By Lecia Imbery
February 15, 2017
The first recess period for the new Congress begins this Saturday, Feb. 18, and runs through Sunday, Feb. 26. Several of CHN’s members and friends have put together resources for advocates to use during this recess when members of Congress will be home in their states and districts. Use these tools to reach out to your elected officials on issues of concern to the human needs community, inclu
ding the Affordable Care Act, immigration, President Trump’s cabinet picks, pending budget cuts and more. Elected officials who are supportive of human needs issues need to hear from you too, so they know you support their stance.
Families USA and the Protect Our Care Coalition (which includes many CHN members) have a plethora of recess resources designed to help you fight to keep health coverage for millions of Americans. These resources include a tool to email your senators and representative, a tool to submit a letter to the editor of your local paper, and a social media toolkit with sample tweets, Facebook posts and action items. They also have fact sheets and infographics that detail the financial and personal cost of repealing the ACA for each state, and a webinar series on defending health care. Families USA also has a new advocacy guide to help advocates set up meetings with members of Congress and talking points on how ACA repeal and Medicaid cuts would hurt consumers.
The Town Hall Project, a grassroots effort that empowers constituents to have face-to-face conversations with their elected representatives, maintains a calendar of town hall events being held by members of Congress around the country. Find a town hall near you and plan to attend and bring friends and family.
MomsRising also has resources available for advocates interested in attending a town hall meeting to help protect health care. Advocates can receive a book of stories from MomsRising members about how health care has helped their families, community and local economy, as well as sample questions to ask at an event.
ResistanceRecess.com, a project of MoveOn.org, also has a list of elected officials’ local events, town halls, and other public appearances, as well as resources on attending a town hall event, holding a constituent town hall, a media guide, bird-dogging, and more.
House Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Democrats are working to set up events nationwide on Feb. 18 in defense of the ACA, Medicaid and Medicare. Types of events will vary. Reach out to your members of Congress to see if she/he is holding an event, and offer to be of assistance. The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities both have pieces on block grants and per capita caps, both of which are potential threats to Medicaid. If we receive information on ACA-related events organized by Republican members of Congress, we’ll update this blog with that information.
President Trump is scheduled to address Congress on Tuesday, Feb. 28, just a few days after the recess ends. In this speech, he’s expected to lay out his administration’s priorities and proposals. AAUW has created bingo cards to use while watching the address, with some of the key words women and girls want to hear from him in his first year as president. You can also play online with their interactive bingo board and use their resources to organize a watch party.