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An Open Note on Aid to #Ukraine & How to Contact Your Reps, Ideas for Talking Points & More. Democracy in Action.

Updated: Feb 5



Democracy is not a spectator's sport. Every once in a while you gotta be willing to "get some" on you. In other words: you have to be willing to wade into the cesspool of politicking & let your voice be heard REPEATEDLY, LOUDLY.


It's been announced that #UkraineAid will again be hacked away from yet another funding package and what's left -- aid for Israel -- will be funded. This would simply be sticking a bandaid on a larger problem that will be more costly later. (More on that below.)


🇺🇸✨✨✨AID FOR UKRAINE IS NOT & SHOULD NOT BE A PARTISAN ISSUE. IT IS ABOUT US SECURITY, EUROPEAN SECURITY, GLOBAL SECURITY. ✨✨✨🇺🇸


We all need to do our part. The Ukrainian people are doing their part everyday -- because they have no choice. They don't have the luxury of "Ukraine fatigue."


We need to get off our collective butts & engage in the political process. Ukrainians are dying every day, children losing their parents in this war, or being kidnapped by Russia, or worse. (Trigger warning: details of rape of children, people of all ages, torture, executions in the linked report) The LEAST we can do is show up at political events, make phone calls write some letters, am I right?


This the the “family friendly” graphic giving a broad overview of the October 2023 U.N. report.
This the the “family friendly” graphic giving a broad overview of the October 2023 U.N. report.

So, let's talk about that strategically. I'm going to talk about what the research on constituent engagement has to say, then we'll put that together with some strategies on a way forward. Next, I'll give you some stuff you can use as a starting point to construct your own set of running talking points.


🚨🇺🇦🚨PROTIP: IF YOUR LEGISLATOR ALREADY SUPPORTS UKRAINE: AWESOME!!! ALL OF THIS STILL APPLIES TO YOU, TOO! Please, follow steps below to thank them & encourage their continued support!!! 🚨🇺🇦🚨

✨✨


Once upon a time I use to work for a US Senator -- Bob Graham of Florida. He was the former Governor of Florida, too. Bob was one of the good ones. My brief stint in college as an intern in his downtown Tampa office in the old "Barnett Bank" building saw me mostly slinging phones, doing research & on occasion shaking hands & getting in some face time with the Senator's constituents. His office was very hands-on & very much wanting us to "learn the process." So, I have 1st hand advice on how to deal with these types of situations effectively.


My old boss: US Senator Bob Graham (FL)
My old boss: US Senator Bob Graham (FL)

 (Need to find yours? For US House of Reps click HERE & US Senate click HERE. Want to send a message to Speaker of the House Rep Mike Johnson, too? Here is his contact info.)


🚨AT THE OUTSET AS A POLITICAL SCIENTIST LET ME JUST SAY: None of what I am about to say is made up, or even old/ outdated. 🚨


Research demonstrates time & time again a few things:


It's best to stick to calling your reps: staffers filter your interactions OUT if you are not part of their constituency. 🚨

Further, they barely care about calls and whatnot -- mostly in-person interactions. UNLESS the calls are personal, substantive, & they are OVERWHELMED with these types of calls.🚨


Moreover, the research also demonstrates, staffers are still using the same methods to today as they did a bajillion years ago. 🚨


In short, if your rep is looking for constituent opinions, then a subset of the loudest people win. 🚨


For sake of brevity, I will marriage the research, which follows my experiences, with what YOU can do!!!


✨✨✨In order of preference according to data (1-3 should be read as a single variable "in-person interactions")✨✨✨


  1. If you can, attend as many in-person town hall events as you can & bring thoughtful questions & comments that show you did your research; demand politely action. "I am counting on you to do the right thing for Ukrainians & for US security." 🏛️

  2. Is your rep showing up at a local diner, barbershop, bbq, or other community event? You need to try to go & speak with them or a staffer-- same thing. Show up to as many as you can & show up prepared. 👩🏻‍🍳

  3. Drop in at their offices. You might be thinking-- I don't live anywhere near DC. Neither do I!!! But your reps/ Senators have local/ state offices. And it might just be nearby or close enough. Come prepared w/ thoughtful questions, comments! Go often (maybe once every few weeks )-- just don't be creepy. Be very polite & cheerful. 😇

  4. Write PERSONAL letters. Lots of them. But don't reinvent the wheel!!! Start with one letter you write. Each time rearrange your points to focus on another issue, perhaps take a few out this time. As new events come up in the news, add them to your main running form letter that you will constantly copy & paste into a new letter, reorganize, refresh, change! If you can, it is BEST to then HAND WRITE the letter (I am completely serious) & snail mail it to both DC & LOCAL OFFICES!!! Do this frequently!!! 📝

