Let’s connect with Rep. Chris Stewart.
Since the rowdy town hall in Cottonwood Heights last month when Rep. Chaffetz accused unhappy constituents of being paid protestors bused in from out of state, no other member of our Utah delegation to Congress has dared host a real in-person town hall meeting. Sen. Lee and Rep. Love have held tele-townhalls. Sen. Hatch has held private, invite-only meetings and called them town halls. Rob Bishop skipped his constituents and visited with the state legislature. But this Friday evening Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah’s District 2 will host an in person town hall in Salt Lake City.
Are you in District 2? We hope you will take the opportunity on Friday evening to ask questions and listen to your representative’s beliefs, ideas and plans. Though he has received far less press than some of our other congressional representatives, Rep. Stewart has an important role to play in the public lands debate, the American Health Care Act (ACA repeal bill) debate and (starting this morning at 8am in the House Intelligence Committee) investigating Russia. Yes, the spotlight will be on Rep. Stewart in Utah this week. Let’s keep our eyes open.
Reaching out to our congresspeople is great, but even more effective can be the relationships we build with our state legislators. Check out this week’s actions for ways you can connect to your state legislators, and much more!
Town Hall with Rep. Chris Stewart – Friday, March 24, 7:00p, West High School, 241 N 300 W, Salt Lake City 84103. Action Utah will be there! What issues you want to hear from Rep. Stewart on? Do you plan to attend? Let us know by emailing us here. Not sure how to participate in a town hall? Check out our tips, available any time on our Resources page.
1. Go to the Chris Stewart Town Hall. This Friday evening at 7:00pm at West High School in Salt Lake City, join Action Utah and our District 2 constituents to ask good questions, to listen to Rep. Stewart’s answers and to gauge how well your congressman represents us, our families, our beliefs and our needs.
- Join our Action Utah Town Hall team by contacting us here. We will send you tips on how to be effective at a town hall meeting as well as information about Rep. Chris Stewart.
2. Get to know your state legislators. Seriously, get to know the people who represent you and (hopefully) act in your best interests by creating legislation on your behalf every year. You have one state senator and one state representative, so we’re really only talking two people. Now that the state legislative session is over, your legislators have gone back to their normal, everyday lives, their home towns, their families and their full time jobs. They are people just like you and me. VERY ACCESSIBLE PEOPLE who you can call, email, tweet and meet with. We are fortunate to live in a state where legislators are so available to their constituents. But we don’t take advantage of our ability to connect with legislators nearly enough. One Action Utah member recently told me that her legislator sought her out when she took a visit to the Capitol because she had emailed him more than anyone else. But the funny thing was that she had only contacted him a few times. Her emails made an impact, and he remembered her. Gain the ear of your legislators next legislative ssession by building a relationship with them now.
- Find out who your state senator and representative are by clicking here. TIP: put your legislators’ cell phone numbers and email addresses in your contacts so you can easily contact them when policy issues arise that matter to you.
- Send your legislator an email. You can thank your legislator for passing good legislation, voting for a good bill or against a bad bill. If they voted against your beliefs, it’s okay to call them out on it and tell them why you believe differently. If you don’t know how they voted, email them about something that matters to you. For example, do you want to see our public schools get more funding, our criminal justice system reformed, our air quality problems taken seriously? Go ahead and let them know.
- Follow your legislator on social media. Tweet about them, like their comments on Facebook, send them a friend request. Our state legislators respond on social media.
- Schedule a meeting with your legislator during the interim. Have a passion for a certain issue? Contact your legislator to schedule a meeting and talk about it face to face. There is no better way for legislators to know how their constituents feel. Action Utah will be traveling around the state meeting with constituents and their state legislators and local community leaders. If you live outside of Utah County and want to join one of our meetings in your area, let us know!
- Remember to always be polite. Even if your legislator votes against your beliefs 99% of the time, look for common ground before entering a conversation. It’s much easier for legislators to hear opposing viewpoints when spoken calmly and intelligently than through angry tirades.
1. Ask Rep. Chris Stewart to investigate Russia, for real, THIS MORNING. Rep. Stewart is a member of the House Intelligence Committee, which will be holding an open hearing THIS MORNING starting at 8:00-11:00a MST. This will be the first time FBI Director James B. Comey and Adm. Mike Rogers, director of the NSA, will testify since Trump’s inauguration. They will cover questions about Russian interference in the 2016 election as well as the Trump administration’s ties to Russia. Republicans may play politics and focus on White House leaks as the problem, or they may cross the White House and ask about real national security concerns. Which line of questioning do you want to see Rep. Stewart take?
- Constituents — Call Rep Stewart’s office FIRST THING THIS MORNING to let him know you want him to put national security over partisan politics. Make sure he asks the hard questions and truly investigates Russia on our behalf. Not sure what questions you’d like Stewart to ask? Check out this article for some ideas. The hearing begins at 8:00am MST this morning, but the investigation will not end there. If you don’t get a chance to call before the hearing begins, there is still time to ask Rep. Stewart to dig deep on Russia!
- Anyone – watch the open hearing live streamed here. And read this article so you know what to watch for.
2. WRITE about why you don’t want to see the Affordable Care Act repealed. Organizing for American makes it easy to write a letter to your editor, even if you’ve never done it before.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local paper by using this tool to find guidelines and a sample template. You can use this list of Utah newspapers to figure out where to submit your letter.
3. Stand with immigrants. Although the Muslim Ban 2.0 was halted by a Hawaii court last week, the Trump administration’s orders authorizing the rounding up of the 11 million undocumented immigrants remain in effect, instilling fear and uncertainty nationwide.
- Check out Muslim Advocates, a national legal advocacy and education organization, and join their live broadcast on Facebook Tuesday, March 21st, at 1pm EST to hear their Public Advocacy Director discuss current campaigns. To RSVP for the event and submit a question in advance, click here.
- Support the Sanctuary Restaurants movement, launched earlier this month by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United), a restaurant worker advocacy group, and Presente.org, a Latinx social justice organization. Sanctuary Restaurants provides resources to restaurants, enabling them to support our community, including our undocumented immigrants. Patronize Sanctuary Restaurants in your city, or print out these information cards and bring them to local restaurants to let them know how they can become a Sanctuary Restaurant too.
- Sign this Mom’s Rising petition to Trump and the Department of Homeland Security not to separate children from their mothers at the southern border, trending now on our Petitions, Petitions! page.
- Learn about how the private prison system has a lot to gain from Trump’s arbitrary immigrant incarceration quotas by watching this brief video.
Thanks for choosing Action Utah!
As we continue to grow daily at Action Utah, we feel honored that each of you has joined our team and given us the privilege of showing up in your inboxes and social media feeds in order to help you stay informed and engaged on a weekly, daily and urgent basis. We were flattered by yesterday’s article in The Independent highlighting Action Utah’s efforts and philosophy. We can confirm the author’s presumption: Action Utah has no intentions of fading away.
Andrea & Katie
Co-Founders, Action Utah