March 29 - April 3, 2001<br>~Lobby & Action Days to Close the SOA!~ Print


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Legislative Action


Legislative work is a crucial component of the work to close the School of
Assassins, under whatever name it is called. We need to keep up the pressure
in Congress, to re-energize our supporters on Capitol Hill and sign on co-sponsors.
The work that you do locally and at the state level in preparation for the lobbying
blitz March 29 - April 3 will bear much fruit.


The "reforms" to the School of the Americas that narrowly
passed in Congress last year did not address the past and present atrocities
committed by SOA graduates.  We will continue to work to close the School
of Assassins through vigils, fasts, demonstrations, nonviolent civil disobedience,
and media and legislative work. As part of this continuing effort, a
bill will be introduced in the House of Representatives to close the newly renamed
SOA
.  We expect to have a bill number and final details in March. 
WE NEED TO KEEP THE MOMENTUM! Below are steps you can take
NOW to prepare for the advocacy and action days in Washington.


See how your Representative voted in 2000.   All who voted to close the
school (voted "yes" on the Moakley Amendment to the Defense Authorization
Bill) are especially likely "suspects" for co-sponsorship of the new
bill! We also need to push for support in the Senate!


 


Preparation for Lobby Days

Thursday & Friday March 29 & 30

Monday & Tuesday April 2 & 3



  • Begin Now to set up meetings with your congressional members!
      Call now to make appointments with your Senators and Representatives.
    Do not wait until you are in Washington to arrange meetings.



  • For appointments in Washington: Schedule appointments through
    your member’s Washington office. Call the Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121
    and ask to be transferred. Request to speak to the "Scheduler".
    If they are not available, request their name and phone number. You will be
    asked to send a letter with your request for an appointment. Meet with the
    Foreign Policy Aide if you cannot get an appointment with the congressional
    member. Be sure to schedule and confirm appointments well in advance of
    the March 29 - April 3 lobbying blitz!



  • For local appointments: Call regional office to make appointment
    over recess periods or at other times when your member is in the home district.


  • Set up a delegation to visit your Representative and Senators.
    Form a delegation of labor organizers, religious leaders (bishops, pastors,
    rabbis), veterans, students, human rights and other grassroots groups committed
    to meeting with congressional members to call for closing the SOA.


  • Information and Media packet. Put together a concise SOA
    information packet for your congressional members and their aides. Include
    media packet with local media clippings, stories about constituents, and other
    media showing grassroots support in your state or district. Send it to the
    member before your meeting and bring a copy, including any updated information,
    with you to your meeting. A lobbying packet will be available in DC.


  • Before your meeting, check the SOA Watch web site for up-dates
    on House and Senate bills.


During meeting:


  • Thank Representatives who voted "Yes" to close the school. (See
    list)

  • Urge them to co-sponsor the new House bill to close the school. Ask for
    written confirmation of their continued support.

  • Thank House and Senate Co-Sponsors of last year's bills. Ask for written
    confirmation of their continued support.

  • Be clear about what you are asking your members to do! Bring a written list
    of requests to leave with each member and aide you visit.

  • Lobby packets with updated information will be available in Washington during
    the lobbying and action days.


Follow up after your meetings with thank yous, constituent letters,
reminders, and media work.