Harry will have more details and the full transcript later, but I just wanted to give a quick update on today’s excellent phone call. Our timing was perfect: earlier today, Representatives Conyers, Nadler, and Scott introduced bills to reform the PATRIOT Act and FISA (HR 3845 and 3846). House Judiciary Committee markup is expected in two weeks.
The short-term priority is to ask House Judiciary Committee members (and other Representatives) to sign on as co-sponsors for the bills. My guess is that as with the Senate, a lot of organizations will be have phone and email campaigns. Kevin Bankston of EFF pointed out that we’re uniquely positioned to complement these via Twitter and Facebook. New members like Judy Chu could use some encouragement; other names tossed around included Wexler, Grayson, and Ron Paul. As a first step, let’s continue to thank politicians who are courageous enough to stand up for civil liberties. If you’re on Twitter, could you be kind enough to retweet?
RT @GetFISARight: Thanks to Reps Conyers, Nadler, and Scott for Patriot Act and FISA reform bills http://eff.org/r.4at #patriotact
Another potential opportunity is to couple online activism with traditional letters-to-the-editor campaigns. Jim C volunteered to write up some bullet points; with additional suggestions from Jon, Sally will help turn this into a blog post.
We also talked about trying to get folks like Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and Bill Moyers to cover the story. There was an excellent suggestion about framing it in terms of a battle within the Democratic party between the heroes who are making good on the promises made to reign in the Imperial Presidency … and those who are trying to prolong the status quo. We’re on the side of the heroes 🙂 The basic plan here is to draft a blog post on “here’s where the story is”, and start tweeting and emailing it to Maddow, etc. There’s a very early draft here; others, please share your suggestions.
And finally, we agreed that now’s the time to get started on our next open letter to Obama. As a first step, I’ve started things off with some excerpts from letters from Sally, Nancy, and Lois. Feedback welcome!
Our next call’s going to be Tuesday, October 26, 2 p.m. Pacific/5 p.m. Eastern. More details soon.
It was a great call and I’m sure there’s a lot I overlooked. Thanks to Kevin, Mark, Sally, Jo, Brandon, Melinda, Jim, Jim, Jim, Rafael, Harry, Soren, Patrick, and anybody else who was on the call!