On November 18th, 2009, the Hometown Shakedown was officially set in motion by Resolve and our partners at Invisible Children. Thousands of activists made phone calls to their Senators and Representatives in a nationwide call-in, and 34 meetings were held in local offices across the country to generate further support for the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act.
As a direct result, seven senators and six member of the House of Representatives immediately agreed to cosponsor the bill, including Majority Leader Harry Reid and Foreign Relations Committee Chair John Kerry. The support of these two key figures led to the Senate’s first vote on the bill that December, which in turn set the stage for the showdown with Senator Tom Coburn and the eventual successful passage of the legislation the following year.
After the November 19th event, the Hometown Shakedown continued as a sustained campaign, leading to hundreds of more local lobbying meetings around the nation in the following six months. This sustained lobbying effort resulted in 30 more Senators and 70 members of the House of Representatives cosponsoring the legislation from November 19th onward. All in all, when the bill was sent to President Obama’s desk in May of 2010, 267 Members of Congress had signed their names to the legislation, the most cosponsored bill focused on an Africa related issue in at least 37 years, or as far back as electronic records document.