Recess is here, and it’s already a lot of fun
It’s officially congressional recess—your Members of Congress (MoCs) probably flew back into town on Friday. Oh boy. We’re sending our weekly email a day early to make sure you’ve got everything you need to be prepared for this big week of action. Here’s the great news: the organizing you’re doing is already having an impact. Republican Rep. Mark Sanford co-hosted a town hall with Indivisible Charleston, and Rep. Brian Mast announced he would hold a town hall after his Florida constituents wrote a song asking him to listen to them.
TONIGHT (Sunday): national planning call to kick off Reclaim Recess week
Join us, MoveOn.org, Working Families Party, People’s Action, and Center for Popular Democracy tonight at 8 p.m. ET. We’ll be covering how to make the most of your MoCs’ time back on home turf. RSVP for this call now.
Got a zip code? Then there’s probably something happening near you.
If you don’t have recess plans yet, it’s not too late—check out our new one-stop map to find a recess advocacy event or local group near you. Your fellow local advocates have added a ton of new town halls in just the last couple days, so even if you didn’t find an event near you before, definitely check back now. You can also use this tool to find local groups and group meetings. And if there’s not yet an action planned in your area, be the change: get started planning with your local group and register it here so others can find you.
What to talk about with your MoCs over recess
This week, your MoCs don’t have votes and committee hearings. This is a great opportunity to ask them the big picture questions—and to try to get them to commit to an answer—so we’ve outlined four major topics to ask your MoCs about. It’s also a week where they’re supposed to be focusing entirely on YOU, so just as important as our suggestions is for you to ask them about whatever issues matter to you the most. Here are our guides on how to talk about some big issues:
- Defending the ACA/Obamacare. Republicans have been trying and failing to repeal Obamacare for seven years. And seven years later, they’ve still got no plan for how to replace it. If your MoC has been calling for repeal, ask them these questions—we’re pretty confident they won’t have a good answer.
- Opposing Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court. The next Supreme Court justice will shape the Court’s decisions for decades to come. It’s absolutely essential that Democratic Senators stick together in opposing Trump’s nominee.
- Opposing the Muslim and refugee ban. Trump’s appalling ban may be tangled up in the courts right now, but he’s announced that another executive order on immigration is coming soon. A town hall is a good time to get your MoC to commit publicly to taking action.
- Demanding that Trump release his tax returns. With this week’s revelations about ties between Trump’s inner circle and Russia, this is more important than ever. Congress can make Trump release his tax returns, but they have to act. Push your MoCs to sign Rep. Bill Pascrell’s letter—check out the last set of questions here for more information on what to ask your MoC.
Everything else you need for the week is available in our Reclaim Recess toolkit
In addition to the above issue-specific guides, we’ve got tips on having a successful town hall and sample questions to ask your MoC. This includes:
A few especially important points to remember:
- Be prepared: have in mind the questions you want to ask your MoC or stories you want to tell—practice your story in advance if you need to.
- Model progressive values: you can hold your MoC accountable and still be kind, polite, and respectful of them, their staff, and other town hall attendees.
- Take pictures and videos: This is crucial to your success—be sure to send these to local press. We’ll help amplify your message too, so share your pictures, videos, and stories with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, use #indivisible and tag @IndivisibleTeam on Twitter, or post them to Facebook.com/IndivisibleGuide.
This is the part where we ask you for money
In the nine weeks since we put the Indivisible Guide online, we’ve gone from a few folks with a Google Doc to a team of more than a hundred volunteers, working around the clock to produce new tools and resources.
We LOVE supporting the Indivisible movement, but the reality is that the webinars, websites, tech tools, and new staff time do cost money. So if you like the new materials we’ve rolled out this week and want to see more like them in the future, we’d be really grateful for your support!
This recess will be big because of you
You may be pressuring a MoC to boldly resist, or you may be trying to convince a more cowardly MoC to just come to the town hall you’re orchestrating. But regardless of who your MoCs are or how you’re engaging this recess, know that this stuff matters. When you engage with your MoCs this week, you are making sure you that they’ll head back to Washington with your demands and your stories, and they won’t forget it.
We won’t immediately get everything we want. But your local action is how change begins. It’s time to Reclaim Recess, and we’re so proud to be standing indivisible with you this week. We will win.
The Indivisible Guide team
www.indivisibleguide.com | Donate