When ISSUES become PROJECTS, you get RESULTS
IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE,
you can’t be a “responsible” owner and not take 5 minutes to do THIS
Cross posted with permission, sender’s name withheld, for obvious reason.
I have been listening and reading about the PAWS debate since the bill was reintroduced in this Congress. I agree with most of the advice floating around on the Internet but I can tell you that the level of opposition communicated to Senators on the Agriculture Committee is paltry at best.
I work for a Senator serving on the Agriculture Committee and we have had very few people contact our offices in opposition to the bill. We have had hundreds of contacts from supporters. (Mostly from people who don't understand the PETA agenda but care deeply about animal welfare.) If it were just a numbers game--we would be losing. Thankfully, that is not the primary way most legislators determine their position but it is a factor.
I would like to make a couple of suggestions:
get too hung up on national organizations supporting or opposing the
bill--they don't vote.
think you have to write a long treatise on why the bill is a bad idea--all you
need to say is "I'm your constituent and I oppose this bill."
3. Most legislators have numerous offices within a state or congressional district--call them all. If you're shy, call after business hours and leave a message on voice mail.
4. The easiest way to contact your Senator is to go to http://www.senate.gov and look for your Senator's website. Visit it and leave an electronic message. Be specific--refer to the bill by name and number and register your opposition. (S. 1139; Pet Animal Welfare Act)
5. Pass around a letter at your local kennel club meeting or at a dog show and get folks to sign it with their addresses and mail it to the Washington office. Thirty original signatures on a letter means a lot more than a letter from the club saying they have a hundred members.
6. Be mindful of the timing. This month things are pretty slow because the Senate is in recess. Twenty contacts this week would be noticed. Once the Senate takes up the Supreme Court nomination in September, a thousand messages will be overshadowed by the tens of thousands of contacts they will receive on that issue.
7. Contact your Congressman and the Representatives from other districts in your state. That bill number is H.R. 2669.
8. Neither bill has received much attention in Congress. However, Senator Santorum (the prime sponsor) is up for reelection and it is very common for the Senate Leadership to suddenly consider a bill to give the Senator bragging rights back home.
9. Call your local congressional offices and invite the local staffer to see your kennel setup. He or she probably won't have time but at least they will know you have nothing to hide--which dispels the supporters statements that all puppies are reared in appalling conditions.
10. Most legislators are traveling their districts and holding town meetings. Attend and make a VERY brief statement that you oppose this bill and think he or she will too once they understand the impact on his/her constituents.