Indivisible on town halls and other ways to get face time with your representatives

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Where on earth has your Member of Congress gone? Something strange has been happening in the last month or so: Members of Congress (MoCs) from all over the country are going missing. They’re still turning up for votes on Capitol Hill, and they’re still meeting with lobbyists and friendly audiences back home—but their public event schedules are mysteriously blank. Odd.

This is happening for a very simple reason: MoCs do not want to look weak or unpopular—and they know that Trump’s agenda is very, very unpopular. … Some MoCs have clearly made the calculation that they can lay low, avoid their constituents, and hope the current storm blows over. It’s your job to change that calculus.

pub. 02/2017

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The week of February 17-26 is the first district work period (“recess”) of the new Congress. Members of Congress (MoCs) will be back home holding public events and meeting with constituents. These meetings are a great opportunity for your group to remind your MoCs that they need to stand up for you—and that means standing up against the Trump agenda. Below are some tips on how to maximize this opportunity to influence your MoCs.

pub. 02/2017

For more tips and resources, see the Resources lists, What to Do and What to Read.

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The most effective ways to contact your representatives (for non-high-profile issues)

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The report focuses on small decisions—ones where the senator or representative isn’t facing a lot of high profile pressure, and where they might be undecided or easily swayed. Decisions like those make up most of a congressperson’s work, the report says. While they might not be front page news, they can matter a lot to you as a citizen. And those issues are where citizens’ communications carry the most weight.

pub. 02/2017

For more tips and resources, see the Resources lists, What to Do and What to Read.

Acts of resistance: Why and how to visit your congressperson

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pub. 02/2017

The resistance group wall-of-us sends out weekly acts subscribers can commit to doing themselves. While my national representatives are largely in my corner*, one of this week’s wall-of-us actions describes the scenes large groups of constituents can make at town halls when faced with representatives who aren’t actually representing them. This tactic was one tool used effectively by the right-wing Tea Party movement before installing its own candidates in office, and the left should be able to do the same.

*Even if yours are in your corner too, calls and direct emails are still effective: Your representatives will be far more likely to confidently resist the other side’s agenda when they can say “Sorry, I received 50,000 calls from my constituents telling me to vote against this bill, and they’re the people I represent. I cannot negotiate on this one.”

For more tips and resources, see the Resources lists, What to Do and What to Read.