Cover Photo: The author's mother
The author's mother

Dear Mom, Can You Email Our Senator?

You could start with an issue I'M interested in

Dear Mom:

I’ve learned that it’s important to contact our elected officials, even the ones in our own political party. They won’t have the courage to vote the way we want them to vote, unless you call or write to tell them you how you want them to vote. Our senators are changing their behavior because so many people — who have never written or called them before — are writing and calling them now.

Remember your name twin, Bev, my friend’s mother-in-law from Alaska? She recently wrote to her U.S. Senator for the first time. Isn’t that neat?! Here is an excerpt:

“The purpose of this communication is to encourage you NOT to support Betsy DeVos for the office of Secretary of Education. My primary concern is in respect to her qualifications. While Mrs. DeVos has expressed an interest in children… her job experience in education is sorely lacking…Another of my concerns speaks to the absence of immersion in the educational arena, specifically her lack of knowledge of the I.DE.A. Program. As a volunteer in a Juneau grade school, it is apparent that this program is beneficial and most effective for children’s development and future educational needs.”

After Bev and tons of Alaskans wrote to their Senator, Lisa Murkowski, that Alaskan Senator voted AGAINST Betsy DeVos, even though that Senator is a Republican like Trump and DeVos! The Senator did what the Alaskan voters wanted her to do.

Alaskan Bev personalized her letter, but you don’t have to. Personalized emails are more memorable, but ALL will be tallied by the senators’ offices. In other words, when a constituent (a person in the senator’s district) calls about an issue, the staffer answering the phone or logging the email will note the zip code of that person and the issue that person called or wrote about. Getting lots of calls and emails about any one issue MAKES A DIFFERENCE TO HOW THAT SENATOR will vote on that issue!

Mom, would you please email either of our senators (Feinstein or Harris)? Pick any issue you’re interested in, but if none at the moment, you could start with something I’M interested in — asking the senators to vote against the Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch, for example. The email could be as short as this:

“I am a native San Franciscan who lives in Contra Costa County. Please vote against the confirmation of Judge Gorsuch because he will not protect the rights of my granddaughter to make health decisions about her own body.”

Here are the links to Feinstein and Harris’s email online forms. “Online form” means that you don’t send them an email through your email account. You could write out by hand on a piece of paper what you want to say, and then type that text into the online form on the senator’s website.

Feinstein, Dianne — (D — CA)

Contact: www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me

Harris, Kamala D. — (D — CA)

Contact: www.harris.senate.gov/content/contact-senator

Takes only a minute! Thank you for helping me (and America), Mom!

Love,

Stella

Writer of fiction for young readers | Reader of even more | We are all on the same team