Write letters to our newspapers
The slides for the recent talk by Keith and Ellen Wolcott on letters to the editor and framing is at: Your Words Can Change the World slides. The handout we gave at the talks is at: Summary Handout.
Here is a useful link for writing letters to the editor: how to write a letter to the editor.
If you live in Coles County, use this link to submit a letter to the Journal Gazette-Times Courier, https://jg-tc.com/forms/online_services/letter/. 500 word limit. One per 3 weeks.
The following are other newspapers in the 15th district that have online submission forms.
The Navigator, Albion, IL. https://www.navigatorjournal.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/letter_editor/. 250 word limit.
The News Gazette, Champaign, IL (Champaign is not in the 15th district, but some of its reader are). https://www.news-gazette.com/site/forms/online_services/letter_editor/. 250 word limit. One per month. They do not publish letters published elsewhere (so send here first). They will phone you to check that you sent the letter.
Commercial News, Danville, IL. https://www.commercial-news.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/. 250 word limit.
Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL. https://www.effinghamdailynews.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/. 250 word limit.
Mount Carmel Register, Mount Carmel, IL. https://www.mtcarmelregister.com/site/forms/online_services/letter_editor/. 250 word limit.
Shelbyville Daily Union, Shelbyville, IL. https://www.shelbyvilledailyunion.com/site/forms/online_services/letter_editor/. 250 word limit.
The Leader Union, Vandalia, IL. http://www.leaderunion.com/content/letter-editor. 250 word limit. One per month.
The following are addition newspapers in the 15th congressional district.
The Okawville Times. https://www.okawvilletimes.com/site/forms/online_services/letter_editor/. 250 word limit.
Paris Prairie Press in Paris. https://www.prairiepress.net/contact.
Robinson Daily news. Submit letters to email: email@example.com.
Sidell Reporter. Submit letters to email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters must include the author’s name, address and phone number for verification. No letter will be printed without a signature. Letters may be edited or refused.
Monroe County Independent. http://monroecountynews.net/contact-us/letters-to-the-editor/. The letters may be emailed, dropped off t the office or sent via the postal service. The letters must include a name, address and phone number for verification purposes. The Independent reserves the right to edit any letter to the editor for length and clarity. All letters must include the name of the author and city of residence, which will be printed in the newspaper.
Letters of more than 3,500 characters (about 550 words) will be subject to editing for length. The Independent editors reserve the right to edit letters for clarity, style, length and accuracy.
The Leader. http://www.leaderlandnews.com/contact. 250 word limit. Serving the communities of Allerton, Broadlands, Fithian, Homer, Ogden, St. Joseph, and Royal.
Arcola Record Herald. Submit letters to email: email@example.com.
Belleville News-Democrat. http://www.bnd.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/submit-letter/.
Benton News (part of the local southern news group). Submit letters to email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Daily Egyptian, student newspaper at SIUC. Submit letters to email: email@example.com.
Strohm Newspapers, (they publish the Marshall Advocate and the Casey Westfield Reporter) Inc. http://www.strohmnews.com/home.html.
Edwardsville Intelligencer. Submit letters to email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Less than 200 words. Please provide your name and telephone number along with your letter. You will be called if your letter is being considered for publication.
Rantoul Press. http://www.rantoulpress.com/contact.
Illinois Times. http://illinoistimes.com/flex-162-letters-to-the-editor.html.
The Trenton Sun. https://trentonsun.net/Content/Forms/Forms/Form-Content/Contact-Us/-8/-8/2.
As examples, we have sent the following letters to the paper recently.