  5. CALL. EVERY. WEEK. 📲 You can use your letter as a guide for conversation but DON'T READ IT OFF. If you are scared you might-- turn it into an outline or bullet points. (Example below) Leave name/ address if they don't have it. Ask them to repeat it if they say they do have it -- just to be sure the info is correct. Then: demand politely a personal reply on how your rep/ senator will act on Ukraine Aid. Do you keep missing them while they are open because their working hours are yours? NO WORRIES! LEAVE A VOICE MESSAGE BUT MAKE IT BRIEF - UNDER 30 SECONDS. Highlight one BIG point each time you, call leave contact info, ask for reply! AND DO NOT WORRY about calling them all the time. Take it from a former intern who took these calls-- it's their literal job. Just call. A LOT. And be nice! ☺️

  6. Email: follow same rules as # 4 above.

  7. Social media: follow same rules as # 4 above.


  • Prioritize 1-3 above equally. Do what's posssible.🚨

  • Then 4-5

  • Then 6-7deemphasize unless you are also doing 1-5.


Some of you may ask-- why don't they care about you forwarding a chain/ form letter from your email? Or from your social media? 🧐


Why can’t I send just chain petitions or copy & paste canned messages from well-meaning groups supporting Ukraine? It’s so much easier?!!1!😭 **EXACTLY BECAUSE IT IS EASIER**, that’s why!
Why can’t I send just chain petitions or copy & paste canned messages from well-meaning groups supporting Ukraine? It’s so much easier?!!1!😭 **EXACTLY BECAUSE IT IS EASIER**, that’s why!

BECAUSE IT'S EASY/ MINDLESS takes ZERO effort. Anyone can do it. From their persepective: SO. WHAT.


They are MORE WILLING to take seriously any action that demonstrates YOU TOOK OUT THE TIME to: go in person, research the issue, craft your own thoughts, etc. and if they go AGAINST your rep/ senator's position, they are more likely to take this stuff seriously... maybe if they are OVERWHELMED by these PERSONAL type interactions.✨✨✨


🚨SO LET'S OVERWHELM THEM!!!🚨



✅ engage in-- REPEATED in person, in writing, by phone INTERACTIONS using tactics above. 🚨🚨🚨


✨🇺🇦PROTIP: Yes, it is ok to visit/ write/ call the Speaker of the House Rep Mike Johnson if you aren't in his constituency. But a few rules apply. 1) BE POLITE. 2) BE BRIEF-- pick 2 or three top reasons he should support Ukraine. Change them out when you call back/ write in. 3) POLITELY, let him know if he does not get his act together, you will actively fund his opponent in the next election.



~~~~~~~

The following are "notes" I wrote for myself to be sure I'm not leaving anything out when speaking to/ writing/ calling my US legislators. I'm leaving this here to give you an idea of how I write my notes. (I added a few more words so they'd make sense to you rather than just scribbles of: "IRAN/SYRIA/ISIS" or "AFRICA", for example.)


(And yes I use emojis in my notes because I'm blind as a bat & it helps me to better demarcate between points.)


PER WHAT I SAID ABOVE DO NOT JUST COPY PASTE THIS. You are welcome to use some of this stuff. It is all true!!! Find your OWN WAY TO TALK ABOUT STUFF -- write it in your own words!!! staffers can sniff canned statements from 1000 paces. Find your political voice!!!!


✨✨✨🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦✨✨✨


We gotta pressure these guys! Let's make it happen. Politely! They work for us!

🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸



Current Speaker of the House Mike Johnson
Current Speaker of the House Mike Johnson

~~~~~

Support Ukraine aid:🇺🇸🇺🇦🇺🇸


Our chance to help bring global STABILITY.


Remember when Europe & the US were standing together against TYRANNY in Ukraine?


Even Lukashenka helped us out from time to time.
Even Lukashenka helped us out from time to time.

Remember the massive gains Ukraine was making with what was essentially our Cold War left overs against the so-called "2nd Army of the world??"


Remember when Putin had a bunch of RED LINES against NATO EXPANSION and then SWEDEN & FINLAND joined even after 🇷🇺 threats & 🇷🇺.... did... NOTHING???



We need to get back to that place & commit to Ukrainian victory. 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦


Look around the world you will see!


Russia supports global CHAOS:


✅ according to the definition of genocide: Russia is committing genocide in Ukraine.


✅ Russia admits to kidnapping over 700,000 Ukrainian children from Ukraine into 🇷🇺; this also meets one of the elements of genocide.


✅ Funded HAMAS Oct 7th massacre— crypto deposit PIJ 2days before. Long “diplomatic” relationship w/ HAMAS.


✅ American troops already killed & injured likely by Iran-backed groups as conflict both 🇷🇺 & 🇮🇷 funded, which began in Israel Oct 7th has spread to Red Sea.


✅ provides direct support for Iran with nuclear program-- violating sanctions against Iran.


