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BE HEARD!


Tell Congress How Your Tax Dollars Should Be Spent

Hello, I’m __________ from __________. I’m very concerned about Trump’s budget proposal which aims to dismantle the federal government. Please do not make major cuts Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Department, the EPA, education, science research, the arts, or the social safety net. Massive tax cuts for the wealthy should not be the reason we cut these programs. Thank you.

Trump’s 2018-2019 budget proposes:

  • Repealing the Affordable Care Act
  • $777.7 billion increase on defense spending over 10 years
  • $550 billion tax cuts achieved by making the 2017 Republican tax cuts permanent
  • 33.7% cut to the Environmental Protection Agency
  • 29.5% cut to the National Science Foundation
  • 27.4% cut to SNAP (food stamps)
  • 26.9% cut to the State Department
  • 22.5% cut to Affordable Care Act and Medicaid subsidies
  • 22.2% cut to the Army Corps of Engineers
  • 21.4% cut to the Labor Department
  • 7.1% cut to Medicaid by 2028

Support Relief Funding in Houston over Border Wall

Hello, I’m ___________ from ___________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to support allocating disaster relief, humanitarian aid, and funding to rebuild areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey. We must spend federal funds on rebuilding people’s homes, lives and communities, not to build a senseless U.S.-Mexico border wall. Thank you.

Take Down Confederate Monuments

Hello, I’m ___________ from ___________. I'm calling to urge the Senator/Representative to support removing Confederate memorials and symbols in public spaces. There is a difference between remembering the past and revering it. Most Confederate monuments celebrate white supremacy and date to the Jim Crow era. They belong in a museum or as the subject of credible historical research. In addition, please oppose cuts to federally-funded history museums and organizations such as the National Endowment for the Humanities. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • There are currently hundreds of monuments to the Confederate cause in the United States, and the notion that they serve merely as markers of past events is largely incorrect. Instead, many of these monuments were erected to romanticize the Confederacy, diminish the issue of slavery, and promote the cause of white supremacy. Thus, they tend to serve as rallying points for white supremacists and historical revisionists, and often contribute to inaccurate or de-contextualized understandings of historic events.
  • Keeping monuments that commemorate the Confederacy up in public spaces undermines African Americans’ rights to safety and full and equal participation in public life. They belong in history museums, not in public parks or state capitols.
  • The contributions of scholars of American history are vastly underrated in the civic sphere, and funding for research is increasingly difficult to secure. It is important for citizens to cultivate approaches to the past that address context, complexity, and complicity. For this reason it is essential to maintain and/or increase funding for historical research and education, as well as publicly-accessible-museums. Defunding the National Endowment for the Humanities, for example, will severely curtail opportunities for research and education at every level.

Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands Relief

Hello, I’m ___________ from ___________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to support allocating disaster relief, humanitarian aid, and funding to rebuild areas devastated by Hurricane Maria. We must spend federal funds on rebuilding people’s homes, lives and communities in the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Thank you.

Take Down Confederate Monuments

Hello, I’m ___________ from ___________. I'm calling to urge the Senator/Representative to support removing Confederate memorials and symbols in public spaces. There is a difference between remembering the past and revering it. Most Confederate monuments celebrate white supremacy and date to the Jim Crow era. They belong in a museum or as the subject of credible historical research. In addition, please oppose cuts to federally-funded history museums and organizations such as the National Endowment for the Humanities. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • There are currently hundreds of monuments to the Confederate cause in the United States, and the notion that they serve merely as markers of past events is largely incorrect. Instead, many of these monuments were erected to romanticize the Confederacy, diminish the issue of slavery, and promote the cause of white supremacy. Thus, they tend to serve as rallying points for white supremacists and historical revisionists, and often contribute to inaccurate or de-contextualized understandings of historic events.
  • Keeping monuments that commemorate the Confederacy up in public spaces undermines African Americans’ rights to safety and full and equal participation in public life. They belong in history museums, not in public parks or state capitols.
  • The contributions of scholars of American history are vastly underrated in the civic sphere, and funding for research is increasingly difficult to secure. It is important for citizens to cultivate approaches to the past that address context, complexity, and complicity. For this reason it is essential to maintain and/or increase funding for historical research and education, as well as publicly-accessible-museums. Defunding the National Endowment for the Humanities, for example, will severely curtail opportunities for research and education at every level.

Oppose Trump’s Infrastructure Plan

Hello, I’m __________ from ___________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to oppose privatizing U.S. infrastructure. We need a dedicated federal funding stream in order to rebuild and modernize our highways, rails, bridges, and airports. We should not sell off our assets in order to enrich private interests or further hurt state budgets. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The Trump Administration released its infrastructure plan, which would provide $100 billion in matching funds to be made available to states and cities on new, less-generous terms – states would need to kick in $4 for every $1 in federal funding on infrastructure projects.
  • The Trump infrastructure plan overburdens state budgets, many of which are already struggling, and relies upon privatizing or selling off federal assets in order to fund critical projects. This is due in large part to the Republicans’ $1.5 trillion tax cut plan.
  • As a candidate, Trump promised a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, but the actual plan is actually a $200 billion federal infrastructure plan.
  • The plan promises $100 billion in matching funds to be made available to states and cities, a $50 billion rural block grant program based on an area’s miles of rural roads and population, a $20 billion fund for “projects of national significance,” another $20 billion for federal loan programs that underwrite private financing of profitable infrastructure projects, and a $10 billion capital financing program that would fund the construction of federal office buildings and similar infrastructure for actual government use.
  • The Trump Administration is would dramatically underfund national infrastructure efforts in order to “privatize” airports, bridges, and highways by selling off portions of these federal assets. This will enrich banks and hedge funds while cutting jobs and decreasing the federal government’s ownership of our transportation arteries.
  • Many Democrats in Congress argue that an underfunded infrastructure plan will result in excessive tolling costs for Americans.

Tell your Senators to Keep Consumer Protections!

Hello, I’m ________ from ________. I strongly oppose Sen. Mike Crapo's bill S.2155, The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, and ask that the Senator/Representative do the same. In the wake of the financial crisis, Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau were set up to protect regular Americans from a future Wall Street imposed recession, and we must keep those protections. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The Act would dismantle protections put in place in 2008 that required a $700 billon bailout.
  • The proposed bill cuts regulations that protect consumers from predatory payday lenders and financial advisers and could unleash the same behavior that led to the 2008 financial crisis.
  • According to Senator Elizabeth Warren, “The bill permits about 25 of the 40 largest banks in America to escape heightened scrutiny and to be regulated as if they were tiny little community banks that could have no impact on the economy.”

Support Raising the Minimum Wage to $15/hour!

Hello, I’m ________ from ________. I am calling to urge the Senator/Representative to support the “Raise the Wage” Act to increase the federal minimum wage to $15/hour. Full-time workers deserve a living wage and should not live in poverty. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The Raise the Wage Act would slowly raise the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25/hour annually to reach $15/hour by 2024.
  • Both California and New York adopted the $15 minimum wage in 2016.

Repeal Tax Cuts for the Rich

Hello, I’m ________ from ________. I am calling because I strongly oppose the recent tax plan. I urge the Senator/Representative to support repeal it. I do not support making deep cuts to taxes for the wealthy and corporations, sabotaging healthcare access by removing the individual mandate, or cutting Medicare and entitlement funding to pay for growing wealth inequality. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • In order to avoid filibuster, Republican leadership in the Senate have engineered their bill to add just under $1.5 Trillion to the national debt over 10 years. Any more and they would need actual bipartisan support. They achieved this by setting an expiration date on tax cuts for individuals while making giveaways to corporations permanent.
  • There is no indication that the cost of these cuts will be offset by economic growth as Republicans claim.
  • 31 percent of middle class families will see their taxes rise over the next ten years while big corporations and the rich get significant tax cuts (20% permanent corporate tax rate, down from 35%).
  • 40 percent of families who itemize their taxes will see a tax increase in 2018
  • The tax plan caps the federal tax deduction individuals can take for state and local taxes, money that goes to pay for public schools, while allowing a $10,000 deduction for money spent on private schools.
  • The cap on state and local tax deductions will disproportionately hurt families living in states with high taxes, such as New York and California.
  • Eliminating or raising the cap of the estate tax will benefit the top one-half of one percent of Americans (approximately 5,000 families), perpetuating dynastic wealth and extreme inequality that contributes to social and economic instability.

No Border Wall in the Budget

Hello, I’m __________ from __________. I’m calling today to urge the Senator/Representative to oppose any budget that includes funding for a southern border wall. Spending billions of dollars on a wall would be wasteful and ineffective. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • Building the wall will cost at least $21.6B and take 3.5 years to build, but some estimate that it would cost as much as $70B to build and $150M annually to maintain.
  • No member of Congress who represents a district on the southwest border supports building a border wall.
  • Trump's own head of the Department of Homeland Security has said that a border wall will do little to stop the flow of drugs into the United States.
  • More border security leads to increased net immigration because migrant workers are forced to stay in the United States rather than return home. Paradoxically, this results in more families permanently moving to the United States.
  • Constructing a wall will require invoking eminent domain to seize property from Americans who own land near the border.
  • The Mexican government has definitively said that it will not pay for the wall, contrary to Trump's campaign promises.

