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Thank you for taking the time to reach out the President Obama and your Representative! There is more you can do, however. You can significantly increase your impact by calling the White House comment line or your Representative's office. Below are suggestions on how to effectively contact your Representative and President Obama about the call to close SOA/WHINSEC.


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For tips on contacting President Obama, visit here.

TIPS FOR CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVE

Urge your representative to support human rights and shut down the SOA by contacting the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121. Once you are connected to your Member of Congress, ask to speak with the legislative aide that deals with foreign affairs.

If you plan to follow-up your call with a meeting in your representative's district office, be sure to ask for a date and time for a meeting during their Constituent Work Weeks.

Before you call your Representative, check to see if they are on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. If they are, click here for a call script specifically addressing them.

SAMPLE CALL SCRIPT TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE

“Hi, my name is ______ and I live in ______. I am calling to ask the congressman/woman to reach out to his/her colleagues on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction and urge them to add the Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation (formerly the School of Americas) to their list of targeted cuts.

WHINSEC is a combat training school in Ft. Benning, GA that has trained more than 64,000 Latin American soldiers and officers. Due to popular pressure, the school, then known as the School of Americas, was closed in 2001, only to reopen the next day with a new name. SOA/WHINSEC continues to train hundreds of soldiers each year in the exact same location with almost the same curriculum. The concerns raised with regards to the SOA were never adequately addressed, and it needs to be closed for an investigation to be initiated.

In addition to resolving a number of well-publicized human rights concerns, closing the school would free up $180 million dollars over the next ten years. As a constituent, I urge the congressman/woman to contact his/her colleagues on the Joint Select Committee and let them know that s/he supports cutting funding to SOA/WHINSEC.”

TIPS FOR MAKING EFFECTIVE PHONE CALLS

1. Ask to speak with the legislative aide responsible for the issue. Give your name and tell him or her that you are a constituent.
2. Be specific about what you want the member to do.
3. 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.
4. Thank them for their time.