Letter to the Editor: College Democrats on the importance of calling your representatives

Within his first 11 days in office, President Donald Trump has issued executive orders that have struck fear and dismay across America and around the world. His actions indicate that the governmental checks and balances will not be sufficient in reining him in, and so millions of Americans are exercising their freedoms to push back. At a time when the need for action is urgent and imperative, we need to work collaboratively to effect change. So what can we do as Northwestern students? Call our representatives!

Calling your congresspeople and senators is fast, easy and, most importantly, effective. When Republican congressmen moved to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics earlier this month, the extreme backlash and calls that flooded their voicemails forced them to abandon these efforts within days. And yes, the operative word here is call. Representatives receive thousands of emails. One email, however heartfelt, can get lost between the many scripted templated emails sent by advocacy campaigns. But their staffers log every single call; it is their job to listen to you. Make it clear that if they don’t do that job, your votes won’t go their way in the midterms or in 2020. Make your voice heard. Don’t let your representatives forget that they work for you –– call them to say that you don’t believe in the cruel, discriminatory policies of Trump’s administration.

Northwestern University College Democrats is joining almost 20 other universities nationwide to start a “Capitol Call-in” campaign. As soon as a bill or executive order arises, every College Democrats chapter will table at their school to get students to call their representatives. Every so often, we will be on the ground floor of Norris with a list of phone numbers, talking points and cell phones waiting for NU students to come by and make a call. This is an easy opportunity to make the kind of change and impact we often tweet or post on Facebook about. It is not enough to express frustration within liberal bubbles, but we also need to make it clear to our elected officials that they must stand up to Trump’s policies.

The Muslim ban is President Trump’s most recent attempt to circumvent all normal standards for creating comprehensive foreign policy and show that he is turning divisive rhetoric into destructive action. But his actions have not come without due consequence. Thousands protested the detainment of refugees and immigrants from the countries included in Trump’s ban, lawyers worked tirelessly towards their release and the ACLU fought the ban in court. We need our elected officials to back up their constituents and echo our protest in policy.

In response, we will be calling in opposition to the Muslim ban this Friday, Feb. 3. Capitol Call-ins are an influential way to show our representatives that students are coalition-building across the country. It is a tangible way to make your voice loud among hundreds. Let’s make sure NU’s voice is loud.

The College Democrats Executive Board can be reached at [email protected]. If you would like to respond publicly to this column, send a Letter to the Editor to [email protected]. The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of all staff members of The Daily Northwestern.