Friday, March 17, 2017

Medicare for ALL

Dear Representative Bishop,

You and I have something in common.  I work for the government at Utah State University and have a good benefits package that includes an excellent healthcare plan.  You work for the government too and also have a nice benefits package.  We both rely on taxpayer dollars to provide us with a quality insurance plan that ensures our families have access to quality healthcare services.  We can both see the best doctors and get care at the best hospitals in Utah, and we have prescription drugs available at prices that are affordable, given our income.  Are we more deserving of healthcare than the people we work for?  I don’t think so.

Please DO NOT support the republican plan for repealing the ACA. The replacement is terrible.

Please DO work with colleagues to create a system where everyone in this country can enjoy the health benefits that you and I enjoy.  MEDICARE FOR ALL!  If you do, Republicans win! 

Are we not great enough a nation to have healthy citizens?  It’s time we catch up with other nations (see chart below).  Sick people will not help us build prosperity.  We will lose our economic power if we cannot provide this basic human right. 

Sincerely, Brynja Kohler

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tea Partier Mike Lee

From: Brynja Kohler

Subject: Re: Response to the correspondence you sent to Senator Mike Lee

Date: August 4, 2011 8:16:55 AM MDT

To: "Taylor, Jonathan (Lee)"

Thanks for your reply, but frankly this appalls me! The senator is using a document written in the 18th century to guide government budgets in 2011? I am typing this email on an iPad, you refer me to a Facebook page, and guess what, there is no more slavery ... Our world has changed dramatically!

By the way, the constitution doesn't call for a two party system, and Jefferson had some pretty abhorrent morals. But let's not take the argument of how strong the federal government should be so far back in the past. Let us wake up and look at what will make or country most successful in the 21st century.

It is incredibly irresponsible for the senator to deliver such strong rhetoric calling for tax revenue reductions and enormous cuts in our federal spending without a single idea about what programs or spending the government should cut. Please discuss my disappointment with him.


Brynja Kohler

On Aug 4, 2011, at 7:08 AM, "Taylor, Jonathan (Lee)" <> wrote:

Hi Brynja,

Our office is currently looking into all the agencies, programs, and organizations funded by the federal government. Senator Lee has not specifically compiled a list of wasteful areas at this time, but wants to first look at every aspect and analyze how changes would affect those involved. The guiding document in deciding what the federal government should and shouldn't be involved in is the United States Constitution. Please feel free to follow Senator Lee's Facebook page at and Twitter feed at for information on the latest items he is working on.

Thanks again for writing and please don't hesitate to contact our office if we can be of assistance in the future.



From: Brynja Kohler <>

Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2011 20:21:54 -0400

To: Greg Sutherland <>

Subject: Re: Response to the correspondence you sent to Senator Mike Lee

What government programs and services does Senator Lee want to cut, eliminate, and/or defund? I want to better understand his priorities.

Thank you,

Brynja Kohler

On Aug 3, 2011, at 7:45 AM, "" <> wrote:

August 3, 2011

Dear Brynja:

Thank you for writing Senator Lee. He always enjoys hearing from interested citizens. I have reviewed your letter and have discussed your comments about the debt ceiling with Senator Lee, so that he may keep them in mind when discussing or voting on the matter.

Senator Lee can also be reached on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Please don't hesitate to contact our office if there is anything we can assist you with. Thank you again for writing.


Jonathan Taylor

Office of Senator Michael S. Lee
(202) 224-5444

Dear Senator Lee:

I am writing tonight because of the President's address to the nation regarding the debt issues that are currently debated in congress. I was very glad to hear him call upon the American people to take more responsibility, to contact their representatives, and let their voices be heard on this issue. I have no faith anymore that anyone in the republican party is listening to middle class Americans. And much less faith that the extremist tea partiers are listening to and serving American values and interests. As a citizen of Utah this leaves me with little recourse. But President Obama has inspired me to be hopeful and faithful in his speech tonight, so I will not give up and I will be relentless about expressing my own interests and views.

Repeal the tax breaks for super rich individuals and corporations.
Do not make unfair cuts in medicare and medicaid.
Cut military spending.

Invest in jobs through government and education funding that get people working on long-term projects that benefit the common welfare. In hard economies, I want the government to step up and help the American people get back to work. Do what it takes to keep the air and water clean, the infrastructure current and up-to-date, schools running without having to cut faculty, etc... Along with a responsibility to pay bills that have already accrued, these are responsibilities of government. And I am extremely unhappy with republicans for failing to take any actions on these responsibilities.

Stop hijacking real progress in America with a failure to address real issues while inventing this current debt ceiling issue -- it was never a problem in the past to raise the debt ceiling.

I hope you will understand my frustration. I hope that as my representative you will revisit your outlook and reflect on what best serves the hard working middle class. No more handouts for those that are gaining the most - not when the rest of us are sacrificing so much.

Brynja Kohler

Friday, December 10, 2010

Listen to Bernie

Dear Senator:

I'm listening to Senator Bernie Sanders now and greatly impressed with his wisdom and clarity -- even after standing on the Senate floor for over 7 hours now! What an inspiration!

The super rich do not need tax breaks.

We are at war in Afghanistan still and have much rebuilding and expenses still in our war on terror. We are also in the midst of tough economic times with high unemployment.

