Some of the provisions of the Patriot Act are up for renewal, and so Congress is debating whether to renew them or not. I’d like to see them expire, so I wrote a letter to my Senators and Representative, which is actually pretty darn easy to do and makes me feel more involved in the government. You should do it too!
First thing to do is to do a little research and write your letter. I found information about this at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which led me to a coalition of groups opposed to the Patriot Act (Patriots to restore Checks and Balances). Looking at these sites (and a few news articles) led me to write the following letter:
I would urge you to consider supporting the Security and Freedom Enhancement (SAFE) Act introduced by Senators Craig, Sununu, and Durbin. This act would add some checks and balances to some provisions of the Patriot Act and would help protect the civil liberties of all Americans. When the Patriot Act was passed in 2001 (a mere 45 days after the terrorist attacks of September 11), Congress voted to make the most extreme provisions expire in December 2005 so that they could be reviewed, and now is the time to review and curtail them. The bipartisan group Patriots to restore Checks and Balances (with members such as Grover Norquist and Bob Barr) is in favor of this bill and other efforts to maintain our civil liberties in the face of the Patriot Act.
I would be most interested to hear your thoughts on civil liberties and the Patriot Act. Thank you for your time.
It’s not a great letter, but it gets the point across. After that, it’s easy to go to www.senate.gov and www.house.gov to find your representatives and write them (they all have email forms to contact them). My representatives are:
(anyone in Texas has the same senators, but probably a different representative, unless (for example) you live in my apartment complex 🙂 )
So take 10 minutes and write them. Maybe this isn’t important to you, but when an issue that is important comes up, let them know!