- November 22, 2011
- Advocates in Action
I’m convinced. You activists are darn good at what you do.
Last May, you got a bill passed – something that only happens to 3 % of bills introduced to Congress. Then, exactly one year ago, you got a Presidential strategy — the first-ever U.S. strategy aimed at permanently ending LRA violence. No big deal. And most recently, 100 U.S. advisers are on their way to central Africa with orders from the President to help strengthen efforts to stop the LRA and protect civilians. Needless to say, the past year and a half have provided ample evidence that your voices can make waves in Washington and move our leaders to help end this crisis.
All of this progress is definitely worth celebrating. But we have to party quickly and move on (think flashmob), because there’s lots of urgent work to do in order to see the game-changing action on the ground that’s needed to protect civilians from LRA violence and bring Joseph Kony to justice.
So naturally, we’re coming to you – because we have big things to accomplish and as we’ve already established, that seems to be your specialty.
From now until December 31st, we need you to go to town — calling and writing your representatives — to ensure that they continue to stand by their commitment to see an end to LRA violence.
What do we want from them specifically? Well, among other things, money. (Yup, I went there.) Bottom line: for the President to realistically translate his LRA strategy into life-saving action, Congress must provide funding for it in the national budget. Now, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that in today’s climate, Congress won’t choose to do that on it’s own. In fact, we’re already seeing evidence of resistance from some members of Congress who don’t see ending LRA violence as a worthy priority. Getting the LRA strategy funded is going to take a strong, concerted effort from all of us.
By thanking your members of Congress for passing the LRA bill last year and telling them how committed you are to seeing this crisis ended (and getting your friends and family to do the same – wink, wink) you send a loud and clear message to our leaders that ending LRA violence is worth the investment – and that inaction has a higher cost.
So here’s your assignment — and seriously, go crazy with it:
1. CALL YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS.
It just takes a minute, but it can absolutely influence your members of Congress – and it’s fun! We’ve whipped up some simple instructions and a call script for you to make it even easier. And don’t be greedy — if you’re connected to a club, faith community, or other network, then organize a group call-in day so that everyone can join in the good times.
2. WRITE YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS.
Politicians are people, too (yes, it’s true). And who doesn’t love getting a hand-written letter? Sure, writing a letter may take a few more minutes (and motor skills) than a phone call, but it’s actually one of the most effective ways to influence our policymakers. If you’re connected to a network, organize a letter-writing party. More letters means your message to Congress is louder and stronger. (Pssst! Teachers, this is a great writing assignment!) Click here for simple instructions and to download letterhead you can use.
3. JOIN A RAPID RESPONSE NETWORK OF RESOLVE ADVOCATES.
This fall and spring, as Resolve works to put pressure on the President to implement his LRA strategy and on Congress to support it, there will be crucial times when we need to mobilize advocates in certain states and cities. We’re going to need people who we can count on to take action – and fast. These targeted “advocate blitzes” could literally secure millions of dollars in life-saving efforts for LRA-affected communities. If you’re ready and willing to be a part of this “rapid response network,” shoot me an email. I want to know who you are and what you’re about. Email me at Lisa@theresolve.org with the following information:
1. Name (First and Last)
2. Phone number
3. Street Address, City, State, Zip (so I know your Congressional district)
4. Any experience you may have advocating on the LRA issue
5. Your networks – school club, faith community, class, etc
6. Any other fun tidbits you want me to know about you.
Alright, people, that’s all I got. Ready. Set. Go crazy.