Extremely valuable face-time with one's elected officials!
January 27, 2017 3:57 PM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend: say YOU were hosting a televised round-table event *this weekend* featuring PA Senators Bob Casey and Cory Booker, what issues would you want to discuss with them?

My bff is hosting said event this weekend in Philly. She will have the opportunity to ask a few pointed questions or introduce topics for discussion, like: their strategy for the anti-Trumpism resistance in 2017, what are they doing to oppose normalization of Trumpism, especially in the committees or sub-committees they're involved with, what are they doing to protect the rights and well-being of LGBTQIA folks in their state, etc. (But, like, phrased way better and more incisive.) She wishes to hear any and all of your suggestions, please and thank you!
posted by Ornate Rocksnail to Law & Government (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What are they doing to support candidates at the local and regional/ state level. Theres a huge gap there between the right wing and the left at thew local level an has been for 20 years and it's trickled up.
posted by fshgrl at 4:01 PM on January 27, 2017 [5 favorites]

Personally, I'd like to start making male elected officials allies in the fight for all health care, by making an example of the meddling of government in family planning for women. For the same reason we want to see their tax returns ... how invested are they?

I'd like to ask any person running for a government position that might be able to control anyone's access to birth control to list all the kinds of birth control they have used in their lifetime and how access to it has impacted their relationships, autonomy (and maybe even career) to decide on their family size and timing.

Basically, if men are going to legislate, they need to answer about their own experiences. That may be a violation of the privacy of their partners ... how does that feel?
posted by typetive at 4:34 PM on January 27, 2017 [6 favorites]

I'd like to ask them about how they perceive the obstructionist strategy of the GOP during the Obama administration, and whether or not they think such a strategy would be effective (for the Democrats) in the Trump years. If they don't think it would be effective, why not, given that it seemed to work so well before. Do they think it puts our Republic at risk to abandon compromise? But are there times when one has to risk the Republic to save it?

(p.s. Booker is a senator from NJ.)
posted by dis_integration at 4:47 PM on January 27, 2017

Oh, shoot. NJ. Thank you, dis_integration! (I'm a midwestern rube with a thoroughly news-fried brain rn)
posted by Ornate Rocksnail at 4:56 PM on January 27, 2017

I would ask them to confirm Senator Franken's statement that none of the D Senators are going to approve the confirmation of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education.
posted by cooker girl at 5:25 PM on January 27, 2017 [5 favorites]

I would want to know why the only Democratic senator who has voted "no" to the whole tracker trailer of clowns is Gillabrand? This is a more hostile follow up to Dis_integration's question of how the Democrats are fighting the Republicans and Trump administration. You already lost a Supreme Court nominee to Republican obstruction so why the concessions? How is that rewarding bad behavior working for you?
posted by jadepearl at 5:55 PM on January 27, 2017 [5 favorites]

+1ing fshgrl. Casey is actually my senator, though I'm on the opposite side of the state, and I can tell you what I'm hearing from newly radicalized Democrats in Western PA: where the fuck is our local party leadership? And in the absence of that leadership, how do we ourselves become those leaders? And I mean at the very local level. Wards and districts. School boards and town councils.

And also yeah what is the caucus playing at with all these yea votes for this clown car of deplorables? They are pissing off their base big-time, and for what? What are they getting out of this?
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:01 PM on January 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

"What do you think is the most effective thing individuals can do to improve the situation" is of course a cliched question but with good reason, I would ask it.

Cory Booker is a very love your enemies kinda guy and I'd be interested to hear what effects he think the current election has had on the dynamics of the Senate, especially cross-party relationships (are the Republicans less likely to compromise because they have the House, Senate, and Presidency, or are there opportunities to unite with them over mainstream Republican distaste for Trump?)
posted by phoenixy at 6:08 PM on January 27, 2017

"You lived a week on a Snap Budget as Mayor of the city, and did a hunger strike when you were running for Newark City Council, so you know something about going hungry, and the need that millions of Americans have for basic food security. The Republican Platform calls for separating the farm bill from SNAP, and President Trump has previously criticized food assistance programs, which perhaps lack the visible constituency of other programs that he's threatened. What will you commit to do to defend access to affordable food and food security, and what can we do to make sure every person in this country has nutritious food to eat?"
posted by gryftir at 6:49 PM on January 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

Great ask! Thank you for giving us a platform to give some question suggestions!

I would ask how we are supposed to have our voices heard when politicians voicemails are full, phone numbers don't work (like the one for the White House that directs people to nonexistent Facebook messenger) etc. There is no way to know that physical letters aren't put in the trash as son as they come in the door, emails aren't auto deleted, voicemails left un-listened to keeping additional ones from being left or just being deleted unlistened to.

I would want to know what they are doing to make these other politicians be accountable.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 7:26 PM on January 27, 2017 [6 favorites]

I'd want to ask about health care -- not just ACA (affordability, pre-existing conditions, end to annual and lifetime caps) but also the Republican proposals to block-grant Medicaid (or impose per capita caps). How are they going to stop these proposals that would be devastating for people generally and for people with disabilities specifically.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 8:33 PM on January 27, 2017

What did the Democratic Party learn from the last election (House and Senate included)?

What is the Democratic Party going to do to help ordinary people?

Is America really "already great"?

What should be done about campaign finance reform?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:55 PM on January 27, 2017

What are they and Congress as a whole going to do to address the ban on individuals from predominantly Muslim countries entering the US. Moreover, what are they going to do about the stated plan to give Christian refugees priority status?

How will they and Congress address the edict that scientists working in government agencies are being forced to submit their research to the administration before it can be submitted for peer review and publication?
posted by goggie at 8:24 AM on January 28, 2017 [2 favorites]

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