✅ has made a deal to purchase ballistic missiles from 🇮🇷 circumventing sanctions-- a significant escalation regarding Iran's involvement in Ukraine. They are already sending Shahed drones.


✅ providing technology to DPRK to launch military satellites … DPRK has already successfully launched one in exchange for artillery and missiles-- in violation of sanctions regime.


✅ Directly supported Bashar Assad in Syria to prop up his despotic regime; did NOT go to Syria to fight ISIS as claimed; most targets were nonISIS. Instead helped gas & cluster bomb Syrian civilians. Still happening TODAY.


Derailing democracy in Africa: Russias Wagner group fomented coups under the guise of anticolonialism in the Sahel upending states like Nigeria and Mali & backing terrorist in Sudan and Somalia resulting in ethnic cleansing. Though Prigozhin is dead, Wagner was absorbed and now totally controlled by russian military & still operating in Africa.


✅ 🇷🇺 has repeatedly threatened to "take back" Alaska -- Alaska was once Russian territory sold to us in 1867.


✅ 🇷🇺 repeatedly threatens 🇯🇵 over Kuril Islands.



✅ Repeatedly threatens former colonial assets now independent states of Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, etc. all NATO members.


✅ Russia funds far-right parties & supports white nationalist groups in Europe & the US.


✅ Cultivates far-left party members to discredit democracies & promote Russian narratives in Europe & US.


✅ Russia has been a massive purveyor of disinformation in an attempt to discredit democracy around the world.


Manufacturing a migrant crisis in EU as a way to discredit democratic EU values.


🚨🚨🚨🚨THIS IS NOT AN EXHAUSTIVE ACCOUNTING OF RUSSIAN MALBEHAVIOR PAST FEW YEARS!!! 🚨🚨🚨🚨



If we let 🇷🇺 win in 🇺🇦 a few things happen:


✅ 🇷🇺 will have the opportunity to recover strength, regrow their economy & their weapons stock.


✅ This means, just as they did after 2014, they will plan for another war in 🇺🇦. Only this time be better prepared.


✅The end result will be zero fear of direct western response. In fact, 🇷🇺 will use the fear of nukes as a ploy to broach NATO territory. Poland, Baltics, etc.


✅ 🇷🇺 will become the new colonizers in Sahel, endangering democracy, causing more violence for the populace & stoking terrorists groups also aligned with Iran against Israel or even groups aligned w/ ISIS.


✅ continue reign of terror in Syria.


✅ 🇷🇺 would be more inclined to act on Alaska in the future when ready.


✅ 🇷🇺 more encouraged to act 🇯🇵 over Kuril Islands.


✨✨✨ In short: we give aid and comfort to our enemies of today, and those who may come tomorrow!


✅ 🇨🇳 is watching to see our response. If we are weak and give up Ukraine we betray our own future security. How?


✨✨✨if we allow Russia to take part of Ukrainian territory, to reward Russian aggression because we are scared of 🇷🇺 escalating — 🇨🇳 will use the same scare tactics in the future against us.


❌ So will any future would-be tyrants/ enemies!


❌ abandoning 🇺🇦 signals to our allies in 🇪🇺we are not reliable & cannot be counted on as a partner in collective security.


❌ similarly, it signals to 🇯🇵🇰🇷we are not a reliable partner in the Pacific vis-a-vis 🇰🇵🇷🇺


❌ ADDITIONALLY— 🇨🇳🇷🇺 & any current or future dictators will also interpret  🇺🇸 abandoning 🇺🇦 no longer a reliable partner in 🇪🇺 security, which may also mean

🇪🇺 less likely to support 🇺🇸 if attacked.


❌ FURTHER— 🇨🇳🇷🇺 & any current or future dictators will interpret this to mean 🇺🇸 is  feckless & weak & will ultimately bend the knee to tyranny.


✨✨✨✨THIS MEANS WE WILL FOREVER BE AT THE WHIM OF DICTATORS AND BE AT INCREASED RISK FOR HOT WAR ON OUR TERRITORY.


❌❌WE MUST NOT BEND THE KNEE TO TYRANTS.


✅✅ we must preserve 🇺🇦🇺🇦's desire to move AWAY from the tyrannical grip of the 🇷🇺 orbit towards democratic 🇪🇺 — REMEMBER!! This was the overwhelming CHOICE of the Ukrainian PEOPLE which sparked Maidan in 2013 & the ouster of Yanukovich!!!


✅✅we must stand on our values today or our children will fight the war on our soil tomorrow because we were too feckless & weak to finish in 🇺🇦 today.

~~~~


Of course-- this is just talking about SECURITY!


None of this even comes near discussions on economic benefits for everyone involved-- INCLUDING American citizens. ✨🇺🇸


ANYWAY--- use all some or any combo of these or others points as they come up!! DO YOUR PART FOR UKRAINE, FOR DEMOCRACY, FOR OUR OWN SECURITY!! 🇺🇦




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