Resources - National Level
Preamble: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
At the top of the nation's organization chart is the Constitution, which lays out the structure and operation of our the Federal Government along with peoples' rights. Below the constitution are the three branches of government: legislative, executive, judicial. There are checks and balances among them. This remarkable document is always worth a read again, especially these days as it is being severely tested.
A story goes that, upon his exit from the Constitutional Convention, Ben Franklin was asked what sort of government they had created. His reply: A Republic, if you can keep it!
The Congress has control over the Supreme Court wrt its composition and scope of appellate cases. The power to establish "inferior" Federal courts is also in the hands of Congress. The demise of Roe v. Wade and SCOTUS' new relentless march to obliterate real voter rights, freedom of government from corruption (e.g., United We Stand, the NRA) and many inferred freedoms have led to numerous opinion pieces, optimistically emphasizing Congressional oversight. Here are two that seem objective:
Legislature: US Congress
The US House and Senate represent districts in the states. A link to the full MA delegation can be used to look up contact information for Representatives outside our town.
Constituents can contact their Reps or Senators about legislation or work their committees are doing (or not doing!) Below are lists of the leaders and contact information.
A Record: Women of the US House, 2019
Below are also links to Congressional leaders, as well as voting records and ideology rankings (updated 2020) Rankings and voting records are useful in two ways: 1) evaluating candidates who are current members of Congress and 2) looking for Republicans who work across the aisle and may be receptive to our communications on issues.
Checks and Balances - A Few Examples
We are in a banner decade for witnessing checks and balances at work. Unfortunately, many have fallen prey to the intense polarization and, the "evolution" of the Republican party.
Congress has the power to oversee the Executive Branch and it currently has investigations, too numerous to list here, in progress. The most important one, perhaps in our history, is the Jan 6 investigation in the House. Additionally, Congress launched two impeachment trials against former president Trump. Because of the power of Congress to turn back progressive legislation, and appoint even more ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justices we are working hard to keep/increase the Senate Majority and hold the House or at least minimize any GOP majority there.
The Judicial Branch has a role to play investigating the Executive branch. We praise lower courts for upholding the 2022 election, and assisting the Biden DOJ in its investigations of Trump and his violent extremists. On the negative side, we condemn the regressive actions of the new 6-3 majority wrt voter rights, gun control, the power of execute government agencies to move climate change action, Roe, etc.
The Mueller Investigation fizzled through Trump Justice Department cowardice. Two Congressional impeachments narrowly failed due to cowardice among GOP legislators. For history, links to the Mueller findings:
Merrick Garland Department of Justice is doing it's job overseeing (after the fact) the Trump Executive branch which attempted to overturn the 2022 election, and also appropriated many documents illegally.
The Democratic Party
And, just for fun, check out the official store for democrat-wear!>>>
The Democratic National Committee sets the national platform and it has all our favorite issues that you can read about. Also the party leaders may be contacted, especially if you would like to make suggestions about improving our national message. The website is liberally laced with opportunities for donating, and indeed, those high-impact messages we would like to see on TV and everywhere do cost money. It is useful to get acquainted with both the platform and party leadership.