Lutheran Peace Fellowship

Taking action for what we believe
Lutheran Peace Fellowship

For several decades, ending hunger has been an important legislative priority. During that time, we’ve learned a lot and grown in skill and determination. What is unique this year is that our efforts have a receptive administration.  Our advocacy is still urgently needed:  lobbyists for every special interest group are promoting their own priorities – at the expense of needs like development aid or food stamps.  Here’s the great news: if we do our part, we have a good chance of achieving much or even most of what we seek!

Contacting an elected official: Many people don’t write or e-mail their elected officials because they find it intimidating, or wonder if it makes any difference.  Yet, if we don’t do so, our point of view will be undercounted.  The solution:  A simple 4-6 sentence note, written in 8 to 12 minutes.  Begin by thinking about what approach might be most helpful to your particular member of Congress (e.g. thanks for past leadership).  Center your note on what you want your official to do.  Add a reason or two and perhaps a statistic.  State clearly what you want and ask for a response.  If you get inspired and write more, fine. 

Examples of notes to elected officials.

Dear Senator Smith,
Members of our church are discussing the economic crisis and ways government might help at home and abroad.
I would like to see you work to strengthen financial accountability and transparency and ensure relief plans help ordinary people with health care, mortgages, jobs, retirement and college savings, etc. People in other nations are hurting too. Please work to increase funding for International Affairs programs that address hunger and extreme poverty. And urge support for H.R. 2139 in the Senate to better coordinate such efforts. I look forward to hearing from you.

Mary L. Public

Dear Representative Jones,
The continuing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere remind us that military options have grave limits in solving conflicts. Thus, I was dismayed to see budget discussions assuming we must add tens of billions in new funding for the military, but arguing over new money for the International Affairs programs that address extreme poverty and hunger in the world -- key underlying causes of conflict.
I hope that you will work to contain military spending and expand programs that reduce violence in the world. Specifically, increase the $4 billion increase in poverty-related foreign aid approved thus far. Add your leadership to enacting at a minimum the vision of H.R. 2139 to improve the effectiveness of our aid. Thanks for listening. I’d appreciate a reply on what you’re doing about these concerns.

Your constituent,
John Q. Citizen

Make the most of your letter: Send it to other members of Congress. And send it to a local newspaper, too!  Newspapers publish letters in part by how many they receive on a particular issue.  Even if your letter isn’t chosen it can help another on the issue get printed – encouraging readers to learn more and take action.  We’d also love to see a copy:  1710 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122. For more information, see:    5-09 lpf

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