Deter Foreign Meddling in U.S. Elections

Hello, I'm __________ from __________. I'm concerned about Russia and other foreign governments meddling in U.S. elections and the Trump Administration’s decision not to impose Congress’ sanctions on Russia. I urge the Senator/Representative to pass the DETER Act or similar legislation to implement strong sanctions and deterrence against future attacks on our elections. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The “Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines” (DETER) Act is bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) that provides a list of specific foreign actions against U.S. elections that would warrant penalties from the federal government.
  • In the event of future interference by Russia, the DETER Act expands on penalties already imposed by the Countering America’s Adversaries Act of 2017. For example, it would require the U.S. government impose sanctions on Russia’s finance, energy and defense sectors immediately. It would also blacklist senior Russian political figures or oligarchs identified under the law by preventing them from entering the United States and blocking their assets.
  • Under the DETER Act, if a foreign government engaged in any of the following actions it would elicit retaliation by the U.S.: foreign government or agent purchasing political advertisements to influence an election; using social media to spread false information; hacking and releasing or modifying election or campaign-related information; hindering access to elections infrastructure, including websites for polling places.
  • The Trump Administration has decided to disregard Congress’ passage of the Counter America’s Adversaries Act of 2017 which imposed sanctions on Russia for meddling in the U.S. 2016 election. This is a flagrant failure to implement punitive measures on a foreign adversary, and Congress should act again to deter further hostile actions by Russia or any other government in our democratic process.
  • Secretary of State Tillerson and other senior government officials have documented evidence that Russia is actively working to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections, and they have warned that the U.S. is inadequately prepared to ward off these actions.
  • Seventeen U.S. intelligence agencies have proven that Russia actively meddled in the 2016 presidential election, although President Trump denies this fact.

Demand Congress Take Back Control Over Use of Military Force

Hello, I'm __________ from __________. I'm concerned about the Trump Administration's increasing use and threat of military action in both the Middle East and the Asia Pacific. These decisions are too important to be made by one person, and it is paramount that control over the authorization of military force be restored to Congress. I ask that the Senator/Representative work to ensure that the Executive Branch defer to Congressional approval for all new military action. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • Federal law mandates that the president must receive an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) from Congress in order to direct the U.S. military to engage in foreign military actions.
  • In 2001, President George W. Bush received a broad authorization from Congress to take military action against terrorist groups connected to the 9/11 attacks. By May 2016, the 2001 AUMF had been used to authorize “unclassified” military action 37 times in 14 countries since 2001” by two presidents.
  • The War Powers Act of 1973 was passed in order to delineate the role of executive power in carrying out military “hostilities” against foreign entities. It requires the president to alert Congress when the U.S. is brought into military conflicts and sets a 60-90 day period for Congress to either authorize these actions or demand a withdrawal of U.S. military forces.
  • The War Powers Act established the procedure of the Authorization for Use of Military Force, but it leaves the window of time and the definition of the type of force that the AUMF grants valid open-ended. The last AUMF granted by Congress was in 2001.

Stop Trump From First Nuclear Strike Capabilities

Hello, I'm __________ from __________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to pass legislation limiting the President’s ability to make a nuclear strike before attaining military authorization from Congress. The President’s rhetoric, tweets, and unpredictable foreign policy goals are dangerous, and I am worried about a preemptive nuclear strike on North Korea. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The "Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017” was introduced by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA). It would explicitly prohibit the United States from first use of nuclear weapons without authorization from Congress through a declaration of war.
  • Federal law mandates that the president must receive an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) from Congress in order to direct the U.S. military to engage in foreign military actions.
  • In 2001, President George W. Bush received a broad authorization from Congress to take military action against terrorist groups connected to the 9/11 attacks. By May 2016, the 2001 AUMF had been used to authorize “unclassified” military action 37 times in 14 countries since 2001” by two presidents.
  • The War Powers Act of 1973 was passed in order to delineate the role of executive power in carrying out military “hostilities” against foreign entities. It requires the president to alert Congress when the U.S. is brought into military conflicts and sets a 60-90 day period for Congress to either authorize these actions or demand a withdrawal of U.S. military forces.
  • The War Powers Act established the procedure of the Authorization for Use of Military Force, but it leaves the window of time and the definition of the type of force that the AUMF grants valid open-ended. The last AUMF granted by Congress was in 2001.

Bring Families Back Together

Hello, I’m __________ from __________. I’m calling today to urge the Senator/Representative to publicly pressure the Trump Administration to do whatever is necessary, including halting deportations, to reunite the more than 2,300 families separated by the White House's policy of traumatizing children to deter immigration. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The Trump Administration's policy of separating families seeking asylum has resulted in more than 2,300 children being separated from their parents. There has been no indication of where the majority of these children are being held, or under what conditions. It is likely that the U.S. government kept no documentation that would enable parents and children to be reunited easily.
  • On June 20th, 2018, Trump signed an executive order appearing to halt his inhumane policy toward immigrant families. The action does not apply to families that have already been torn apart.

Protect Syrian Refugees

Hello, I'm __________ from __________. I’m calling to ask the Senator to vote for HR 1677 The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2017. I am outraged and deeply saddened by the mass atrocity being committed in Syria. We need to stop the atrocities being committed against the Syrian people, encourage a negotiated political settlement, and hold Syrian human rights abusers accountable for their crimes. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The U.S. spent more than $30 million on the cruise missile strike that targeted one of Assad’s air force bases in Syria on April 6, 2017.
  • The U.S.’s strategy of military action to enact “regime change” during the Iraq War was costly and demonstrated our inability to fight another country's wars for them effectively.
  • Immigrants make the United States great. Many of our largest companies were started by immigrants including Google, Pfizer, Yahoo, AT&T, and Kraft Foods.

Hold Russia Accountable For Cyber Attacks

Call YOUR Representative!

Hello, I'm __________ from __________. I'm extremely concerned about President Trump's failure to hold Vladimir Putin accountable for waging cyber warfare on U.S. elections. Congress must take control of foreign policy related to Russia by imposing harsher sanctions, demanding the extradition of all Russian nationals named in indictments by the Mueller investigation, and reaffirming American commitment to NATO's Article 5. In addition, congress should call Trump's senior national security team to testify about events surrounding the Helsinki summit. I urge the Senator/Representative to strongly support these measures. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • Trump is currently under investigation by independent counsel Robert Mueller for ties between his 2016 campaign and Russia's documented hacking and meddling in the presidential election. This investigation has resulted in the the indictment of 26 Russians so far.
  • Trump has repeatedly publicly denounced America's most important and steadfast democratic allies, threatened to pull support from NATO, and instigated trade wars. These actions threaten American national security.
  • On July 16, 2018, Trump refused to side with U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies over Vladimir Putin while at a joint news conference in Helsinki, demonstrating he can no longer be trusted to act in America's best interest on issues of foreign policy.

Prevent Foreign Entities From Buying Political Ads

Hello, I’m ___________ from ___________. I am calling to urge the Senator/Representative to support the “Honest Ads Act” bill to prohibit Russian and Russian-backed agencies from purchasing political ads on U.S. social media platforms. We must do everything possible to prevent further meddling in our elections by foreign powers who seek to do our democracy harm. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • In October 2017, a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives introduced the “Honest Ads Act” to include the Internet and social media platforms in the Foreign Agents Registration Act (1966) and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (1996). These laws force purchasers to be disclosed when running political advertisements, but they are outdated and do not include Internet and social media platforms.
  • Because of this loophole, Russian entities purchased political ads on U.S. social media platforms that went under the radar during the 2016 presidential election..
  • By passing the “Honest Ads Act,” Congress would take a necessary first step toward preventing subversive political meddling by foreign entities in U.S. elections.

Stand Up for Transgender Rights

Hello, I'm _________ from _________ and I'm calling to urge the Senator/Representative to do everything in their power to stand up for the rights of transgender citizens, including their ability to serve in the U.S. military. Complacency on this issue validates harmful acts of discrimination that do not serve our national interest. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • In July 2017, President Trump announced a ban on transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination of employees based on sex and applies to private, state/local governments, and federal agencies. Courts have held that discrimination includes denying equal access to a common bathroom in relation to the employee's gender identity. The same standards should be upheld in public spaces.
  • There is a high rate of suicide among transgender students due to bullying; a 2016 study by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center reported 30% of transgender students have a history of at least one suicide attempt.
  • A study by The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law cites 50-54% of transgender men and women experience harassment and bullying at school and, specifically, 63-78% suffer physical or sexual violence at school.
  • Repealing these protections is in direct contradiction to existing federal laws against sex discrimination and legal precedents establishing that transgender students have the right to go to school without being singled out for discrimination.

