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Self-advocacy 101: Find Your Congressional Representatives

FWIW: This is the first-ever post to OTYCD, uploaded on January 7, 2017.

Before you can start pushing back against Trump, you need to know who represents you in Congress.

Find out who your Congressional representatives are by plugging your zip code and your state into this web site:

http://whoismyrepresentative.com/

This web site is better for learning who stands for you in the House of Representatives (plug in your zip code and it will narrow the choices to two. The name that seems more familiar to you is probably your House rep):

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Once you have pinned down your two Senators and your House Rep, pull up their web pages. Scroll to the bottom. If their offices aren’t listed there, go to the Contact page and find them.

Pick the state office that is closest to you (*NOT the Washington D.C. one).

Find the phone number for that office.

Put it in your phone.

Repeat for your other two representatives.

Done!

* You can put the Washington, D.C. numbers in your phone, but call them last. You are far more likely to reach a real person if you call the district offices.

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Follow Your Congressional Reps on Social Media

Are you active on social media, even a little bit? Are you thinking about signing on?

Please follow the pages and accounts of your Congressional representatives.

Pull up the web pages of your three Congressional reps–your two senators and your house rep. Social media platform logos tend to show up at the top of the home page or the bottom. If they’re not there, try the Contact page.

Most members of Congress are on Facebook and Twitter. If they’re on other platforms and you want to follow them there, go right ahead. But don’t feel like you must follow them on every platform. Do what makes sense for you.

If any of your reps are not on social media, or aren’t on the platform you like best, call their offices and ask them to join. You can bet there’s an intern or entry-level staffer who’s been chewing the rep’s ear off, trying to make their case. If enough constituents call to ask them to get on social media, or on a specific platform, that might change their minds.

Following your reps on social media is worth it. It keeps you up to date on what they’re saying and doing, and lets you know when they might appear at an event happening near you. It lets you show your support for them. And it helps move toward a world in which members of Congress take messages that arrive through social media as seriously as requests that come over the phone or through postal mail.

But don’t forget that for now (early 2017), social media is the least effective way to speak to your reps. If you need to ask your members of Congress to do something, use the phone. Do not use social media. Your message will not get through to them.

If you’re not on social media at all, consider signing up to follow your reps. You can have a private account on Twitter, and you can keep strict privacy settings on your Facebook page.

If you’re not on social media at all and have no wish to be, sign up for their e-newsletters and postal mailings instead, if you haven’t already. You should be able to do this through their web sites.

 

Community Activism · Save These Tools

Subscribe to Rogan’s List and Keep Busy

Subscribe to the Rogan’s List blog, and get to work. 

Susan Rogan will keep you as busy as you want to be. The retired university librarian’s blog gives you more than a dozen useful nuggets of information per day, almost every day, from actions to tools to organizations to join, and more. Are you extra-eager to do more? Start here. The newest Rogan’s post tends to go live around 9 am EST.

See Rogan’s List blog, and subscribe (plug your email address into the slot above Rogan’s picture and below the shot of the to-do list):

http://roganslist.blogspot.com

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Save This Tool for Tracking MoC Appearances Near You

 

You know how important it is to attend Town Hall meetings, public forums, and other events where your members of Congress appear in person to speak with their constituents and take questions.

Some clever, determined, energetic people have created the Town Hall Project 2018. It evolved from a spreadsheet of all the events scheduled by MoCs, be they Town Hall meetings, district office hours, ticketed events, or conference call-Town Halls. Now all you have to do is plug in your zip code and voila! It’ll show you all the relevant events happening within 75 miles.

Save this tool for tracking events where your members of Congress will take your questions and meet with you:

https://townhallproject.com

 

Like the Town Hall Project 2018 Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/TownHallProject/?hc_ref=SEARCH

 

Follow the Town Hall Project 2018 on Twitter at the handle below and the #TownHallProject2018 hashtag:

@townhallproject

 

 

Save These Tools

Follow Alexandra Erin on Twitter

 

Follow Alexandra Erin on Twitter.

Erin is an author, poet, trans woman and all-round smart person who lives in Maryland and has an exceptional gift for interpreting and explaining Donald Trump, whether he is tweeting madly or reading someone else’s words off a teleprompter. She makes sense when it seems like there is no sense to be made.

Sample her genius by reading this Twitter thread on Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress on February 28:

https://www.kanvz.com/alexandraerin/canvas/1488382193824

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@alexandraerin

 

Read her blog here:

http://www.alexandraerin.com

 

Support her here:

https://www.patreon.com/AlexandraErin

https://www.paypal.com/donate/?token=3OEHAVn8SOrIky4-Et3gYMrIZxIW5Z1nOQZWj5CqEvnfzABpi01GyKbzHqSgZeI3xxfLxG

 

 

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Listen to Pod Save America and the Crooked Media Family of Podcasts

 

Did you enjoy the podcast Keepin It 1600? Start downloading Pod Save America, the new broadcast from the same team.

Jon Lovett, Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, and Dan Pfeiffer decided that the outcome of the election called for a more activist tone. They have ended Keepin It 1600 and launched Pod Save America, which covers politics as well as how to push back against Trump.

The first episode went up on January 9 and covered the Russian hacking scandals, Obama’s farewell speech, Trump cabinet nominees, and defending Obamacare. It also featured Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory, talking about the Women’s March on Washington, set for January 21.

 

Substantial update: Since writing the original post about Pod Save America and Pod Save the World, Crooked Media has launched three more podcasts. All are good.

 

The best of the new crop is Pod Save the People. Primarily hosted by DeRay Mckesson, it is an eye-opening look at the history and living reality of fighting for social justice.

Download Pod Save the People here:

https://getcrookedmedia.com/pod-save-the-people-56bc42af53d

 

Lovett or Leave It, hosted by Jon Lovett before a live audience, brings the funny. There’s rage, too, but funny rage. Warning: The theme song is infectious.

Download Lovett or Leave It:

https://getcrookedmedia.com/lovett-or-leave-it-6077c7aca95c

 

With Friends Like These aims straight for the awkward in a gutsy, admirable way. Hosted by Ana Marie Cox, it dwells on “what divides us and what doesn’t.” It does not shy away from getting emotionally raw at times.

Download With Friends Like These:

https://getcrookedmedia.com/with-friends-like-these-aeee91fa31da

 

Download Pod Save America, the original Crooked Media podcast, from iTunes or listen here:

https://art19.com/shows/pod-save-america
Download its foreign policy spinoff, Pod Save the World, from iTunes or listen here:

https://art19.com/shows/pod-save-the-world

 

Like Crooked Media on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/TheCrookedMedia/

 

Follow Crooked Media on Twitter:

@crookedmedia

 

More on the launch of Pod Save America and Crooked Media, the company founded by three of the four ex-Keepin It 1600 co-hosts:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/09/the-keepin-it-1600-guys-launch-crooked-media-to-counter-trump.html

Cabinet Nominees · Save These Tools · Vote with your Dollars

Save This Tool That Shows How Your Senators Voted on Trump’s Cabinet Appointments

 

Save this web site that shows you how all 100 senators voted on Trump’s cabinet picks.

This will eventually go on the Tool Kit page, but you will want to save this web site for reference in 2018, come voting time.

The web site below records how every senator voted on Trump’s cabinet choices:

https://cabinetvotes.org

You can sort the data to show just Republicans, just Democrats, just Independents, or everybody. The link above is set to everybody.

OTYCD will also repost this entry as we approach the 2018 midterms, but do bookmark it.

Thanks to @theonetruebix on Twitter for the tip and the link.