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CitizenAction Letters

November CitizenAction Letter 1

EPA: Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides

Dear Sen. [Smith]:

I am writing to urge you to ban bee-killing neonicotinoids pesticides now.

Bee populations are collapsing at an alarming rate, and it’s getting worse. In fact, the American bumblebee has declined 89% in the last 20 years. While climate change, pollution, disease and habitat loss are all major factors contributing to bee population decline, multiple studies have confirmed that toxic bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) – one of the most widely used pesticides in the world – play a significant role in the dramatic loss of honeybee populations. These toxic pesticides increase pollinator infestation by parasitic mites, hinder bees’ ability to forage, weaken colonies, and interrupt mating patterns. Neonic exposure also poses neurotoxic threats to human health, especially with newborn babies.

To protect fragile pollinator colonies, the EPA must act immediately to ban these toxic pesticides. Your own agency’s draft biological evaluations of three common neonics — clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam — found that these dangerous chemicals will have adverse effects on nearly 80% of endangered species and 83% of their habitats, yet these pesticides continue to be sprayed on hundreds of millions of acres of agricultural land. The EU banned neonics permanently in 2018, and Canada has placed restrictions on its use. Some U.S. states have already banned or restricted neonic use, and now it’s time for the EPA to finally take action and ban these pesticides for good.

Please let me know how you intend to address this issue.

Sincerely,

[CREDO member’s name and address here]

November CitizenAction Letter 2

Senate: Lower Drug Prices Now

Dear Rep. [Smith]:

I am writing to urge you to allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices.

All Americans deserve effective, safe, and affordable prescription drugs. Yet, Americans continue to pay the highest prices in the world for prescription medication while drug companies make record profits year after year. In 1999, one vial of insulin cost $21; today, that same vial now costs over $300. In the richest country on Earth, we should not saddle the cost of prescription drugs on the oldest and most vulnerable among us. Our government can and must do whatever possible to lower costs to make life-saving medication affordable to seniors and people with disabilities.

One way Congress could drastically lower prescription costs while saving taxpayer dollars is to do what nearly every major country and the Department of Veterans Affairs already do: negotiate prices with drug companies. According to the Congressional Budget Office, if prices were set to the same median prices as Canada, the U.K., France, and Germany, Congress could save taxpayers roughly a half-trillion dollars over a ten-year period. Giving Medicare the power to negotiate pricing is wildly popular, with recent polling showing that more than 8 out of 10 Americans support it. Congress must not settle for anything less than allowing Medicare the ability to negotiate all drug prices and lower costs now.

Please let me know how you intend to address this issue.

Sincerely,

[CREDO member’s name and address here]

October CitizenAction Letter 1

Senate: Protect Reproductive Rights

Dear Sen. [Smith]:

I am writing to urge you to support the Women’s Health Protection Act.

The ability to access an abortion is a constitutional right, codified nearly fifty years ago by the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade. But today, that right is under attack, with a record 90 bills enacted in state legislatures across the country just this year, which disproportionately affect people of color, LGBTQ people, low-income and young people and other vulnerable communities. In Texas, where the most extreme abortion ban went into effect in September — where 7 million women of reproductive age live — one in every ten women in the country now have had their reproductive rights essentially stripped away. The law is one of the most deplorable attacks on reproductive freedom in the country and bans abortion after six weeks, before most people even know they are pregnant. The law rewards private citizen bounty hunters for turning in anyone who helps someone receive reproductive care.

To protect abortion rights, the Senate must pass Women’s Health Protection Act. According to the bill’s sponsors, WHPA would “protect a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion by stopping restrictive regulations and laws…intended to curtail reproductive health services for women…and prohibit laws that impose burdensome requirements on access to reproductive health services.” You must safeguard the health and safety of people who are accessing abortion care — not misguided and dangerous politics — and WHPA would go a long way to doing just that.

Please let me know how you intend to address this issue.

Sincerely,

[CREDO member’s name and address here]

October CitizenAction Letter 2

Tell the House: Keep Renters Safe

Dear Rep. [Smith]:

I am writing to urge you to pass the Keeping Renters Safe Act of 2021.

During the pandemic, a federal ban on evictions kept millions of renters from losing their homes. Yet, at the end of August, the Supreme Court ended the eviction moratorium put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Biden administration’s attempt to extend the moratorium to protect renters. Now, millions face the harsh reality of losing their homes amid an economic downturn and a spike in the Delta variant as the pandemic rages on. Families across the country urgently need help to stay in their homes and remain safe, and it’s time for Congress to act.

The Keeping Renters Safe Act of 2021, recently introduced by Rep. Cori Bush and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, would clarify regulations to give the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services the authority to institute an eviction moratorium to protect public health and slow the spread of communicable diseases. Instead of exacerbating this crisis even further, millions of renters will be able to count on having a roof over their heads during and after this public health emergency — or the next pandemic that may arise. Housing is a human right, and in the richest nation on the planet, Congress has an obligation to ensure everyone remains safely housed.

Please let me know how you intend to address this issue.

Sincerely,

[CREDO member’s name and address here]

September CitizenAction Letter 1

Make Polluters Pay for Climate Change

Dear Sen. [Smith]:

I am writing to urge you to support the Polluters Pay Climate Action Fund Act to make dirty fossil fuel companies pay for the climate mess they created.

