With the inauguration less than two weeks away, the incoming Trump administration is preparing to implement a number of campaign promises. Republicans are voting on repealing the Affordable Care Act and removing government reimbursements for Planned Parenthood, and many Americans are worried about losing access to health care, losing jobs, discrimination, deportation, and more things portended in Trump’s campaign.
However, many Americans are also taking that fear and turning it into action, organizing and calling politicians to ensure their elected officials are acting on their behalf. Because while politicians may have their own agendas, their job is to be the voice of their constituents and do what the people who elected them want.
The U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives have respective websites where you can search for your congresspeople. The Senate site only lists the phone numbers for their D.C. office, but once you click on their personal websites you can find numbers for local offices. You can also email or send letters to your congresspeople, but many say calling is the most effective way to contact them because they have to hear you.
Your congresspeople are your go-to for any and all concerns you have about what the government is doing, whether it’s about specific policy or just to voice an issue you want your senator to be more proactive about.
Here are other ways to ensure the government knows what’s important to you.
If you want access to affordable healthcare (aka don’t want Planned Parenthood defunded or ACA repealed)
House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan to repeal ACA includes a measure to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding. Ryan has been conducting a survey on ACA for a few months now, which can be accessed by calling (202) 225-3031 or (202) 225-0600.
After a pre-recorded spiel about why he wants to dismantle ACA, callers can press 1 to register their support for ACA or 2 to oppose it and leave Ryan a message (though the voicemail has been full every attempt we’ve made). Bernie Sanders also has a petition calling for Congress to expand health care coverage.
If you want a living minimum wage
The week of Jan. 16, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) will be holding a confirmation hearing on Andrew Puzder for the position of secretary of labor. Puzder, CEO of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurant chains, has previously said he opposes a $15 minimum wage because it would increase automation—and in the same year said he wants to try automation in his restaurants. Machines are “always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall or an age, sex, or race discrimination case,” he said.
The Senate Committee on HELP can be reached at (202) 224-5375.
If you’re worried about racism in Trump’s cabinet
On Jan. 10, there will be a confirmation hearing for Sen. Jeff Sessions, possibly one of the most controversial of Trump’s picks. Sessions has a history of racist behavior, including being deemed too racist for federal judgeship in 1986, after colleagues testified he used the N-word and said the KKK was “OK, until he learned that they smoked marijuana.” He reportedly called a white lawyer a “disgrace to his race” for representing black clients. The Southern Poverty Law Center also declared Sessions has ties to anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim hate groups.
You can call the Senate Judiciary Committee at (202) 224-5225.
If you’re concerned about the environment
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency, is a documented climate-change denier, as are many other possible incoming cabinet members. Pruitt has described himself as a “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda,” and wrote in the National Review that “scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.” (According to NASA, 97 percent of scientists agree that climate change is happening, dangerous, and caused by human activities.)
Aside from your congresspeople, call the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works at (202) 224-6176 (majority office) or (202) 224-8832 (minority office).
If you want to protect Standing Rock
While on Dec. 5 it was announced that the U.S. Army Corps would not grant the final easement necessary for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline, that doesn’t mean DAPL isn’t getting built. Now the Army Corps needs an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which would fully assess the dangers of building a pipeline so close to a water supply; it has not yet started the process of filing for an EIS.
Stand with Standing Rock has a form on their site to contact the Army Corps of Engineers, or you can call their specific DAPL comment line at (202) 761-8700.
If you want to protect immigrants
One of Donald Trump’s loudest campaign promises was to build a wall on the border of Mexico. There are many reasons why that would be impractical, costly, and an ineffective measure to stop illegal immigration, but the larger sentiment behind it was that undocumented immigrants (and certainly some documented ones) are not welcome in America. We’ve written before about the realities of immigration to and deportation from America.
To voice your opinion, call the Subcommittee on Immigration and The National Interest at (202) 224-7572 (majority office) or (202) 224-6498 (minority office).
If you’re worried about LGBT discrimination
Congressional Republicans say they’re planning to reintroduce the First Amendment Defense Act, a “religious liberty” bill that, as it read when it was introduced in 2015, “prohibits the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that: (1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”
Which would mean that anyone with the “moral conviction” against same-sex marriage or sex outside of marriage could discriminate against people who participate in those things, and the federal government couldn’t punish them for it. Donald Trump says on his website, “If I am elected president and Congress passes the First Amendment Defense Act, I will sign it to protect the deeply held religious beliefs of Catholics and the beliefs of Americans of all faiths.”
The bill was last introduced to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee but was not voted on by Congress, and has not yet been introduced in the 115th Congress. But if it is, call your representatives and senators.