Support the Anti-Voter Suppression Act

Hello, I’m __________ from __________ and I'm calling because President Trump’s claims of voter fraud are false and harmful and could lead to voter suppression. I urge the Senator/Representative to support the “Anti-Voter Suppression Act” in order to shut down any federal efforts to force states to supply private voter information to the federal government. We should strengthen the ability of ALL citizens to vote. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The Anti-Voter Suppression Act would prohibit the use of federal funds to support the creation of a commission to investigate voter fraud.
  • Voter suppression laws targeting African-Americans date back to the era of Jim Crow when there were poll taxes and literacy tests that intentionally curtailed people of colors’ ability to vote. In recent years, laws requiring voters to have a photo ID, or those that get rid of same-day voter registration, and reduce the early voting period continued this unjust legacy by disproportionately affecting communities of color, violating their rights to participate fully in our country's democracy.
  • The North Carolina law, H.B. 589, is a clear example of the voter suppression taking place in our country and a decision striking it down for specifically targeting African-American voters was supported by the Supreme Court in May of this year.
  • Attempts to convince the public that there is widespread voter fraud in the United States are dangerous because they needlessly stir up panic and unnecessarily use up federal resources when there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the U.S.
  • It is dangerous and reckless to force individual states to provide all of their voters’ private data to the federal government’s commision when we know that Russia has already hacked the United States in an attempt to interfere with our elections.
  • Collecting personal data can be used to coerce voters and design laws that would undermine our democracy by prohibiting American citizens from being able to vote.

Tell Reps to Vote "NO" on Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Hello, I'm _________ from _________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to vote NO on the “Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.” He/she should strongly consider the opinions of law enforcement across the nation, as well as millions of concerned citizens, who support responsible gun ownership. Forcing all states to allow stalkers, domestic abusers, and people with zero gun training to carry a concealed loaded weapon in public will make my family and friends less safe. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • Only 13 of 50 U.S. states have currently passed permitless carrying laws. Three additional states have a limited form of permitless concealed carry. Should the federal government mandate reciprocity, the remaining states will likely relax their own permitting laws, or at the least, be forced to allow individuals from states with weaker laws to carry concealed, loaded handguns within states with stronger laws.
  • States with laws restricting domestic abusers or violent sexual offenders from carrying concealed, loaded handguns, will be required to allow the same individuals to carry, no matter the local law, should federal reciprocity be mandated.
  • While the general public remains evenly divided on the overall issue of firearms regulation, according to a 2016 Pew Research poll, the majority of American voters support background checks on private and gun show sales of firearms, laws to prevent the mentally ill from purchasing firearms, and barring sales of firearms to individuals on no-fly lists.

Pass Common-sense Gun Regulations Now

Hello, I'm _________ from _________. I am calling to urge the Senator/Representative to pass common-sense gun control legislation because I am scared and angry about gun violence. We need new laws to go beyond school safety. Please raise the minimum age to purchase firearms, pass enhanced background checks on every firearm sale, and reauthorize the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Do not legalize bump-stocks, silencers, armor-piercing bullets, and concealed carry reciprocity, and never take money from the NRA. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • In November 2017, a bipartisan group of senators introduced the “Fix NICS Act” which would help make sure criminal history and domestic violence records are submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This bill’s aim is to fix the broken system that allowed the Sutherland Springs, Texas shooter to purchase weapons despite having a criminal history.
  • Senators Flake and Heinrich are working to ensure any individual convicted of domestic violence -- whether it is in criminal or military court -- cannot legally purchase a firearm.
  • In October 2017, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced a bill (S. 2009) that would require a background check on every firearm sale (including resales).
  • The original Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, while not perfect, allowed for reasonable steps to public safety. During the ten years of its regulatory control, its provisions and regulations were challenged as unconstitutional, but in all cases were rejected by reviewing courts.
  • In the time since its expiration, there have been over 40 mass shootings (more than one individual killed) where the killer used semi-automatic handguns or assault rifles.
  • Common-sense firearms regulation should take into account firearms features that clearly separate assault weapons from standard sporting firearms, so that hunters and shooters may continue to have access to firearms used for sport.
  • While the general public remains evenly divided on the overall issue of firearms regulation, according to a 2016 Pew Research poll, the majority of American voters support background checks on private and gun show sales of firearms, laws to prevent the mentally ill from purchasing firearms, and barring sales of firearms to individuals on no-fly lists.

Support Bail Reform!

Hello, I'm _________ from _________. I’m calling to ask the Senator/Representative to support the “Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act” to reform excessive bail for low-risk defendants. The cost of bail is far too high for 90% of defendants to afford, causing them to spend unnecessary and costly time in prison awaiting trial. Please vote to reform the bail system to make it more equitable and cost-effective for taxpayers. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The “Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act” is a bipartisan bill co-introduced by Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Rand Paul (R-KY) in July 2017.
  • Studies show that excessive bail costs disproportionately affect African American and Latino populations and poorer defendants.
  • The bail system was created to ensure that defendants show up for trial dates, however, newer methods of assessing defendants’ risks have already proven to be effective measures of predicting whether they will attend their first trial. In states like New Jersey and Kentucky, these new methods of data collection are already helping to decrease the unnecessary costs to the system or hardships of the defendant that are associated with jailing non-violent people awaiting trial.
  • The cost to taxpayers of holding low-risk defendants in jail because they cannot afford to post bail money is enormous – $14 billion annually. The Pretrial Justice Institute estimates that bail reform could save American taxpayers up to $78 billion annually.

Reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act

Hello, I'm _________ from _________. I’m calling to ask the Senator/Representative to support juvenile justice reform by voting to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. I also urge him/her to include the phase-out of the VCO Exception that criminalizes status offenses unfairly. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • Funding for alternatives to incarceration programs, including community and family-based programs, as well as trauma-informed care, has helped decrease the rate of youth in juvenile detention.
  • Originally passed in 1974, the JJDPA must be reauthorized to receive funding. Without the JJDPA reauthorization, this funding will be completely zeroed out and we are sure to see an increase in non-violent youth (whose criminalized behaviors such as running away or getting in fights are often a reaction to environmental traumas) being sent to jails and prisons, often placed with adults who have committed violent crimes, where they are re-traumatized and become further involved in our criminal justice system, rather than moving towards rehabilitation.
  • The Valid Court Order Exception should be phased out of the JJDPA because it criminalizes juvenile probation offenses, such as running away, talking back to parents, or failing to clean their rooms. VCOs disproportionately affect girls of color, who comprise the fastest growing population in the juvenile justice system.

Guarantee LGBTQ Civil Rights

Hello, I'm _________ from _________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to support the Equality Act to provide equal protection against discrimination for LGBTQ Americans. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Currently the Civil Rights Act bans discrimination based on sex, color, race, religion or national origin.
  • The Equality Act would also amend the Fair Housing Act to make it illegal to refuse to sell or rent a home to someone because of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Based on polling conducted by Human Rights Counsel in 2015, roughly two-thirds of LGBTQ Americans reported facing discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • The Equality Act would apply civil rights protections across many areas of life, including: employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally-funded programs, and jury service.
  • Roughly 50 percent of LGBTQ Americans live in the 31 states where it is legal for them to be fired, denied housing, or refused services because of sexual or gender identity.

Reform Congressional Sexual Harassment Protocol

Hello, I’m ___________ from ___________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to support the “ME TOO Congress Act” to revise Congress’ internal practices regarding sexual assault and harassment. The existing congressional protocol and culture has a damaging effect on victims of sexual harassment and makes it almost impossible for them to come forward. Everyone working in Congress should be required to participate in sexual harassment training. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) introduced the “Member and Employee Training and Oversight On (ME TOO) Congress Act” to require more transparency, revise the sexual harassment complaint process, provide better support for victims and whistleblowers, and require mandatory annual training for members of Congress and staff about sexual harassment.
  • Recent news reports are bringing to light a culture of widespread, underreported sexual harassment in the U.S. Congress.
  • Congress’ policies regarding sexual harassment are unacceptable and arcane because they are designed to protect the institution, not victims of harassment. Congress plays by its own rules by passing laws that exempt it from following the laws that apply to other institutions and corporations.
  • Claimants who want to make a formal accusation of sexual harassment are required to undergo counseling and mediation through a congressional office who works to try to resolve matters out of court. Claimants only have a 30-90 day window to lodge a formal complaint if counseling and mediation is unsatisfactory. This creates a chilling effect that prevents victims from coming forward.
  • Those who work in Congress who do commit sexual harassment are not penalized in any way, and they do not have to pay settlements or legal fees out-of-pocket or even out of their own budgets because a special U.S. treasury fund pays for these costs, unlike in other federal agencies. This results in a culture of potentially rampant sexual harassment with no repercussions.
  • Currently, some members of Congress are calling for a mandatory sexual harassment training program to be officially instated. This is one of many reforms that must take place to make Congress a safer place of employment.

Support Hearings and Research on White Supremacist Violence

Hello, I’m ___________ from ___________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to call out President Trump for espousing racist positions and to support holding congressional hearings on the dangers of white supremacist and neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville. Also, please make sure that we fund research and anti-domestic terrorism programs focusing on white supremacy and radical hate groups. Thank you.

  • Elected officials must publicly condemn white supremacy terrorist groups and the violence and hatred they are spreading throughout our country.
  • The U.S. government should continue funding the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Community Partnerships, which supports the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program. The 2018 budget proposes eliminating this program, but now more than ever we need to fund organizations working to stop domestic terrorism, especially those working to stop white supremacy groups.
  • Representatives should vote to continue funding the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), and National Institute of Justice (NIJ) grants that support research investigating bias crimes in the U.S.
  • Representatives should call on President Trump to fire White House staff members who have longstanding connections to alt-right groups that propagate hateful white supremacist rhetoric, including: Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, and Sebastian Gorka.
  • White supremacist group leaders have vowed to lead more violent rallies in cities all over the country. Representatives must condemn these events, often portrayed as “free speech rallies” by working with local officials to shut them down before they unleash more violence.

