|Calling Your Member of Congress|
|Thursday, 14 February 2008 00:00|
PHONE CALL CAMPAIGN TO CONGRESS
Organizing a phone call campaign to Congress is an easy action item that you can coordinate as part of your solidarity fast this month. Below are some tips and resources for your phone calls.
TIPS FOR MAKING EFFECTIVE PHONE CALLS
--When calling the DC office of your legislator, ask to speak with the legislative aide responsible for foreign affairs. Give your name and tell him or her that you are a constituent. When calling the district office of your legislator, ask for the constituent services representative.
--Be specific about what you want the member to do.
--Ask what the member's position is on the issue. If the staff person is uncertain, ask the staffer what he/she would recommend to her/his boss.
--Thank them for their time
GETTING IN CONTACT
Representatives in the House have at least two offices, and sometimes more, where they conduct their business of supporting their constituents. To contact the district office of your representative, located in your community, you can check your local phone book for the listing or check the Representative's website for their contact information. The websites for all House Representatives are located at www.house.gov. These websites also provide the contact information for their DC office, where the legislative staff works. You can contact them directly, or contact
the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121. Ask to be connected to your Member of Congress, and when you are, ask to speak with the legislative aide that deals with foreign affairs.
SAMPLE PHONE MESSAGE
"Hi, my name is ______, I live in ______, and I am a constituent of Congressman/woman ______. I am calling because I would like to bring to your attention an important opportunity to sponsor legislation that supports human rights in Latin America. Rep. Jim McGovern has introduced legislation that would suspend and investigate the School of the Americas, which now uses the acronym WHINSEC.
The School of the Americas is a combat training school in Ft. Benning, GA that has trained more than 64,000 Latin American soldiers and officers. New information indicates that WHINSEC has allowed known human rights abusers to instruct and receive training at the school. Argentina and Uruguay are two more countries that have made public announcements they will no longer send students to the school, citing the negative image and history of this institution. The concerns that Congress raised with regards to the SOA were never adequately addressed, and it needs to be closed so that an investigation can occur.
As your constituent, I urge the Congressman/woman to contact Rep. McGovern's office to become a cosponsor of this bill. This would be one very concrete step to support human rights and promote peace and justice for the people of Latin America. As an elected official in Washington D.C., I hope you will represent me and support this bill and/or any other legislative item that would investigate or cut funding for the school."
5525 Illinois Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20011