In August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a groundbreaking report finding that human-induced climate change is reaching a point of no return unless we act urgently to curb its disastrous effects. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called the report a “code red for humanity,” saying “ the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk.” Based on more than 14,000 peer-reviewed studies, the report reminds us that we don’t have to look far for who is responsible for this crisis: The ultra-wealthy oil companies that have been knowingly pumping pollution into our atmosphere and rapidly warming the planet.

Because companies like ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Shell are largely responsible for this crisis, they should be required to pay to address the harm they are causing to our planet. The Polluters Pay Climate Action Fund Act, introduced Sen. Chris Van Hollen, would require the largest fossil fuel companies to pay a tax based on their emissions and raise an estimated $500 billion over 10 years. This fund could be used to pay for a clean energy transition, strengthen our infrastructure, and address historic climate injustices. We must act now to slow this human-induced crisis before it’s too late. This legislation would
go a long way to doing just that.

Please let me know how you intend to address this issue.

Sincerely,

[CREDO member’s name and address here]

September CitizenAction Letter 2

Tell the House: Fund Vaccines, Not Bombs

Dear Rep. [Smith]:

I am writing to urge you to support the COVID Defense Act to reallocate military spending to fund global vaccination efforts.

The recent military withdrawal from Afghanistan has reminded the American people how much our longest war has cost: according to researchers at Brown University, American taxpayers have been on the hook for $2.3 trillion so far — or roughly $300 million each day for two decades. Yet, the biggest threat to American safety and security isn’t an endless war halfway across the world; it’s a global pandemic that has killed and sickened millions worldwide and adversely affected our economy for more than a year and a half. As tens of millions across the globe remain unvaccinated and virus variants continue to emerge, threatening American and global public health, the United States continues to spend more on its military than the next 11 closest nations combined.

To combat our biggest national security threat, we can and must reallocate military spending to global vaccination efforts. Rep. Mark Pocan introduced the COVID Defense Act, which would transfer a very small percentage of military spending, roughly $9.6 billion, to do just that. This legislation could help vaccinate an additional 30% of the world’s population within a year, saving millions of lives while building international goodwill and making the world a safer and healthier place. As Rep. Pocan said, “We can’t bomb our way out of a pandemic.” I hope you agree with the Congressman and support this important legislation.

Please let me know how you intend to address this issue.

Sincerely,

[CREDO member’s name and address here]

August CitizenAction Letter 1

Tell the House: Raise Taxes on the Ultra-Wealthy

Dear Rep. [Smith]:

I am writing to urge you to pass legislation to raise taxes on corporations and the ultra-wealthy to ensure the rich pay their fair share.

For too long, America’s richest corporations and wealthy individuals have used their immense influence to rig American government to increase their wealth and further their own interests, while the middle class shrinks and income inequality worsens. According to the Federal Reserve, 59 of the richest Americans, who have a combined worth of just over $2 trillion, own more wealth than the poorest 50% of Americans, or roughly 165 million people. Yet, a recent exposé by ProPublica found that multibillionaires like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Michael Bloomberg regularly pay nothing in taxes. Another study found that at least 55 of America’s largest corporations paid nothing in taxes while raking billions in record profits last year.

We must fix our broken tax system if we want to decrease income inequality, lessen the racial wealth gap, and address the pressing issues facing our country. To pay for critical programs like infrastructure, tackling the climate crisis, and expanding health care, the rich must pay their fair share, which can be done by rolling back the Trump tax cuts, increasing taxes on the wealthy and corporations, and instituting a tax on extreme wealth, like Sen. Warren’s Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act. This isn’t just good policy; it’s also extremely popular. Polling has found more than two-thirds of voters believe the rich should pay their fair share, and half agree that multi-billionaires should pay a wealth tax.

Please let me know how you intend to address this issue.

Sincerely,

[CREDO member’s name and address here]

August CitizenAction Letter 2

Tell the Senate: Pass Urgent Voting Bills Now

Dear Sen. [Smith]:

I am writing to urge you to quickly pass important voting rights and democracy reform legislation before it’s too late.

American democracy and our fundamental right to vote is under attack. In the wake of Donald Trump’s “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen — which spurred a violent and deadly insurrection on the U.S. Capitol — at least 18 states have enacted 30 laws that will restrict access to the ballot box, according to the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice. Many of these laws institute harsh voting restrictions that are based on false and racist allegations of non-existent voter fraud and will ultimately make it harder for voters of color to cast their ballots.

In addition, extreme state legislatures are not only moving forward on bills that could overturn the will of the people in elections, allowing partisans to reject legitimate outcomes and pick their preferred candidates, they are also preparing to gerrymander congressional maps to lock in partisan majorities for a decade. Critical bills like the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act could stop these discriminatory anti-voter laws, ensure a fair and secure election system, and help preserve American democracy. However, these bills remain stalled in the Senate due to the filibuster, a procedural relic historically used to block civil rights legislation. If we want to protect justice, democracy, and our freedoms, you must end the obstruction, reform or eliminate the filibuster, and pass these critical voting and democracy bills now.

Please let me know how you intend to address this issue.

Sincerely,

[CREDO member’s name and address here]