The last time I saw a fax machine in use, my Dad was standing at it, dialing a phone number, and feeding paper through what I thought (at the time) was a printer. It was probably the nineties. Now in 2017, in the age of email and attachments, I don’t even list the office fax number on my business card, mostly because I don’t know what it is. Yet, thanks to ResistBot, faxing is becoming the latest tool of concerned citizens in contacting congress.
ResistBot is an online service-bot dedicated to helping citizens like you or I contact their representatives with ease, whether through letters, calls, town-hall meetings, but especially, yes really, by fax.
As a quick and easy way to send an important message to your congressional representation, ResistBot formats your SMS texts into a letter to be sent, and then faxes the message, even going so far as to send you a confirmation once it is received in Washington.
Starting by texting RESIST to 50409, the bot replies, offering to help write your elected officials. Then, it walks you through a brief list of questions, taking your name and zip code so as to locate your congressional representation. From there it asks for your message, and then offers options for previewing, starting over, discarding or sending your message, all through SMS texts to your cell phone, as advertised on their website, no application is required. Once you’ve written a letter to your Senators, it unlocks the option to write to your Representatives in the House, as well as send printed letters and make calls to Congress.
In testing it myself, I found it easy to use, even for my brief message thanking Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren for their hard work, and I found the preview function works well as well, formatting my texted message as a formal letter with an addressed letterhead and all. I especially liked the confirmations when the faxes were delivered, so that I knew they made it.
Currently, ResistBot is aiming to have sent half a million letters to members of congress, as well as provide services for easy lookup of your Congressional Representatives, easy points of contact to your Senators, as well as developing a schedule of town-hall meetings so you can take your resistance to congress in-person.
ResistBot’s gotten some high-profile promotion too. Since its creation, it’s been promoted and used by celebrities and politicians alike, with activist-actors like Debra Messing and George Takei, as well as politicians like Senate candidate and former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander even promoting it as well as a quick and easy way to get in touch with your representatives. The bot is also soliciting small-dollar donations on their website so the bot can expand its repertoire to other Point-And-Click acts of digital resistance as well.
For some, with Congressional representation that aligns with their views like mine, ResistBot can serve as a handy quick and easy tool to write your congressperson, thanking them for their work, or encouraging them to stand strong in opposition. For those with congressional representation that doesn’t always agree with them, ResistBot can be a powerful tool to remind Congress who they’re representing, and what their priorities should be.
With all of our comprehensive digital communication now, who would have thought in 2017 a fax machine would be such a useful medium of communication? You can learn more about ResistBot on their website, (https://resistbot.io/) or just text RESIST to 50409 to get started. Happy Resisting!
Nick Mancuso is a writer and essayist based in Boston, Massachusetts with a passion for all things politics.
COPYRIGHT MILLENNIAL POLITICS LLC 2017