups you’re part of.

2018 Juanuary FINALblog

We had eleven people present for our group yesterday and got 326 postcards written. Take that—forces of evil!

FYI, this month’s topics were

• Civil/Constitutional Rights/Basic Decency

• Immigration

• Guns

• Business

• Cyber Security

• Education

• Environment

• Judicial/Administrative

• Elections

• International

• Health

 

Postcarding Potpourri

A few current issues to keep an eye on—and to write some postcards about—

On gun violence:

New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco have filed suit against the Department of Defense over its legal failure to report service members’ crimes to the FBI and national gun background check database. One example of the consequences of this failure to report was the shootings by Devin Patrick Kelley who killed more than two dozen people in a Texas church in November. Kelley had been convicted of domestic abuse while in the military, which should have made him ineligible to purchase firearms, but the Department of Defense never reported this conviction to the appropriate agencies.

THANK the cities filing this suit and their legal counsels

  • Mayor Bill de Blassio, City Hall, New York, NY 10007, (212) NEW-YORK
  • Zachary W. Carter, Corporation Counsel for the City of New York, City of New York Law Department, 100 Church St., NY, NY 10007, (212) 356-1000
  • Mayor Jim Kenney, City Hall, Office 215, Philadelphia, PA 19107, (215) 686-2181
  • Sozi Pedro Tulante, City Solicitor, One Parkway Building, 17th Floor, 1515 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102-1595, (215) 683-5001
  • Acting Mayor London Breed, Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 244, San Francisco, CA 94102-4689, (415) 554-7630 – voice
  • City Attorney Dennis Herrera, City Hall, Room 234, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl., San Francisco, CA 94102, (415) 554-4700

DEMAND that the Department of Defense begin fulfilling its legal obligation to report service members’ crimes to the FBI and national gun background check database

• Secretary James M. Mattis, 1000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1000, pyblic communications 703-571-3343

 

On cyber (in)security:

Investigators from the Wall Street Journal have found that many comments on a Department of Labor (DOL) web page regarding the “fiduciary rule” (which legally obliges investment counsellors to work in the best interests of their clients) are false. Commenting requires disclosing one’s name, address, phone, and email; anonymous comments are not accepted. The WSJ hired Mercury Analytics to contact posters of public comments—focusing on those not by individuals affiliated by industry or consumer groups. Twenty of 345 individuals contacted said they had not made the comments credited to them, even though the personal information attached was theirs. Almost all of the false comments opposed the fiduciary rule—claiming in one way or another that the commenter did not expect/want investment counsellors to work in their clients’ best interests. Similar problems regarding false comments also arose during the move up to the rescinding of net neutrality rules.

DEMAND that no decisions be made using these comments on the DOL web site until the issue of falsified comments had been resolved

  • Secretary R. Alexander Acosta, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW , Washington DC 20210, (866) 4-USA-DOL
    DEMAND an investigation of falsified comments on government comment pages
  • Senator Ron Johnson, Chair, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, 328 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510, (202) 224-5323

Senator Claire McKaskill, Ranking Member, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, 503 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510, (202) 224-6154

 

On organic meat and eggs:

Pending federal rules regarding the treatment of animals being raised for meat or eggs to be certified organic are being gutted. Under the rules, which were set to go into effect in March, producers and handlers participating in the National Organic Program were required to house poultry in spaces big enough for the birds to move freely, stretch their wings, stand normally and engage in natural behaviors and to provide livestock access to an outdoor space year-round and to house them in indoor pens that are sufficiently large, solidly built and comfortable so that the animals are kept clean, dry and free of lesions. USDA said it’s concerned the rules will stunt innovation and growth of the organic industry.

COMPLAINTS to

  • Secretary Sonny Purdue, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
    Washington, DC 20250, (202) 720-2791
  • Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), Chair, Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, 109 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510, (202) 224-4774
  • Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ranking Member, Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, 731 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510, (202) 224-4822

 

And one specifically for Californians:

The California State Water Board has confirmed allegations that Nestlé Waters North is taking water from the San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California to which it has no legal claim. The Water Board has directed Nestlé to limit its water take to an annual 8.5 million gallons. Nestlé takes, on average, 62.6 million gallons a year to supply its Arrowhead brand water bottles. Nestlé must immediately cease any unauthorized diversions. This includes a series of well complexes in the San Bernardino National Forest from which Nestlé draws the majority of its water.

THANKS to

  • California State Water Resources Control Board, PO Box 100, Sacramento, CA 95812-0100, Office of Public Affairs (916) 341-7365

COMPLAINTS to

• Nestlé Waters North America, 900 Long Ridge Road, Building 2, Stamford, CT 06902-1138, 888-747-7437