CNY Solidarity Coalition

United in defense of our community and our neighbors

CNY Solidarity Action Alerts (Week of Feb. 13)

A quick note on calling Congress
Before we get started with our weekly action alerts, a quick note on contacting Congress: Following the recommendations of the Indivisible guide, along with multiple other sources with experience inside Congress, we do not recommend phone calls (or other forms of contact) to out-of-state members of Congress. For three reasons: 1) Those folks don’t represent us and hence don’t care what we think. 2) If we tie up their phone lines, it makes it harder for their own constituents to get through. 3) If they notice or suspect that they are getting lots of out-of-state calls, they will use it to try to dismiss the high call volume as driven by folks who aren’t their constituents. If Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell does something egregious, by all means get on the horn to friends and family in WI and KY and urge them to call, but otherwise, stay focused on Katko, Schumer, and Gillibrand, and trust to our compatriots in other states and districts to handle theirs. To note just one recent example, Sen. Feinstein (CA) was late to oppose Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, but eventually did so because her offices received 55,000 (!) calls from California constituents demanding it.
In order to help forestall problem #3 above, whenever you call Katko’s office, try to mention a quick personal detail that makes clear that you do indeed live in the 24thdistrict. (“Hi, my name is Joan Smith. I live on Harvard Place, in the Westcott neighborhood in Syracuse, zip code 13210.”) And remember, we recommend always being polite when you contact congressional staffers.

Monday (Feb. 13): Block the Swamp Cabinet. The US Senate is voting today on “foreclosure king” Steve Mnuchin’s nomination as Sec. of the Treasury and will likely vote this week on Rick Perry (Energy) and Scott Pruitt (EPA) as well. Andrew Puzder’s long-delayed confirmation hearings for Sec. of Labor are scheduled for Thursday. Please call the offices of Senators Schumer (202-224-6542, 315-423-5471) and Gillibrand (202-224-4451, 315-448-0470), thank them for opposing these nominees, and urge them to continue to stand strong. If you have friends and family in states with Republican Senators, please urge them to call their Senators as well. The Indivisible Austin website has great sample phone scripts on all these nominees

Tuesday (Feb. 14): 3 choices (2 events organized by others, 1 by us)

  1. Katko: Show NY 24th Some Love! Valentine’s Day action, 9:30-10am, Katko’s Syracuse office, 440 S. Warren St., Suite 711. Bring Valentine’s balloons, cards, signs, chocolates to show Rep. Katko that he’s breaking or hearts by hiding from his constituents. More info:
  1. Join Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner for her weekly Trump Tuesday event, 12-1pm @ Perseverance Park, 216 S. Salina St. This week’s event is focused on science and climate change. More details here:
  1. A delegation of CNY Solidarity members is meeting with Mayor Miner on Tuesday at 4pm. If you’re interested in attending, email Jonah at for details.

Wednesday (Feb 15): 2 phone-calling options (1 from home, 1 at the Peace & Justice Center)

  1. Oppose the First Amendment Defense Act! Despite its nice-sounding name, this bill is designed to legalize discrimination against same-sex couples. Last year’s version of the bill is available here, and this article has more details. For this action, we ask that you call whichever of Katko’s offices is located closest to your home. The 4 offices are in Syracuse (315-423-5657), Auburn (315-253-4068), Lyons (315-253-4068), and Oswego (315-423-5657). Whether you reach a live person or voicemail, please clearly identify yourself as a constituent (always mention your zip code!), indicate your opposition to this bill, and ask what Rep. Katko’s position on it is. If the staffer says he/she doesn’t know (or if you’re talking to voicemail), please leave your name and number and ask for a call back with this information.
  1. Support Elizabeth Warren’s fight against Trump’s conflicts of interest. Come to Public Citizen’s office in the Peace & Social Justice Center (2013 E. Genesee St) on Wed. at 1pm to make calls to constituents to build support for Senator Warren’s bill (S 65) that requires Trump to divest from his conflicts of interest and disclose his taxes.

Thursday (Feb 16): “Talking to Your Representatives: an irregular roaming workshop.” Want to learn the nuts and bolts of talking effectively to your elected representatives? Organizers from CNY Solidarity will be going to various parts of the community in the coming months to help you do just that! Topics will include how to talk to staff, how to get officials’ attention, and how to be firm and be heard. First event is Thursday, February 16, 6:00-6:45pm, at Café 407 in Liverpool. Questions?

Friday (Feb 17): Two options (1 in person, 1 letter-writing)

  1. A delegation of CNY Solidarity members is meeting with Senator Gillibrand’s and Senator Schumer’s regional directors at Noon on Friday. Email Jonah at for details.
  1. This one is for folks who voted for John Katko in November. (You’re not alone! I’ve been hearing from lots of you.) Write a letter to the editor to the Post-Standard or any other paper published in the 24th district, identify yourself as a Katko voter, identify one policy issue of concern (heath care, immigration, etc.), and urge Katko to meet publicly with diverse groups of constituents. Click here for a list of outlets and some suggested talking points.

Saturday (Feb 18): Take a day for yourself and your family. This is a long fight; we all need to pace ourselves.

Sunday (Feb. 19): CNY Solidarity Coalition may be meeting today. Our regular meeting location is unavailable today, so we’re working to secure an alternate venue. Stay tuned for details.

Every day and always, be sure to follow us online and on social media!

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