Support Community-Based Services for People With Disabilities

Hello, I’m ___________ from ___________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to support the Disability Integration Act (S. 910/H.R. 2472). We should ensure that people with disabilities who require long-term services are able to choose if they wish to receive services in their homes or communities rather than being institutionalized. Please enhance the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)’s community living provisions are being undermined by some state and local government providers and insurance companies. This means that many people with disabilities who receive long-term services are being forced into institutionalized living arrangements in order to receive vital services.
  • The Disability Integration Act would strengthen civil rights protections for the ADA by providing an “integration mandate” that would help people with disabilities to make their own choices about where they live and receive long-term services.
  • Home and community-based services (HCBS) should be viable alternatives to institutionalization. Making sure these options are offered and covered by local governments and providers is an important part of making them more equitable.

Update Civil Rights Laws to Protect LGBTQ Students

Hello, I'm _________ from _________. I am calling to urge the Senator/Representative to update federal civil rights laws to protect LGBTQ students. The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act of 2017 would require that colleges protect LGBTQ students facing harassment and cyberbullying in college. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • One in four LGBTQ students will face harassment during college.
  • Harassment in college can have profoundly negative effects on students' emotional, psychological, and academic well-being.
  • The bill requires that colleges receiving federal funding establish an anti-harassment policy prohibiting the harassment of students based on their actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion. It also requires that schools recognize cyberbullying as a form of harassment.
  • Tyler Clementi, the namesake of the bill, was a freshman at Rutgers University. He was the victim of cyberbullying, which drove him to tragically commit suicide.

Protect Title IX for Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault

Hello, I'm ___________ from ___________. I’m concerned about Betsy DeVos’ plan to dismantle Title IX protections for survivors of sexual violence on college campuses. I urge the Senator/Representative to support the Campus Accountability and Safety Act (S.856/H.R. 1949). One in five women are victims of completed or attempted sexual assault while in college, but very few of these incidents are reported to campus authorities or law enforcement. It is important to increase and strengthen protections, not dismantle them. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • Title IX, a law created to prohibit sex discrimination at schools receiving federal funding, has been on the books for 45 years. In 2011, the Obama administration released a “Dear Colleague Letter” to public universities asserting that sexual harassment, including sexual assault, is a type of sex discrimination that’s banned by Title IX. The law compels schools to investigate complaints of sex discrimination, and also states that if a school knows about sexual harassment, including sexual assault, they must take immediate action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.
  • S.856/H./R.1949, the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, is a bill to amend the Higher Education act of 1965 and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Police and Campus Crime Statistics Act to combat campus sexual assault. It is sponsored by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY).
  • In making her decision, DeVos reached out to several “Men’s Rights Groups” that are critical of Title IX and claim that many reported assaults are false accusations. In actuality, only 2-10% of assaults are false reports, a rate that does not exceed the false reporting rates of other crimes. This percentage of “false reports" also includes recants, wherein a survivor chooses (out of fear of retaliation, lack of proof, or fear of being treated unfairly by the justice system) to recant and discontinue their report.

Support the "College for All" Act

Hello, I’m ________ from ________. I’m calling to ask that the Senator/Representative support the “College for All" Act. Passage of this bill would cut crushing student loan interest rates in half, allow refinancing of existing debt at these reduced rates, and eliminate undergraduate tuition at 4-year public colleges and universities. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • In the U.S., 42 million people owe $1.4 trillion in student loans or about $33,000 per person, most of which are federal loans. This represents more than 8% of the GDP.
  • Per person student debt has increased by a staggering 17% since 2013.
  • A survey conducted by American Student Assistance found that those with student debt are delaying decisions to buy a home, get married, have children, save for retirement, and enter a desired career field because of their debt.

Protect Students from Predatory For-Profit Colleges

Hello, I’m ________ from ________. I’m calling to ask the Senator/Representative to support the Students Before Profits Act of 2017 (H.R. 2300) to protect students from predatory for-profit colleges and education loans. Betsy DeVos has given preference to for-profit educational executives and predatory lenders, so please help students fight back against taking on more tuition debt than they can ever hope to repay. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • In the U.S., 42 million people owe $1.4 trillion in student loans or about $33,000 per person, most of which are federal loans. This represents more than 8% of GDP.
  • Per person student debt has increased by a staggering 17% since 2013.
  • For-profit schools have a long history of predatory behavior, often being forced to pay millions of dollars in fines and court settlements. Just last year, one for profit school, "Trump University" agreed to pay $25 million to former students.

Demand Independent Prosecutor for Trump-Russia Connections

Hi, I’m __________ from __________. I’m calling to ask that the Senator/Representative demand an independent prosecutor to investigate the Trump administration and campaign’s ties to Russia. Congressional committees clearly cannot be impartial. We deserve to know the full truth. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • Trump fired FBI Director James Comey leaving the FBI without a director at a time when the FBI is investigating Trump-Russia ties. Trump will now appoint someone to head the primary agency in charge of investigating him.
  • House Intelligence Committee Chair, Rep. Devin Nunes, has demonstrated a lack of impartiality and is refusing to recuse himself from leading the House’s investigation.
  • Former FBI Director James Comey has confirmed that the FBI is currently investigating the Trump campaign’s connections to Russian interference in the 2016 election.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with the Russian ambassador three times during the campaign and did not disclose this information during his Senate confirmation hearings.
  • A report released in January by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence stated that the FBI, CIA, and NSA all agree with high confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered hacks of the Democratic Party in order to help Trump’s campaign.
  • During the 2015 campaign, Donald Trump publicly called on Russia to hack Clinton’s emails.
  • President Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was forced to resign after misleading Vice President Pence as to the nature of his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the transition. It is unclear whether Trump was aware of these conversations. Not only was this a breach of protocol, but it is illegal under the Logan Act for someone outside of the Executive branch to make foreign policy for the U.S.
  • A report released by a former British intelligence operative claims that the Russians have information that could be used to blackmail Trump. The majority of the claims in this report remain unverified.

Protect the Free Press

Hello, I’m __________ from __________. I’m calling today because I am appalled by the White House’s banning of major news outlets from a White House briefing. President Trump has declared an all-out “war” on the media, and he continually provides false information while trying to discredit and block legitimate news organizations. The Senator/Representative should publicly denounce the Trump administration’s actions. American democracy requires a free press, and we must be vigilant in protecting the First Amendment. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
  • On Feb. 24, 2017, the Trump administration banned journalists from the New York Times, CNN, the LA Times, and other mainstream news organizations from attending a press briefing at the White House.
  • No administration has ever blocked accredited news organizations from attending White House Press Corp briefings, including during the Watergate, Iran-Contra, and Lewinsky scandals.
  • Press Secretary Sean Spicer told Politico in December 2016 that, “Conservative, liberal or otherwise, I think [free press is] what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship.”

Avoid a Boots-on-the-Ground Strategy in Syria

Hello, I'm __________ from __________. I'm concerned about the Trump Administration’s increased military activity in Syria. I urge the Senator/Representative to demand that the Trump Administration explain our mission and exit strategy before funding increased military activity in the Middle East. Congress must take action to avoid the mistakes made during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • In response to a recent chemical weapons attack against Syrian civilians by Assad, the Trump Administration ordered the launch of 59 cruise missiles to attack an air force base in Syria without Congressional approval.
  • Trump has sent 500 new American troops into Syria, and the New York Times has reported plans for hundreds more American troops to be sent to the region in the coming weeks.
  • The Trump Administration has not publicized a withdrawal strategy or political solution to the conflicts against ISIS and against Assad in Syria. It has also not specified goals for who should control post-ISIS Raqqa or Syria.
  • The Trump Administration has recently asserted that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad will maintain control of Syria despite his abhorrent record as a war criminal who has committed atrocities against his own people.
  • Conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya were largely deadly on all sides because the United States didn't have a plan for troop withdrawal or political engagement with local actors following occupation.
  • Recent U.S. airstrikes are said to have killed up to 200 civilians. The American-led military coalition in Iraq is investigating these claims.

Support the Dream Act

Hello, I’m __________ from __________. I’m calling to defend DACA. President Trump’s decision to end the program is senseless, and I urge the Senator/Representative to support a clean Dream Act to protect Dreamers. DACA recipients are in the United States legally and should be protected under U.S. law and given a fair pathway to citizenship and legal status. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • In September 2017, President Trump and Attorney General Sessions announced that the DACA program is formally ending in six months and new applications for DACA status are no longer being processed. This means that the roughly 800,000 DACA recipients will no longer have government protection and can be deported after the six-month window. President Trump has urged Congress to legislate a permanent solution for Dreamers.
  • DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was started by the Obama Administration in 2012. Recipients of DACA are often referred to as "dreamers."
  • In order to enable undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children to come out of the shadows and be productive members of society, the Obama administration started DACA in 2012 to give them legal status that is renewable every two years and provides them the opportunity to receive work permits and avoid deportation.
  • The bipartisan Dream Act 2017, which was reintroduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC), would allow undocumented youth who came to the U.S. at age 17 and younger to earn permanent legal status if they graduated from high school or have a GED; passed a background check; served in the military; worked legally or attended college; spoke English and have a demonstrated knowledge of U.S. history; and pay a fee for application.

