Members of Congress are on spring break for the next two weeks. Naturally, we thought we’d all be visiting them at events around town. Alas, it won’t be that easy. The Facebook groups we use to find meetings and rallies did not list a single event. We found one protest, next week.
We decided to see if we could find out why our MoCs weren’t holding public meetings and what they were up to instead. But no matter where you call, D.C. or local, the person who answers the phone is “not aware of his schedule.”
The staffer at Wenstrup’s Cincinnati office directed me to his website. I was already there, and asked if she could jump online to help me find his schedule, as I must not be looking in the right place. After a lot of back and forth, she said the info is not his site. Then she explained that the D.C. office handles events, and the only person who knows is his scheduler: firstname.lastname@example.org.
No answer at Chabot’s downtown office, but we reached a real person at the Warren County office. He had no idea if anything was planned. Chabot’s scheduler: email@example.com.
Rob Portman’s local voicemail was, as usual, full, but a D.C. staffer directed me to the website. We went through the “already there, can you help” routine. She got a bit testy, and ended with, “I’m not his scheduler.” That’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most forthcoming was the woman at Sherrod Brown’s Cincinnati office. She explained that he is no longer doing town halls because he has found they’re not an effective way to hear and respond to constituent concerns. Instead, he meets with smaller groups on particular concerns. Janet and I are going to submit a meeting request this week. Details to follow.
This is a weekly post for people who want a once-a-week list of ways to resist. Our goal is to make being a citizen a habit, without burning out.GO Local MoC offices: Grab a friend and make an appointment to talk to your MoC. Talk to ANYONE at the local office. Go armed with 3 points you want them to hear. Tell them you just need 10-15 minutes. Stay on point. Don’t rant. Tell them the good stuff, too! Ask their thoughts on your points. We can do this! Possible talking points:
- The Environment: share your concerns about Pruitt, EPA budget cuts, hits to our environment through pipelines, pulling out of the Paris Accords. Tell our MoCs, Climate Change is REAL.
- Healthcare: It still needs fixing! The Ds could work with moderate Rs to negotiate a better ACA. Ideas for fixing ACA.
- Tax Reform: Just google it, there are lots of thoughts out there…
- Infrastructure Bill: Ds & Rs should be able to work together on this.
- Saturday, April 15, 2:00-2:00p- Tax/Economic Justice March and Rally Fountain Square, 520 Vine St. 45202, Bring signs!
The tax rally may not your big issue. But it’s important to stay fired up. Show your support for the thousands of people in our community, and millions across the country, who, like us, are making it a habit to be aware and engaged.WRITE If you can’t make it to your MoC’s office, send a postcard. Brad Wenstrup: 513-474-7777, 7954 Beechmont Ave, Cinti 45255 Suite 200 Steve Chabot: 513-684-2723, Carew Tower, 441 Vine St., 45202, Suite 3003 Rob Portman: 513-684-3265 other offices, 312 Walnut Street, 45202, Suite 3075 Sherrod Brown: 513-684-1021, 425 Walnut Street, 45202 Suite 2310 CONNECT
- Monday, April 10, 5:30-7:30p- In House Relationships – The Relationship Between the Office of the President and the House of Representatives. How to Know Who Your Lawmakers Are, How They Vote, and How to Hold Them Accountable. Featuring Senator Cecil Thomas, 9th District of Ohio, Mercy West Hospital Auditorium, 3300 Mercy Health Blvd, Cincinnati Click on description to register.
- Tuesday, April 11, 7:00p – OH District 1 Indivisible Organizing Meeting – Cincinnati Main Library, 800 Vine St, 45202. Click on description to register.
- Thursday, April 13, 6-8p – CAC 44 E. 6th St., * Ticketed Event: CAC, One Night, One Craft Click on description to register.
When President Obama was in office, these issues had strong public support: a single payer for healthcare, a carbon tax to mitigate effects of climate change, and basic gun safety background checks. On the April 6th Politics Podcastintrepid NPR reporter Susan Davis said, ”there are advocates among younger Ds who want the legislative filibuster to go away.” What could this mean? As always, we’re looking for MoCs who want to tackle problems and get stuff done.