Only recently has this newspaper started to cover the atrocities being committed in the United States against its own people at Standing Rock, ND. The Dakota Access Pipeline, which would carry crude oil, was diverted from Bismarck to keep its drinking water safe. The pipeline is now scheduled to pass through Lake Oahe, an important source of drinking water for the Standing Rock Reservation, and to go under the Missouri River, a water source for millions of people living downstream. The peaceful protests of the Native Americans, which have been going on for months, have recently been met with military responses, including firehoses, rubber bullets, and tear gas. Hundreds have been injured, all in the name of our greed for oil. Some would argue that America needs to be independent of foreign oil, but it should not be at the environmental cost of our country and physical harm to our ci tizens. Why is the drinking water of the Americans in Bismarck more important than that of the Americans at Standing Rock? The National Guard of North Dakota should be protecting the peaceful protesters rather than supporting the military actions against them. Please contact the Office of Governor Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota at 701-328-2200 and urge him to stop hurting the protesters and ask that the pipeline be re-routed again (or better yet, rejected, like the Keystone XL Pipeline). — Ellen Wolcott
President Trump plans to further cripple the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by cutting its workforce in half and defunding the agency. Quoting a Reuters investigation of the United States, there are "nearly 3,000 areas with recently recorded lead poisoning rates at least double those in Flint during the peak of that city’s contamination crisis." How long will anyone's drinking water remain safe? Who will be the next Flint, Michigan? — Ellen Wolcott
The wall is projected to cost between 12 and 25 billion dollars. It is silly to think that Mexico will pay for it. It will come out of our own pockets so we need a source of revenue. An unrelated problem that we have made progress on, but that is still far from resolved, is the inequality between women and men. One area of inequality is that women make about 80% of what men make. For doing the same jobs, the range is typically between 65% and 90%. Excuses for not fixing this range from claims that they are not doing the same jobs to it hurts businesses to pay women more. So instead of raising pay for women to the level of men, I suggest that we lower men’s pay to the level of women. This could have several benefits. First, the 20% of men’s salaries could be used to build the wall (or maybe there’s a better use for our money). Second, lower salaries for men might give them a very good sense of the injustice that women have lived with for centuries. In the interest of equality, I would accept such a pay cut. — Keith Wolcott
I am a woman, a wife, a mother and an aunt. I have a daughter and nieces. Women's health care, and particularly reproductive health care, is very important to me. I stand with Planned Parenthood because every person has a right to affordable quality health care. Shutting down Planned Parenthood would deny millions of patients, regardless of income, sexual orientation, race, religion, gender or country of origin, access to cancer screenings, birth control, HIV testing, and more. Currently, Federally Qualified Health Centers refer patients to Planned Parenthood for family-planning care. If Planned Parenthood is shut down, these patients would have nowhere to go. For more information, go to www.plannedparenthoodaction.org or www.istandwithpp.org. — Judy Looby
Everyone can agree that our government isn’t functioning well, and there is plenty of blame to go around. Uncomfortably, we citizens share some of it. A strong democracy requires reasonable, well-informed citizens. Collect information from a variety of sources & perspectives – newspapers, magazines, television news & the internet. Fact check the content. There are a number of unbiased fact checking websites - factcheck.org, snopes.com & politifact.com to name a few. Just tuning in to what we agree with is a lot easier, but the well-being of our country is definitely worth the extra effort. — Karen Clausing, Charleston
Our government was formed because we knew that we are stronger together. When we pool our resources (through paying taxes), we create entities that we all benefit from, such as police and fire departments, roads, bridges, and public parks. Many people bristle at the word socialism, but apparently don't understand that they are already part of a socialist society. When Sweden is held up as an example of how well fully-embraced socialism can work, people immediately say that their taxes there are too high, over 56%. Only 15% of Swedes are rich enough to pay at this rate. The average Swede pays less than 27% which is not much different than an average taxpayer in the United States. The big difference is that you get a lot more for your tax dollars in Sweden – tuition-free college, public transportation, healthcare. We too could have a better healthcare system, a better education system, and better roads. A more progressive tax system would help. For some reason in this country, we worship money and respect people who have a lot of it. Most of us work for our money, we earn it. The very rich may earn some of their money by working, but they get a lot of their money by having their money make money in investments. If your regular tax rate is from 25-35%, you only pay 15% tax on long-term capital gains. If you're in the highest tax bracket of 39.6%, you only pay 20% tax on long-term capital gains. Why do we reward making money from money with a lower tax rate? That is welfare for the rich. It puts more of the tax burden on the people who work for their money. Think about this the next time you hear someone mention progressive taxes. — Ellen Wolcott