It is a great atrocity to even consider extending breaks to the super rich when the vast majority of us Americans are struggling, jobless, unable to afford health care, encountering great losses in our home investments, fighting in wars abroad, unable to save for retirement, etc...

We need a funded government in these hard times and the wealthiest amongst us can afford to pay taxes on their wealth.

Can government trim down spending? Sure, but you do ought to do that first and then cut the amount of tax revenue to cover your expenditures. Don't give these ridiculous tax cuts to the ones who won't even notice.

Represent me.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Clean Energy and Oil Accountability

Dear Senator Hatch and Senator Bennett:

I urge you to work to pass the Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Accountability Act (S. 3663) as soon as you return to Washington, DC in September.

If passed, the Senate bill would improve offshore drilling management and crisis response and finally guarantee funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund – an important tool for preserving and restoring habitat for Gulf wildlife and other animals. It would also invest in Home Star, an energy efficiency program that lowers consumers’ energy costs and creates jobs.

We need to hold oil companies accountable to clean up and prevent future oil disasters.

We need to encourage consumers to cut back on their energy consumption to get rid of this inversion we have in Utah. Just imagine if 15% of these cars were electric. I'd love to go for my morning run this fall and winter and not have to look towards the town where I work seeing this awful brown cloud over everything.

This bill is a step in the right direction.


Citizen Brynja

Logan, UT

This message is also available on the blog

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags Now

Sen. Fran Pavley
Senate District 23
4035 State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Sen. Pavley,

I'm writing to urge your support of AB 1998, the Single-Use Bag Reduction Act.  AB 1998 would ban  plastic single-use bags and require recycled paper bags be sold at stores in California.

The appalling existence of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch should be reason enough to stop use of these bags, which are routinely fatal to over 200 species of marine life.  Californians use an estimated 19 million of these bags every year.  Only 5% or less are recycled.  Paper bags are not much better; they're a drain on our natural resources.  AB 1998 will quickly steer consumer habits to cloth and reusable bags.

San Francisco, Malibu, Fairfax, and Palo Alto currently ban these bags, and 20 other cities are working on bans, including my own city, Santa Monica.  Rather than taking an ineffective piecemeal approach AB 1998 will create a uniform policy and extending California's leadership in good environmental stewardship.  I encourage you to lead by supporting AB 1998.

Citizen Dylan

Monday, August 16, 2010

Preserve Wilderness

Dear Nancy Sultley,

Southeast Utah is home to some of our nation's most prized wilderness lands and cultural resources and is well deserving of federal protection. Unfortunately, instead of working for protection of these wild landscapes a 'wilderness' proposal is being developed behind closed doors by county commissioners that will create ORV access at the expense of preserving these wild lands and the cultural resources they contain.

The San Juan Canyonlands landscape exemplified by the Glen Canyon wilderness contains by many counts, the densest number of archeological sites in the world. This cultural heritage has, and continues to be, placed at risk by off-road vehicle trails that go through archeological sites, leading to unintentional damage and intentional looting.These trails also tend to be in wet canyon bottoms where the site density is the greatest, as is the damage to rare desert riparian areas.

As a Utahn, I have a stake in this legislation as do all Americans. I hope the Obama administration will take a thoughtful approach to public lands legislation for southeast Utah, and only support legislation that provides meaningful and significant protection from ORVs and other threats for the regions cultural, wilderness and water resources, and oppose any legislation that does not.

Brynja Kohler (with help from the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Birthday Wish: Do More to End War

Dear Rep. Bishop, Sen. Hatch, and Sen. Bennett,

Today is my 40th birthday. I always make my charitable donations of the year on my birthday. It makes me feel good and that way I remember that I've contributed. This year, I have decided that I need to focus my donations towards ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I simply cannot believe that we are still involved in these wars today.

My husband and I had our first date at a peace rally in March 2003, just prior to the US invasion of Iraq, and after US bombs had been falling in Afghanistan for years already. Since then, I completed graduate school, we got married, we bought a house, I started a job, we brought two lovely children into this world -- a girl, now 5, and a boy, now 3. And war rages on? I recall conversations with my husband's elderly grandmother about how eager we both were for war to end so her grandson (our cousin) could return from service -- but that conversation took place back in the Bush administration and since then she has passed away. She never saw an end to either of these wars! Do you remember my friend and local hero Marshall Thompson who walked the entire state of Utah after returning from Iraq to call attention to the war and pay homage to the over 500 US soldiers who lost their lives in conflict? Let us each do more. While my family prospers, should I complain? Absolutely. It sickens me to think of the inequity of bombs landing amongst people with a great deal less wealth than we have. Meanwhile, here in the US we aren't even responsible enough to reduce our greedy consumption.

Now is the time to focus on ending war. Please make this your cause in the coming year. When will you bring the reality of the human and financial cost of these wars to the public? I am determined to do more personally, and I'm glad that today I'm sharing my dollars with like-minded organizations. Here are some worthy organizations that I have found:
Brave New Foundations: Rethink Afghanistan

I would sure appreciate some efforts among you law makers to reduce our spending on military actions abroad and to do more for diplomacy and humanitarian relief.
What will you do to bring about peace?


Brynja Kohler
Logan, UT