Support Addiction Treatment Funding

Hello, I’m __________ from __________. I'm very concerned about the opioid epidemic. Drug addiction is a medical problem that requires treatment and compassion, not a prison sentence. I urge the Senator/Representative to support expanded funding for treatment programs for Americans struggling with addiction and to help repeal the “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act” that made it harder for the DEA to crack down on illegal distribution of opioids. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act” passed in 2016, and it effectively stripped the Drug Enforcement Agency's power to freeze suspicious narcotic shipments from drug distribution companies who profited from selling excess opioid pills to corrupt doctors. This mode of distribution has been found to be one of the worst factors in creating the current opioid crisis. According to a recent Washington Post report, the bill, which passed unanimously was misunderstood by Congress after being framed by drug company lobbyists.
  • Addiction is a chronic brain disease that results in compulsive drug seeking and use. Drugs change the structure and function of the brain resulting in these behaviors.
  • More than 50,000 Americans died of a drug overdose last year. Most of those deaths were due to opioid or heroin overdoses.
  • Prescription painkillers (opioids) are very similar to heroin and it’s common that people who are addicted to opioids were first exposed to these drugs through doctor-prescribed use for a medical condition.
  • People suffering from addiction deserve to receive treatment the same as they would for any other illness, not a prison sentence.

Save the Affordable Care Act

Hello, I’m __________ from __________. I’m extremely concerned about Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act or make it easier for states to waive coverage for Americans with preexisting conditions, cut coverage for mental health treatment, or not pay reimbursements. Recent proposals to sabotage the insurance exchanges by repealing the individual mandate as part of a tax plan are unacceptable. I urge the Senator/Representative to improve the Affordable Care Act, NOT dismantle it. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • Sharing your personal story about how improvements to the health care system made under the ACA have helped you, your family, and friends is particularly powerful.
  • House Republicans just passed the American Health Care Act, appeasing the most conservative congressional representatives. If the Senate passes this bill, it would kick 23 million Americans off of their insurance and use the savings to fund a tax cut for the very rich.
  • This bill would allow states to choose whether to keep the ACA’s insurance protection for people with preexisting medical problems and its guarantee of specific health benefits, including mental health treatment. It would also defund Planned Parenthood for at least a year.
  • According to a Washington Post/ABC poll, 8 in 10 Democrats, 7 in 10 independents and even a majority of Republicans support a national law that blocks insurers from charging more or denying coverage to customers with medical conditions.

Reauthorize Funding for Children’s Healthcare!

Hello, I’m __________ from __________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to reauthorize CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program. I support this program and the need to provide health insurance to children from low-income families. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) covers roughly 9 million children from low-income families who do not qualify for Medicaid.
  • The federal funding for CHIP ran out in September 2017, and Congress is required to reauthorize the program so that the federal government can match payments to states.
  • CHIP is a landmark health insurance program spearheaded by Hillary Clinton while she was First Lady.

Provide Healthcare to All Americans!

Hello, I’m __________ from __________. I’m calling today to ask the Senator/Representative to support Sen. Bernie Sanders in his proposal to provide healthcare to all Americans through a single-payer Medicare-for-all style system. I believe that a country as rich as ours has the moral obligation to view healthcare as a human right. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • Sharing your personal story about how improvements to the health care system made under the ACA have helped you, your family, and friends is particularly powerful.
  • Recent GOP proposals for health care reform would have resulted in 24M Americans losing health insurance in order to pay for a tax cut for the rich.

Make Trump Release White House & Mar-A-Lago Visitor Logs

Hello, I’m __________ from __________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to support the Mar-A-Lago Act. President Trump and all presidents should be congressionally obligated to publicly release the visitor logs of the White House, Mar-A-Lago, and any other residence where the president conducts business. Freedom of information is crucial to democracy. Thank you.

  • The Make Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness (Mar-A-Lago) Act would provide a congressional mandate for the president to publicly release visitor logs from the White House, Mar-A-Lago, or any place where the president conducts official business.
  • By making the names and dates of visitors who meet with the president and top administration officials public, the Mar-A-Lago Act would promote transparency within executive government.
  • Given President Trump's break with tradition by refusing to release his tax returns and the fact that he and his campaign team are currently under FBI investigation for collusion with Russia, the American people and press should have access to the logs of who meets with the president.
  • President Obama’s White House voluntarily released all visitor logs between 90-120 days after visits except for visitors who were deemed “politically sensitive.” This is the type of presidential transparency that should be made federal law.

Scrap the Congressional Review Act

Hello, I’m __________ from __________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to support the SCRAP Act to repeal the Congressional Review Act. This act has been abused by the Trump Administration and Republicans to roll back important environmental and privacy regulations put in place by President Obama. Please do not hide behind the CRA to pass unpopular and damaging policies without a 60 vote majority in the Senate. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • So far, Trump and Republican lawmakers have used the Congressional Review Act, a provision of the 1996 Republican Contract for America, which has only been invoked once in twenty years. Since Trump took office, Republicans have used it 13 times to roll back Obama-era executive orders.
  • While Congress already had the power to roll back executive regulations, the CRA allows senators in the majority party to lower the majority vote threshold from 60 to 51 in order to preclude a filibuster to revoke regulations ordered by an outgoing president in his/her last sixty legislative days. CRA actions must be enacted within the new Congress’ first sixty legislative days.
  • Trump-era Republicans have used the CRA to allow states to withhold federal Planned Parenthood funding, expand gun or firearms access to people with severe mental illness, override “net neutrality” by allowing Internet and telecom companies to sell consumers’ browsing data, permit oil and gas companies to not disclose payments to foreign governments for drilling or access rights to land, and many other environmental deregulations.
  • The SCRAP Act – H.R. 2449 or S. 1140 would apply to future administrations since the period for using the CRA has just ended.

Support the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act

Hi, I’m __________ from __________. I’m calling today to urge the Senator/Representative to support the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017 and demand that President Trump release his taxes. Trump and future presidents must be required to divest from all foreign business interests in order to comply with the emoluments clause. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • President Trump continues to benefit financially from the presidency despite having removed himself from management activities of the Trump Organization.
  • Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the Constitution, known as the "Emoluments Clause," bars federal officeholders from profiting from foreign governments and their agents. Since Trump has retained an ownership share in the Trump Organization, he has been in violation of the clause since the day he took office.
  • Given the GOP’s desire to reform the tax code by providing tax cuts to the wealthy, Americans deserve to know how Trump and his family would benefit from potential policy changes.
  • It is impossible to fully evaluate Trump's conflicts of interest with Russia (or any foreign governments) without full transparency into his financial relationships.

Call for Scott Pruitt to Resign or Be Fired

Hello, I’m ___________ from ___________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to support the resolution to request EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to resign or be fired by the Trump Administration. Pruitt has worked systematically to dismantle the EPA and regulations against pollution. He is also abusing his office and taxpayer dollars and making a mockery of the mission of the EPA. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is currently embroiled in many scandals, including lavishly spending taxpayer dollars on $105,000 in undisclosed first-class flights, $120,000 on a trip to Italy, $36,068 on a chartered flight, upwards of $43,000 on a phone booth, $2 million on 24-hour security detail, incurring costly expenses for personal trips to Disneyland and the Rose Bowl, and even spending $120,000 to hire a Republican political consulting firm whose VP dug up dirt on EPA employees. He is now under a series of Inspector General and Congressional investigations for his abuses.
  • As EPA Administrator, Pruitt has directed the Agency to weaken important regulations designed to lessen pollution. He has implemented corporate goals to weaken environmental protections so that the auto, coal, oil, and gas industries have fewer restrictions, putting our environment and health at risk.

YouLobby Issue of the Day —

Protect Mueller as Special Counsel

Hello, I’m ___________ from ___________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to do everything in his/her power to ensure that President Trump cannot fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller by passing the “Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act.” Allowing the Special Counsel to fulfill his work in the investigation into Trump’s Russia ties is crucial for our democracy. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The “Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act” is a bipartisan compilation of two existing bills in the Senate designed to protect the Special Counsel’s investigation in the event of President Trump firing either the Special Counsel or others who could fire him directly. This bill would codify existing Justice Department regulations to ensure that the Special Counsel can only be fired for “good cause,” and it would allow for a 10-day window for expedited judicial review to determine the nature of the firing, during which all personnel, documents, and files associated with the investigation would be preserved.
  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed by the Department of Justice to investigate President Trump’s campaign ties and potentially collusion with Russia during the 2016 election.
  • While Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from anything regarding the federal investigation, if Trump were able to fire Sessions it would be possible for the new attorney general to fire Mueller and derail the investigation.
  • There are bipartisan efforts in the Senate to create legislation that would prevent President Trump from taking action to fire Mueller or end the Russia investigation.

