Weekly Actions June 19 – June 23
The Senate, and particularly the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell want to pass TrumpCare in June and before the next recess so members don’t have to answer questions about the secret bill from constituents. The backdoor meetings and secret conversations used to draft this bill are drawing widespread and bipartisan condemnation for the plan, including Republican governors, which opens up an opportunity for us to kill it now – in June, before it ever makes it to the floor of the Senate.
When you contact our MoC, know the facts. In Idaho, 147,00 people will lose insurance coverage if TrumpCare passes.
Urge everyone you know to make calls every day this week. Share the script below with anyone you ask to call so that we can maximize the impact of our strategy. When you contact your MoC on a specific issue, such as health care, remember to ask for the Senate staffer handling health care for our Senators. We have that information below.
Here is the strategy:
- Call your Senator’s DC office (not the local office) and ask to speak to the health staffer BY NAME. Say that you have a question about the health care bill. The person on the phone will verify that you are a constituent (provide your full name, and zip code as usual) and they will then try to do everything they can to keep you from talking to the health staffer. Don’t let them!
- Tell them that you are a constituent and repeat that you want to speak to the health care staff for your senator.
- If they connect you, follow the script below. If they send you to voicemail, leave a message with your ask, and ask that they return your call.
- If the person on the phone refuses to connect you directly to the staffer, leave your comment with the person on the phone. Follow the script below.
- Keep calling! If you are unable to connect over the phone with the staffer, send them an e-mail with your asks.
Sample Call Dialogue available here:
- Ask them to commit to voting against any bill that will result in anyone losing coverage.
- Ask them to commit to voting against any bill that does not guarantee people with pre-existing conditions won’t see higher premiums.
- Ask them to vote against to any bill that eliminates funding for Medicaid.
RECRUITING MORE CALLS
- Share this script on social media along with our MoCs contact information and encourage friends and family to call. The Senate is debating a bill to repeal the ACA in secret, a bill that could steal healthcare from 23 million people. Phone calls can make a big difference, so join me in calling Senators X and Y urging them to vote against this cruel bill. The script is here, comment if you call and let’s make 5 calls today!”
- Email the script to people you know who don’t use social media.
- Call friends who are outside of the Indivisible groups but will be impacted by this health care plan (everyone) and explain how calling their MoC works. Recruit them to make calls. Share the full sample call dialogue with them here.
LETTERS TO THE EDITORAfter making phone calls, another tactic to pressure our MoC is media coverage. It can be difficult, and it is becoming increasingly difficult, to get the media to cover Indivisible events, but letters to the editor are a direct way for you to appeal to the public and our MoC and benefit from a broad readership.
Plus, our MoC do see these letters. They and their staff start their day reviewing the local press for positive and negative coverage. The narrative in our local media can sway our MoC.
A Letter to the Editor is usually short (150-300 words, depending on specific guidelines from your local newspaper, which can always be found on their website).
- Keep it Simple. Remember, you are writing for a general audience, not legal or political experts. Keep your writing simple (but specific). Use specifics about any bills or legislation if you know them, and be informative and persuasive, but try to avoid jargon or acronyms that the general public won’t understand.
- Be Clear and Concise. Most publications have a maximum word count, so keep your piece focused on just your overarching concept and major point(s). Articulate clearly what you are writing about or responding to. If your piece is in response to a previous article, reference the headline and publication date. If it is in response to a specific piece of legislation, include the bill name and number (you can find these on congress.gov if you aren’t sure of the specifics).
- Share your story. People remember stories and emotions, not statistics. Share a personal story or connect with shared values. These will have a significant impact in our community.
- Be Relatable. Most readers will gravitate towards a cause if they feel connected to it or to the messenger. So include personal examples from your own life and/or your local community that will illustrate your point. If a letter comes across as too partisan, you’ll risk losing your audience despite the important points you are trying to make. Never make personal attacks or threats. There are dozens and dozens of LTE awaiting to be published and any letter perceived as threatening will be discarded.
- Make a Clear Ask. Spell out EXACTLY what it is you want the lawmaker, publication, or reader to do. If you want the lawmaker to vote a certain way on a bill, say so; in this case we want Republican Senators to vote against the TrumpCare, and we want the public to contact them and urge them to vote against it.
- Alex Curd
Assistant to the Chief of Staff/Legislative Assistant