Letters to the Senator

October 8, 2019

Dear Senator Tillis,

Blatantly inviting or coercing foreign governments to help him get elected is a good reason to impeach the president, but his rhetoric and policy concerning immigrants is just as disturbing. Since he first announced his campaign, he has characterized Mexicans as criminals and worse, manipulating public sentiment in false and hideous ways. The truth is that only 1.8% of immigrants commit crimes, compared to 3% of naturalized citizens.

Meanwhile, there is a concerted effort by the White House to make people believe that immigrants are a drain on the economy when the opposite is true. Study after study has shown that immigrants put far more money into the economy than they take out. Undocumented people put 16 billion dollars into Social Security each year and will never be able to collect any of this money.

Every week there are efforts by the White House to terrorize undocumented people and restrict immigration. Constitutional and human rights violations of immigrants escalate daily. In the past few weeks alone, there have been repeated efforts by the Administration to severely limit immigration, by the “presidential declaration,” the “public charge” declaration, and the proposal to deny visas to immigrants who lack health care coverage.

North Carolina is home to about 325,000 undocumented people. They are our neighbors, colleagues, and friends. We are protesting today in solidarity with them and demanding that you stand up to this president’s cruelty and lies.

Letters to the Senator

Letter prepared to present to NC Rep Price at his informal town hall and to Sen Tillis who has not had a public town hall since elected in 2018.

My name is Laurie Fox, from Durham.
Thank you for this opportunity to speak directly with you.

I am here to urge you to intervene on behalf of Carlos Hernandez, a man who has been unjustly detained by ICE since August 13 of this year.

I’d like you to think about the repercussions of removing this, or ANY, Head of Household from a family of 6.

I ask you: Who becomes the breadwinner? Who will be the children’s caregiver as they are catapulted into POVERTY?

Think of the effect of the trauma to the whole family, especially the children: the effects on their schooling and their overall education, their physical and mental health: the fear, anger, depression and distrust that may imprint for life.

Think of the human repercussions that the community must deal with in the schools, on the street and at our clinics. I have seen similar tragic cases during the years I worked at a community heath center. The psycho-social and economic ramifications are exceeding painful and costly for the whole community!

Think of the human consequences of ONE entirely unnecessary and cruel ICE action: the detention of a decent, contributing, longstanding member of the community who has harmed noone.

No one benefits from this action. The entire community suffers.

Are you not moved, Rep Price, Senator Tillis, to stop this cascade of life-long misery with all your power and heart?

Please commit to fighting for Carlos Hernandez, his family, and our whole community.

STOP ICE from fueling the disintegration of families and communities, citizens and non-citizens alike.

Letters to the Senator

September 17, 2019


Dear Senator Tillis,

Surely you can see that the bullying, “winner take all” attitude of your party in North Carolina (your enduring legacy here) and in the White House and Senate are a real danger to democracy.  Indeed, you have nearly destroyed democracy, and we wonder if you know the extent of the damage.   Clearly the GOP cannot win elections without lying and cheating, and you need the help of hostile foreign governments and aggressive voter suppressionin order to elect candidates who will further your extreme right-wing agenda.


If this is not true, why is the Senate not taking up H. R. 3351, the House bill which gave 500 million dollars to the states for election security?  Apparently, Senator McConnell wants the Russians to continue to tilt the election in the president’s favor, and he himself wants to continue to get their help.   Apparently both men know that in a true election (one person, one vote) they will be voted out.  Doesn’t this bother you, or have you totally sold your soul because you too know that cheating and lying is the only way you can stay in power?


Our entire intelligence community has said emphatically that hostile foreign powers are already at work on the 2020 election.  In every country, we need paper ballots and machines that can’t be hacked, in time for the next election.


We call upon you to represent ALL of the people of North Carolina, to have town halls, to listen and give serious thought to what benefits all of us.  We call upon you to stand up for election security and against voter suppression.  This would be contrary to everything you have done so far in public life, but you took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.  It is never too late to do the right thing.

Letters to the Senator

August 27, 2019

Dear Senator Tillis,

You wrote in a recent letter to constituents, “I welcome a discussion of ideas to make our communities safer from gun violence,” and “a healthy dialogue is long overdue.”  Yet you still have never had a town hall and you continue to meet only with wealthy donors and people who you know will agree with you.  Meanwhile, an average of 1,113 people in North Carolina die every year from gun violence, many of them children.  That’s one death every 7 hours.

Polls indicate that 70% of Americans support red flag laws, yet you worry that these laws may take away the constitutional rights of gun owners.  We ask you, what about the constitutional rights of the rest of us?  We know that you accepted 4.5 million dollars from the NRA in your 2016 election.  Is money worth more than the lives of children?  On August 19th, Z’Yon Person, 9 years old, was shot in the head in Durham NC and instantly killed as he rode in a car with 4 other children.  Gun violence is the third leading cause of death for children in our state.

In February, the House passed HR 8 requiring background checks prior to gun sales, a measure supported by 97% of Americans.  We demand that you publicly urge Senator McConnell to bring this bill to a vote in the Senate.

You say in your letter, “I am supportive of common sense measures to prevent dangerous criminals and mentally ill individuals from having access to firearms.”  In fact, mentally ill people are much more likely to kill themselves than other people, and blaming them for gun violence is misleading and increases needless stigma.

Instead of joining the president in demonizing mentally ill people, we urge you to point out the clear relationship of both domestic violence and hate speech to gun violence.  The misogynistic and racist rhetoric that the president displays on a daily basis is another part of the problem, and we urge you to do your job as a Senator and stand up to him.  It is not too late to do the right thing.

Letters to the Senator

Senator Tillis Must Speak Up

Last week the president gutted the Endangered Species Act and created a whole new way to punish immigrants. Then, he re-tweeted a conspiracy theory.

Meanwhile, Sen. Thom Tillis is acting the role of a “useful idiot,” pretending that what is happening is not happening.

It seems the only thing Tillis he cares about is getting re-elected. Anyone who truly intended to “protect and serve the Constitution” would be calling out the president’s blatant disregard for the rule of law and Sen. Mitch McConnell’s misuse of the Senate.

Tillis needs to meet with his constituents, not just his wealthy donors. He needs to speak up for the creatures who are being killed and the public land which is being destroyed to make way for more oil and gas, the children being separated from their parents, and the earth itself, which is crying out for our advocacy.

Karen Ziegler, Durham

Read more here: https://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/letters-to-the-
August 18, 2019 News and Observer