Prevent Drilling in Alaska Wildlife Refuge

Hello, I’m ___________ from ___________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to oppose any drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) or along our national coastlines. I do not support drilling in areas that are designated as wildlife preserves. We need to honor our commitment to the environment and not put wildlife at risk. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is a 19-million-acre wilderness preserve that has been federally protected since 1960. Fossil fuel development has been prohibited since 1980 under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.
  • Senate Republicans have already cleared the first step for making provisions for oil drilling in ANWR a part of the 2018 budget, and they are working to make its passage filibuster-proof.
  • Republicans in Congress are advocating for a massive $1.8 billion tax cut plan benefiting corporations and the wealthiest Americans. This would continue to balloon the deficit, but many leaders want to use royalties from oil and gas production in the wildlife reserve to raise revenue to offset some of the tax cuts.
  • The ANWR preserve area contains a greater number of plant and animal species than any other protected arctic preserve. Allowing drilling would disrupt and potentially cause irreparable harm to many wildlife species, including the Porcupine Caribou herd.

Climate Change Science Must Guide Policy

Hello, I’m __________ from __________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to support or introduce legislation that uses the scientific facts of climate change as a basis to protect both the planet and our health from pollution, global warming, and severe weather. Please fight to implement greenhouse gas emissions standards like the Clean Power Plan. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • Trump has publicly declared that the U.S. will exit the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • Trump has rolled back the Clean Power Plan and other Obama-era environmental regulations on automobile emissions, chemical pollution, methane emissions from oil and gas companies.
  • Trump’s proposed budget would eliminate all climate change research and the UN’s climate change efforts around the globe.
  • The Trump administration has issued an executive order to reduce the influence of climate change science in policy decision-making.
  • EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is a climate-change denier who sued the EPA fourteen times while serving as Attorney General of Oklahoma.
  • Trump and Pruitt are committed to environmental deregulation based on the requests of oil, gas, automobile, chemical, and coal executives.
  • 2016 was the hottest year on record.

Protect the Endangered Species Act

Hello, I’m ___________ from ___________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to support the Endangered Species Act in every way possible. I am very concerned about Republicans’ efforts to lessen legal protections for endangered wildlife or to make it harder for species to be added to the Endangered Species Act. Putting corporate or industry economic interests above endangered species is extremely misguided. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress are actively working to undermine the Endangered Species Act.
  • The Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973 and signed into law by President Richard Nixon. Its purpose is to protect or recover species and ecosystems that are under threat of extinction.
  • The GOP wants to lessen endangered species protections in order to make it easier for private industries, including oil, gas, logging, coal, and others, to have more access to depleting American lands. Republicans and the Trump Administration are working to deregulate environmental protections in order to enrich private interests. In doing so, they are putting the environment at extreme risk.
  • The Endangered Species Act is credited with the resurgence of many species, including the American alligator, the gray whale, and the bald eagle, which were at risk of extinction in the 1970s. Currently, Republicans are targeting the gray wolf, and many other species with their attacks on the Endangered Species Act.

Stop Congress from Rolling Back Environmental Regulations

Hello, I'm __________ from __________. I am calling to strongly oppose Scott Pruitt and the Trump Administration's plan to roll back fuel emissions standards put in place by the Obama Administration. I am also concerned about plans to gut the protections of the Clean Air and Water Acts. I urge the Senator/Representative to promote legislation for cleaner land, water, and air, even when it means going against corporate interests. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • Scott Pruitt, EPA administrator, has announced plans to revoke Obama-era standards requiring cars and light trucks sold in the US to average more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025.
  • Scott Pruitt, EPA administrator, sued the EPA fourteen times as Attorney General of Oklahoma. According to published emails from his time in that job, Pruitt has a documented history of helping big oil companies undermine federal environmental regulations. He also denies that CO2 and human activity create climate change.
  • The Trump administration has recently repealed the Stream Rule, allowing coal companies to dump waste into American waterways and has signed an order of Congress allowing coal companies more latitude for air pollution. It has also loosened automobile tailpipe emissions standards.
  • Trump and Congress are able to roll back Obama-era environmental protections using the Congressional Review Act, a little-used legislative mechanism for vetoing legislation.
  • The Trump administration is strongly considering pulling out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which would nullify the United States' commitment to cutting carbon dioxide emissions and effectively allow other countries to do the same.

Protect National Parks from Drilling

Hi, I’m ________ from _________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to protect national parks from oil and gas drilling and vote against H.J. Resolution 46. I’m also very concerned about Secretary Zinke’s decision to shrink national parks and monuments. We should not loosen environmental regulations in our national parks or marine sanctuaries or reclassify national monuments in order to drill. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-AZ) introduced H.J. Resolution 46 on January 31, 2017. If enacted, this resolution would roll back existing rules that prevent private interests from drilling for oil and gas in national parks by using the Congressional Review Act.
  • Currently under the “9B rules,” the National Park Service, which controls the surface of natural parks, can decline drilling rights to parties that own resources beneath the surface if it determines that the operation pose an environmental threat.
  • There are 40 national parks that have “split-estate ownership,” meaning that the surface is owned by the federal government but the underground resources are owned by private entities. Some of these parks include: Everglades National Park, Mammoth Cave National Park, and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Oppose Ocean Drilling

Hi, I’m ________ from _________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to protect U.S. waters from oil and gas drilling. I’m very concerned about President Trump’s decision to open up coastlines to drilling. We should not continue to put the environment or state tourism at risk to benefit energy companies. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • President Trump has recently lifted a ban put in place by President Obama to ban offshore oil drilling United States coastal waters. This move allows energy companies access to drilling leases in 90% of the outer continental shelf of both the East and West coasts. This move also opens up drilling off California for the first time in decades and more than a billion acres in the Arctic and along the Eastern Seaboard.
  • Governors in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, California, Oregon and Washington all oppose offshore drilling plans in the waters near their states because of the immense risks to the environment posed by drilling, as well as adverse impact on local tourism.
  • After the deadly Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, millions of gallons of oil were spilled into the ocean, causing major harm to the environment and ecosystem, as well as the fishing and tourism industries.

Protect Science at the EPA – Oppose the HONEST Act

Hello, I’m ________ from _________. I’m calling to urge the Senator to vote "NO" on the HONEST Act. Barring the EPA from creating regulations based on science that is not publicly accessible will greatly hinder the agency’s ability to protect American interests. Confidentiality laws around public health research and intellectual property rights make it impractical, and in some cases impossible, for all scientific data reviewed by the EPA to be publicly available. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The HONEST Act was passed by the House of Representatives on March 29, 2017. It is now up for debate in the Senate.
  • The HONEST Act was given a deliberately misleading name. It would prevent the EPA from adhering to science industry standards and utilizing the best data available to inform environmental policy and regulation.
  • Many critical health studies must remain confidential in order to protect patient privacy.
  • Many computer models and code used in research are protected by intellectual property which is why they can’t be shared publicly.
  • Even though in some cases these studies could be published with the information redacted, that would create an undue burden for the agency.
  • In 2015, the Congressional Budget Office calculated that a similar bill would cost $250 million annually to implement in its first few years.
  • These new regulations would lead many researchers and companies to refuse to share research with the EPA.

Tell Congress to Support Inclusive Paid Family Leave

Hello, I’m ___________ from ___________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to support the FAMILY Act, a paid parental leave plan that is non-discriminatory and provides workers with 12 weeks of partially paid leave. I believe that all workers should have the ability to take time to care for a loved one no matter what their position. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The FAMILY Act (S. 337), or the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, was introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Rosa DeLauro. It would provide workers with 12 weeks of partially paid leave to care for a new baby, sick family member, or their own serious health conditions. The leave covers employees at businesses of all sizes and is available to all parents.
  • Restricting benefits to married birth mothers ignores the fact that unmarried mothers are more likely to be heads of household and to struggle with poverty.
  • Limiting paid leave to birth mothers perpetuates the notion that only women can or should care for children. This policy would discriminate against single, adoptive, and same-sex parents, as well as fathers.
  • The U.S. is the only developed nation that does not require employers to offer paid parental leave.
  • Stereotypes regarding who can and should care for children lead to reluctance to hire or promote women, and contribute to the gender wage gap. Policies that fail to cover all parents, especially fathers, deny them bonding time and parenting opportunities.
  • President Trump’s plan does not provide leave to care for aging parents and young children—work that falls disproportionately on women.

Oppose the Working Families Flexibility Act

Hello, I’m __________ from __________. I’m calling to urge the Senator to vote NO on the Working Families Flexibility Act. The name bill is misleading. It allows employers to compensate employees for overtime work with paid time off rather than time-and-a-half pay. This policy is bad for workers who deserve to be compensated for overtime.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The Working Families Flexibility Act was passed in the House of Representatives on May 3, 3017 with no Democratic support. It is now being considered in the Senate (S. 801).
  • Criticized for its misleading name, this bill would make it legal for employers to compensate workers for overtime by providing paid time off rather than time-and-a-half wages for hours worked over the standard 40-hour work week.
  • Employers would have final approval on when comp time could be used, allowing them to defer compensating employees for overtime work.

Ban the Use of Nerve-Damaging Pesticides!

