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Old 2011-12-16, 12:31 PM   [Ignore Me] #13
Captain1nsaneo
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Re: Stop SOPA From Becoming Law


I know a bit more about congress than the average bear so let me try to offer some pointers. (and some ramblings)

-If you're not in the congressman's district don't write them.

-Don't use those generic mail formats. Write your own. Mass generics will be ignored.

-It is important to contact your congressman as your message has a multiplier effect. People have opinions but don't voice them often so its assumed that when someone does contact they speak for a larger group. Emails have a small multiplier while Phone calls do slightly better. Hand written letters have a massive multiplier.

-Don't want to give strange sites your contact info?

No problem, everything they have is public info that you can easily get. If you don't know what district you are in or who represents you here's a site that will provide and isn't an advocacy group: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/findyourreps.xpd
It will also give you links to their sites. But if you already know who represents you they can be found here and here:
House http://house.gov/representatives/
Senate http://www.senate.gov/general/contac...nators_cfm.cfm

-What to include in a letter:
But if you are going to write, how do you do it? Visit your representative's website and look for a "Contact" page. You'll always find either an email address or, more commonly, a form to fill out. Congressional staffers say the following things are important to making your message influential: including your name, address, and ZIP code so the staff can verify you are a constituent of the Member of Congress, referencing specific legislation rather than a general issue by bill number and title, talking about the impact of the bill on the district or state, and your own reason for supporting or opposing the bill. While 90 percent of Congressional staff thought these items were helpful, less than 68 percent of staff thought personal stories were helpful. One well-respected organization recommends being: personalized, short, targeted, and informative.
(Source) (Sauce)

-Q:What is the bill's number? A: SOPA: H.R.3261 IP: S.968

-Q: Where can I track it and find its text/summaries?
A: SOPA http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:h.r.03261:
Protect IP http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:SN00968:

-Q: Why does congress suck so much?
A: It doesn't, you've just been raised to believe it does because a lot of people overworked for the public good doesn't make good news. Common perception is due to a case of a rotten apple spoiling the bunch.

-Q: Why doesn't Congress do do anything? A: Because the system was designed to stop people in power from getting things done. It's one of the core ideas behind Congress. And it works.

Hope some of that is useful.
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Last edited by Captain1nsaneo; 2011-12-16 at 12:45 PM.
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