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Rep. Jim McGovern Member Spotlight The Letter Drop Team
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 00:00

The Letter Drop Team

Written by 
Tammy Simkins, Cathy Kaelin and Rick Sumner Tammy Simkins, Cathy Kaelin and Rick Sumner

There are a number of ways that you can contact your Congressional representatives; you can email, call or pay a personal visit to their district or DC office. The action that consistently gets the most attention is stopping in at an office and dropping off a letter outlining what you'd like the office to consider.

 

Rick Sumner is currently a mental health therapist; however 20 years ago he worked with Congressional staffers and Representatives on Capitol Hill in his position with GAO (General Accountability Office). "In DC, you want to look professional and sound professional. You have to respect the fact that people are giving you time and also understand that staffers can't commit for their bosses. They can listen and if you do a good job of explaining what you want, the staffer will take your message back to their Congress member."

On a typical day Rick will visit 20 or more offices delivering letters and talking to available staffers. "You can't really make appointments and visit 20+ offices in a day; nearly all offices are willing to see you for a few minutes and that's all you need." Rick has dropped letters for National letter drops, done special targeted followup letter drops and worked on special letter drops for the Equal Rights Amendment. "PDA is a multi-issue organization and I feel strongly about most of their issues. I live in Virginia so I can make it to Capitol Hill where other people can't." Rick has been part of Letter Drop teams where groups of people join individual office visits but he mostly works alone. "I come early on Progressive Roundtable days and for meetings on HR 1000."

Not only has Rick been willing to drop off letters, he has also worked with new people showing them how to read the Visit Sheets and how to navigate the 3 House Buildings and the 3 Senate Buildings. The first comment that people often make is, "I can't believe there is so much walking!" On a typical Hill visit Rick will walk three (3) or more miles visiting all 3 buildings and nearly every floor.

In August the ERA Action Team joined us on Capitol Hill for Women's Equality Day. On Thursday, Friday and Monday we visited all 100 Congressional women in both the House and Senate. For original cosponsors of HJ Res 43, we dropped off vintage ERA pins; each cosponsor got a special "Thank You" visit. Tammy Simkins and Cathy Kaelin normally engage with Congressional members via social media but were very excited to be able to personally visit the offices and use more than 140 characters to get their message across. Since the ERA was part of the National August letter drop, on Monday we continued with regular letter drops. All told we visited more than 145 DC offices in 3 days.

Read 2909 times Last modified on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 11:35
Andrea Miller

Andrea Miller was the Democratic Nominee in 2008 for House of Representatives in the Virginia 4th District. Prior to running for office, Andrea was a part of Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s presidential campaign, first as Statewide Coordinator for Virginia and subsequently as Regional Coordinator. From 2006 until leading the VA Kucinich campaign Andrea was MoveOn.org’s Regional Coordinator for Central, Southwest and Hampton Roads areas of Virginia and West Virginia. Andrea is also the PDA Virginia co-chair as well as the Technical Director. Andrea co-hosts, organizes and programs PDA's Blog Talk Radio show. She is also the lead designer and production team leader for PDA's websites and printed materials. Andrea co-directs PDA's Capitol Hill letter drops and Hill meetings.

Trans Pacific Partnership Fast Track - Where Does Your Legislator Stand

Click your state to see your Senators and Representatives

Green = Most Legislators Oppose Fast Track, Yellow = Some Opposition, Orange = Oppose TPP, Gray = Unknown
DeLauro 13 - Signed 2013 DeLauro/Miller letter
Pocan - Signed Freshman Letter Opposing Fast Track
W/M - Signed Ways and Means Letter opposing TPP
Gibson - Signed Rep. Chris Gibson letter opposing TPP
SOPA - Oppose Stop Online Piracy Act - voted against
Currency - Oppose Currency Manipulation (Signed Michaud Letter)
Textile - Oppose changes to "First Yarn" (Signed Textile Industry Letter)

ERA Legislation in your State

Unratified states Gold - Ratified States Purple

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CWA devised a simple plan for which they were uniquely suited: drag TPP out of the shadows and into the light - one city at a time - using a medium they understand intimately: Daily Newspapers!

Two CWA members - Dave Felice in Denver, CO and Madelyn Elder in Portland, OR have started the ball rolling. We just need to keep up the momentum leading up to a big day of petition deliveries in January.

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Step 1 is to send an Op-Ed to your Daily Newspaper.

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

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MoveOn.org Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Pulic Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority

MoveOn.org Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab

 

Hand Deliver a Letter to your Senators or Representative on the TPP

If your Senator(s) and/or Representative is not currently opposed to Fast Track, they may not completely understand all the implications. Nothing sends a stronger message to a Congressional member than a personal visit to a district office by a voter with a written request. Phone calls and emails are incredibly important but nothing gets attention like a personal visit. Our Educate Congress page has information and a sample letter. Print the letter, sign it, deliver it.

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