Hello, I’m __________ from ___________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to support the “Protect Children, Farmers, and Farmworkers Act” to ban the use of the toxic nerve agent, chlorpyrifos, on agriculture. This pesticide has been found to be extremely toxic and is linked to brain defects. We should not allow its use. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • Farmworkers, children, and pregnant women who either work or live near areas where Chlorpyrifos is used in agricultural settings are at especially high risk for health problems, including brain defects in children.
  • In November 2016, the EPA concluded that there are no safe uses of Chlorpyrifos after ten years of study and peer-reviewed research findings demonstrated that it is clearly links to prenatal defects. However, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced in March 2017 that the EPA would not ban the pesticide.
  • While farmworkers are most at risk of contact with Chlorpyrifos, people who live in the vicinity of farmlands are also inadvertently in contact with it because of the “pesticide drift” that occurs due to normal weather patterns as well as through residues on food and contaminated drinking water.
  • The Protect Children, Farmers and Farmworkers from Nerve Agent Pesticides Act of 2017 (S. 1624) was introduced by seven Democratic senators in July 2017. The bill would require the EPA to conduct a wide-ranging study of the populations most affected by Chlorpyrifos and mandate the agency to ban its use within 3 months.

Protect Women’s Right to Choose

Hello, I’m ___________ from ___________. I’m calling to urge the Senator to vote NO on any bills that would limit women’s access to abortions or reproductive healthcare. The “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” is extreme, ideological, and dangerous. Thank you.

  • In October 2017, Republicans in the House of Representatives passed the “The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” which would criminalize abortion and attempted abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, barring cases of rape, incest, or if the pregnancy is life-threatening to the mother. President Trump has promised to sign this bill if it passes the Senate. Passing a bill that places limitations on women’s right to an abortion would mean dangerous infringements on their ability to make decisions about their own reproductive health.
  • In May 2017, Congress passed a short-term federal budget that maintains funding for Planned Parenthood. However, the life-saving services that Planned Parenthood and other women’s health providers offer are continually under attack by conservatives in Congress.
  • Trump has appointed anti-abortion activist, Theresa Manning, as Department of Health and Human Services’ deputy assistant secretary for population affairs, which is in charge of the Title X Family Planning Program.
  • In April 2017, President Trump signed a bill allowing states to block Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from receiving federal funds under the Title X Family Planning program. Vice President Pence cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate to pass the bill.
  • Title X, established in 1970, is the only federal grant program that helps ensure access to a broad range of family planning and related preventive health services for millions of low-income or uninsured individuals and others.
  • Title X does not just affect women’s access to health care. The Title X family planning program also provides services (including education and counseling) to men in recognition of the fact that preventing unintended pregnancies and the spread of STDs and HIV/AIDS is a joint responsibility.
  • Repeated polls confirm that the vast majority of Americans support legal abortion. A Pew study released the first week of January showed support for Roe v. Wade at a record high of 69 percent.
  • If Congress voted to bar Planned Parenthood from accepting federal insurance for any services, it would mean that 1.5 million American women who rely on those programs for Pap smears, breast exams, and contraception would no longer be able to get that care from Planned Parenthood.
  • 54 percent of Planned Parenthood’s clinics are in areas that do not have other clinic options close by.
  • VP Mike Pence has already passed some of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws as governor of Indiana and, in Congress, co-sponsored legislation that would make several forms of birth control illegal. Tom Price, Head of the Department of Health and Human Services, is a proponent of allowing doctors and insurance companies refuse to provide health care services they don’t personally believe in.

Tell your Senators to Protect Fair Pay and Safe Workplace Rules!

Hi, I’m ______________ from ________________. I’m calling today because I am upset that Congress has voted against American workers by passing H.J. Resolution 37. I am urging the Senator/Representative to promote legislation that ensures that all government contractors comply with federal laws on fair pay and workplace safety. The federal government should not be able to partner with companies who do not comply with safety, sexual harassment, anti-discrimination, minimum wage, and overtime laws. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • H.J. Resolution 37 eliminated President Obama’s “Fair Pay and Safe Workplace” executive order rule in 2017.
  • As of 2013, federal contractors employed roughly 26 million American workers.
  • According to the ACLU, before President Obama signed the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplace” executive order in 2014, 30% of federal contractors ranked among the worst workplace violators in the country.

Constitutional Crisis:
Condemn Trump's attempts to undermine the judicial branch

Hi, I’m __________ from __________. I’m calling today because I am concerned about President Trump’s recent statements attempting to discredit the judicial branch, like referring to Judge Robart as a “so-called judge” and questioning the legitimacy of the federal court system. Historically, repressive autocrats have used similar tactics to dismantle judicial oversight. We must be vigilant in protecting the separation of powers laid out in the Constitution. I would like the Senator/Representative to publicly support the independence of the judicial branch, condemn the President’s statements, and encourage other members of Congress to do the same. Thank you.

Tell your senators how you feel about the Sessions vote:

To Republicans and Joe Manchin (D-WV) who voted for Sessions:

Hello, I’m __________ from __________. I’m calling today to let the Senator know that I am very displeased with his/her vote to confirm Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. It’s clear that party loyalty got in the way of making a decision based on the best interests of the country. I will remember this vote in future elections. Sessions’ record of fighting against civil, LGBT, and human rights, and opposition to sensible immigration policy makes him a potentially dangerous Attorney General. I urge the Senator to hold the Trump administration accountable to ensuring the civil rights of all Americans.

To Democratic Senators: who voted against Sessions:

Hello, I’m __________ from __________. I’m calling today say thank you to the Senator for representing his/her constituents’ voices and voting against the confirmation of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. Despite the discouraging result, his/her vote instills confidence that he/she will listen to constituents and display the strongest level of commitment to civil rights, voting rights, LGBT rights, and fair immigration policy. I expect the Senator to be vigilant in protecting the rights of all citizens and holding Congress and the Executive Branch accountable for any deviation. Please keep up the great work!

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • Sessions believes that there is widespread voter fraud, even though there is no evidence to support this claim that is perpetuated by President Trump.
  • Sessions opposes same-sex marriage and denounced the Supreme Court ruling enforcing the Equal Protection Clause.
  • Sessions will likely severely curb criminal justice reform efforts.

Say NO to Education Cuts & Vouchers

Hello, I’m ________ from ________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to oppose Trump’s proposed cuts to the federal education budget. His plan would devastate work-study programs, advanced coursework, public service loan forgiveness, and mental health resources. I also do not support school choice or voucher systems that pour federal money into private and religious schools. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The proposed Education Department budget by President Trump and Secretary of Education DeVos would cut $10.6 billion from the education budget.
  • The budget would cut college work-study programs in half, eliminate public-service loan forgiveness, and take away hundreds of millions of dollars from public schools’ mental health services and advanced coursework initiatives.
  • This budget would channel roughly $400 million toward the expansion of charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools, and another $1 billion to push public schools to adopt choice-friendly policies.
  • Promoting school-choice policies effectively siphons funds from public to private schools, which are not held to the same standards in protecting students from discrimination. Many private schools are able to discriminate based on various criteria, including religion, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, or economic background. Public funds should only go to public schools where equal protection and accessibility are affirmed and where schools are accountable to citizens.

Say NO to School Vouchers!

Hello, I’m __________ from __________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to vote “No” on House Resolution 610 for school vouchers because of the damage vouchers do to public schools. If enacted, H.R. 610 would decrease accountability and siphon funding away from schools that need it the most. This would undermine our obligation to provide quality education for all children. I urge the Senator/Representative to vote “No” on H.R. 610. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • H.R. 610 repeals the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Every Student Succeeds Act, which currently provide the foundation for equal access to education for all K-12 students.
  • Currently, more than 50% of all the nation’s public schools receive Title I funding, which supports programs like AP classes, ESL classes, school safety programming, and many other programs for vulnerable populations. Repealing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and retracting Title I funding would leave many schools without the resource to continue these programs.
  • H.R. 610 would effectively siphon funds from public to private schools, which are not held to the same standards in protecting students from discrimination. Many private schools are able to discriminate based on various criteria, including religion, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, or economic background. Public funds should only go to public schools where equal protection and accessibility are affirmed and where schools are accountable to citizens.
  • H.R. 610 also does not account for students with disabilities, leaving the question of how resources will be allocated for students with disabilities open.

No Supreme Court Confirmations While Trump Is Under Investigation

Call your Senators!

Hello, I’m ___________ from ___________. I’m calling to ask the Senator to do everything he/she can to postpone a vote on Trump’s new Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. President Trump is under federal investigation, and we should not confirm a new justice selected by him given that the Supreme Court will likely impact the outcome of the Russia investigation. I am very concerned about Judge Kavanaugh’s written support of broadening leeway for president who are under investigation. Thank you.

  • President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on July 9, 2018. He selected Kavanaugh from pre-vetted lists supplied by the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, which are ultra-conservative groups whose stated goals are to overturn Roe v. Wade and the Affordable Care Act.
  • Judge Kavanaugh argued in a 2009 Minnesota Law Review article for expanding leeway for presidents under civil and criminal investigations and deferring action until they are out of office. The fact that Trump selected Kavanaugh demonstrates that concern for his legal status is a significant factor in any nomination.
  • During President Obama’s second term, Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat opened, and Obama nominated Merrick Garland, a moderate judge, to fill the vacancy. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Republicans refused to hold a vote for Garland until the 2016 election. This left the court with a vacancy for eight months and was a purely politically-motivated violation of constitutional norms. With Kennedy’s seat open, Democrats can work to convince just one Republican Senator to hold off on holding a vote for confirmation until after the midterm elections, when roughly one-third of U.S. Senators are up for reelection.
  • Supreme Court decisions have the ability to influence national policies for generations, for example: racial integration of public schools, legal access to abortion, same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, and the right to an attorney.
  • The Supreme Court has also issued harmful decisions, including denial of citizenship to African American slaves, upholding Japanese internment during WWII, and the allowance of unlimited spending by corporations and unions on political contributions, and the upholding of President Trump’s travel ban.
  • In June 2018, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court after thirty years, opening up a seat for a crucial swing vote.
  • Supreme Court justices are lifetime appointments and serve for an average of seventeen years. Recently, the trend is to select younger justices who will serve much longer terms.

