Here’s the letter I sent today to my Federal, State, county and city elected officials. Feel free to borrow whatever you want. Use this site to find addresses. Some you have to use the contact forms; others you can email directly. It takes a few minutes to set it up but then you’ll have it. Write. Call. Do not sit idle.
As my elected representative, I ask that you to acknowledge this voter’s concern and stand against President Trump’s dangerous and bigoted executive orders against refugees and millions of Americans who depend on the Affordable Care Act for basic health insurance. You have the responsibility to uphold and protect the rights of citizens you represent.
President Trump’s immigrant ban is creating chaos and tearing apart families, schools and business. The threat of mass deportation poses a potential brain drain in science, medicine, technology and even military personnel.
As a teacher, parent, and grandparent, I work hard instilling moral values and manners in young people. What is your reaction to the president’s behavior as he insults foreign allies, US judges and members of the press?
Lisa K. Winkler
I received one response from one of my local councilmen from my first letter. He wrote:
Thank you for your note. I came to this country as a 7 year old and my father came with only a suitcase to his name. I have every intention to protect our constitutional rights and preserve the values of this country.
Today’s letter received one response from another council member. Here’s an excerpt:
Like you, and many other people in this country, I come from a family of immigrants. All of my grandparents emigrated from Ireland to escape extreme poverty and all had, going back to the time of their birth, faced real religious and cultural discrimination by a foreign occupying government who in some cases considered them sub-humans. Both pairs of my grandparents met in the melting pot that was New York in the 1920’s.
While I agree with your call to advocacy to uphold our rights in the Constitution, I disagree with many of what are simply your opinions, not facts, as to what is going on currently in this country. And I certainly disagree with you lumping me in with a bunch of Weimar politicians because I don’t share those opinions. For example, you want to not touch the Affordable Care Act? A law that in my humble opinion, is primarily responsible for the Democratic Party getting decimated at every level of government the last eight years as enormous swaths of people realized they couldn’t keep their doctor, couldn’t keep their insurance and saw their premium costs and deductibles rise dramatically, rather than fall?
As far as bigotry and discrimination is concerned, of course that should be opposed at all costs. But again, because you believe that barring immigrants or refugees from seven distinct countries is a ban on Muslims, rather than a ban on people from 7 countries, doesn’t mean I have to share your opinion. There are plenty of predominantly Muslim countries where there are no restrictions, so I have to respectfully disagree with your opinion there. I agree with your opinion that barring refugees is cruel. But I am also of the opinion that no American should be harmed due to terrorism.
We have an election process. I wish people would just oppose Trump’s policies, rather than the fact he was elected. When he does something dumb, like lumping in Green Card holders and vetted Visa holders to his ban, people rightly howled about that and it was dropped. And continue to oppose his penchant to demean a judge’s character for making a ruling he disagrees with. So please, share your opinions on why you oppose his actual policies, but I’d prefer you not share your opposition to the “threat” of a policy. I get it already that you didn’t want him to be President. But if I don’t agree with your opinions, please don’t imply that I am a racist enabler of a future dictator either.
I countered with a response that included many facts, including the vote tallies for New Jersey and my county that did not vote for Trump. I added links to several news articles from today’s newspapers, including one from a New Jersey father stating how the dismantlement of the ACA would effectively kill his four-year-old son who suffers from a rare disease, thus has a pre-existing condition for life. His is one story among thousands.
My point in sharing is to show that by bombarding our elected representatives with letters, emails, and phone calls, we are holding then accountable. Those who support the actions of Trump by either remaining silent or by endorsing cruel and dangerous policies, will be remembered next time we vote. With each letter, I am resending the previous letters and reminding those I haven’t heard from that I’m anticipating a response.
Make your voices heard.