Here’s the latest round of issues/addresses that I’ve prepared for my postcarding group. Please use and share these however you wish. Things just keep happening.
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.
• Basic Decency
• Civil Rights
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.
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.)
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.
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
• Cyber Security