Denounce Trump’s Travel Ban

Hello, I’m __________ from ________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to publicly denounce the Trump Administration’s discriminatory travel ban which targets Muslims. Policies like this hurt the United States’ standing in the world and make us less safe. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • Trump’s amended Travel Ban was instated on June 29, 2017 for 120 days.
  • The Travel Ban prohibits the entry of refugees from around the world and visitors from six predominantly Muslim countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen).
  • The Supreme Court upheld the Trump Administration’s revised Travel Ban, which had been stayed by Ninth Circuit courts temporarily until it hears the case in full.
  • The Travel Ban applies to individuals who cannot claim “bona fide” ties to the United States, including family members who currently live in the U.S., employment, or education.
  • The Trump Administration has stated that it will determine the nature of “bona fide” relations in the U.S. according to the type of “close family” relation: “parent (including parent-in-law), spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sibling, whether whole or half. This includes step relationships.”
  • “Close family" does not include “grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-laws and sisters-in-law, fiancés and any other ‘extended’ family members.”

Oppose the RAISE Act!

Hi, I’m ___________ from __________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to oppose the RAISE Act. Drastically reducing immigration and imposing restrictions on who is able to migrate to the U.S. is wrong-minded. It is intentionally discriminatory and would hurt the economy. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The “Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy” Act (RAISE) was introduced in August 2017. President Trump supports the bill, which would limit immigration to the United States by 41% in its first year and up to 50% within a decade.
  • Under the RAISE Act, immigration would be limited based on education level, English language skills, and personal finances as well as restrict family-based immigration to only spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens.
  • The RAISE Act’s proposed massive cuts to immigration disregards the role that immigrants have and continue to play in building the United States and sustaining its economy.
  • Restricting immigration based on language, socioeconomic status, and education is discriminatory and would drastically hurt many vital industries, including agriculture and tourism.
  • This bill would also cap refugee immigration at 50,000 per year.

Support Funding For Sanctuary Cities

Hi, I’m ___________ from ___________ and I'm calling to urge the Senator to vote against the "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act." This bill is feeding into the dangerous and false rhetoric surrounding immigrants. It would infringe on states’ and cities’ rights to police as they see fit, and I'm very concerned that it would prevent cities from receiving federal funds for critical programs. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • This bill will increase the fear that many law-abiding immigrants are already feeling in a time of heightened vitriol against them.
  • Proponents of this bill argue that it is about reducing crime, but a study in the Annual Review of Criminology shows that cities with more immigrants do not have more crime.
  • For more information about immigration and urban crime, see: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/immigrants-do-not-increase-crime-research-shows/).

Promote the Register of Copyrights Position to the Executive Level

Hello, I’m __________ from __________, and I’m calling because I’m in favor of Bob Goodlatte’s bill, H.R. 1695, to modernize the U.S. Copyright Office and create a new independent Register of Copyrights, a position that would be appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate. We should help protect creative industries that depend on copyright in our country, which include thousands of artists, writers and filmmakers. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • Since it was founded more than 120 years ago, the U.S. Copyright Office has been part of and appointed by the Library of Congress.
  • H.R. 1695 would elevate this position to the executive level, to be appointed by the President.
  • Creative industries provide more than 5.5 million jobs and add more than $1 trillion to the U.S. economy.
  • Leaders of both political parties and leaders in the creative industries agree that it’s time to modernize the Register of Copyrights and make it an independent office.

Net Neutrality

Hello, I’m ___________ from ___________. I'm extremely concerned about the FCC's decision to repeal net neutrality rules that prohibit Internet service providers from selectively blocking access to information and services on the internet. I urge the Representative to follow the Senate’s lead to overturn the repeal using the Congressional Review Act. We cannot allow Internet service providers to slow or limit access to certain online content. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The Senate passed a resolution to overturn the FCC’s decision to repeal Net Neutrality on May 16, 2018. The House of Representatives has yet to take up a vote, but the chances of repeal are far slimmer due to the large Republican majority in the House.
  • The FCC’s repeal of Net Neutrality is expected to begin on June 11, 2018.
  • Net Neutrality is "the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites."
  • Without net neutrality protections in place internet service providers could limit access to content for competitive or even political reasons. For example, they could selectively slow down access to Netflix to encourage subscriptions to their own cable packages or prioritize certain news sources over others.

Stop ICE from Separating Mothers and Children!

Hello, I’m __________ from __________. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to do everything in their power to oppose the separation of women and children seeking asylum in the United States. This tactic is an inhumane way of discouraging mothers from migrating to the U.S. with their children that violates fundamental human rights. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • According to Marielena Hincapie, the Executive Director at the National Immigration Law Center, implementing this new policy “could create lifelong psychological trauma” for children separated from their mothers.
  • The previous policy under the Obama administration demanded that women and children not be held in family detention for more than 21 days.
  • This policy would result in a very costly and rapid increase in the detention population.

Support USAID and Diplomacy

Hi, I’m __________ from __________. I’m calling today to urge the Senator/Representative to oppose any budget that cuts funds for the State Department or USAID, or that tries to merge the two. The work the U.S. does abroad to promote peace and development ensures our security. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The State Department and USAID promote U.S. interests in very different ways: USAID through international development work and the State Department through diplomacy. Both of these approaches are key to ensuring a safer and more prosperous world and nation. It would be detrimental to have one agency try to do it all.
  • More than 120 retired military officers signed a letter to the White House opposing these proposed budget cuts.
  • Foreign aid currently makes up only 1% of the federal budget.

Protect NPR from Being Defunded

Hello, I’m __________ from __________, and I’m calling today because I’m opposed to Rep. Doug Lamborn’s efforts to cut off all funding for National Public Radio with his proposed bill H.R. 726. I urge the Senator/Representative to do everything in his/her power to ensure that the government continues to finance NPR. National Public Radio provides news to more than 36 million Americans every week. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting only spends about $1.35 per American each year supporting NPR and Public Television and I think that is money well spent. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) has proposed H.R. 726 to prohibit the federal funding of National Public Radio.
  • NPR provides news to 36 million Americans every week.
  • NPR has a staff of 828 with bureaus in 33 cities.
  • The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is a private organization that supports National Public Radio and National Public Television using federal funds. The Trump administration has called for “privatizing,” or defunding, the CPB.

End the Shutdown!

Hello, I’m __________ from ___________. I’m calling because the government shutdown is unacceptable. I urge the Senator/Representative to work to pass a full-year budget that includes legalizing DACA and funding CHIP. I blame Republicans for the shutdown, but all members of congress need to make sure the government is funded as soon as possible. Short-term continuing resolutions are no way to solve long-term problems. Thank you.

For a less scripted approach, here are some talking points:

  • The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) covers roughly 9 million children from low-income families who do not qualify for Medicaid.
  • In September 2017, President Trump and Attorney General Sessions announced that the DACA program is formally ending in six months and new applications for DACA status are no longer being processed. This means that the roughly 800,000 DACA recipients will no longer have government protection and can be deported after the six-month window. President Trump has urged Congress to legislate a permanent solution for Dreamers.
  • DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was started by the Obama Administration in 2012. Recipients of DACA are often referred to as "dreamers."

Tips

Calling your representatives is easy and effective. Here are 5 tips for making the most of your calls.

  1. Set a reminder to make your calls. Calling all three of your congressional representatives should take less than five minutes. Make voicing your opinions part of your daily or weekly routine.
  2. Make it personal. Members of Congress want to hear personal stories about how legislation affects their constituents. For example, if you or a loved one has benefited from the Affordable Care Act or Planned Parenthood, talk about how they changed your life. If something is not working for you, let Congress know that, too. Members of Congress use personal stories to help bolster their arguments both behind closed doors and in public speeches and interviews. Knowing exactly how their constituents are affected by legislation is the only way they know what works and what doesn’t.
  3. Accentuate the positive. Thank your members of Congress for doing the right thing. Our representatives need to know when something is working or if their voters are happy with their work.
  4. Make suggestions. YouLobby.org offers an actionable suggestion in every phone script. Be sure to tell your members of Congress exactly what steps you are expecting them to take.
  5. Be a constituent-boss. Be confident when you call your Reps because you are informed, valued, and they work for you.

About

Inspired by the progressive activism of the Women’s March in January 2017, YouLobby.org helps regular Americans take political action by speaking up to those in power – their representatives. Members of Congress work for their constituents. They have a vested interest in listening to our concerns and ideas about what is best for the country. YouLobby.org empowers voters and citizens with representative contact information, simple phone scripts, and talking points to make it easy to call Congress. When we all do our part, lobbying Congress is easy and effective. Just enter your zip code, select an issue you care about, and call your representatives. You are what democracy looks like!