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RADAR ALERT:
Set Up a Meeting with your Representative This Week!

This year we begin to reform the Violence Against Women Act, to stop the injustices, to protect our families, and to save our children.

The name of our campaign is “Truth and Consequences: Election 2006.” Our objective is simple: To meet with candidates in every single district around the country, explain the abuses of VAWA, and ask for their support to request Congressional hearings right after the November 7 election.

To do that, we’ve put together a Coalition of almost 50 organizations, 37 state-level contact persons, and a variety of Special Reports and other resource materials. These can be seen at http://www.mediaradar.org .

So let’s roll up our sleeves and get on with it. These are the steps you need to do this week:

Step 1: Find out what Congressional District you live in. Go to http://www.house.gov and enter your Zip code in the box at the top of the page.

Step 2: Get the telephone number of your Congressman’s local office. You can do this by:

  • Reviewing your representative’s web page,
  • Looking up the number in the telephone book, or
  • Calling the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and asking to be connected to your Congressman’s office.

Step 3: Call your Congressman’s local office and ask to speak with the Scheduler. Explain that you are a member of a coalition of 50 organizations around the country. Request to meet with the Congressman (or staff) to discuss how the Violence Against Women Act affects families and children. Keep it short and sweet -- you just want to set up a face-to-face meeting.

Step 4: The Scheduler may ask you to send or fax them a request letter. If so, just fill in the blanks on the letter shown below and send or fax it right away.

That’s all there is to it! The July 10 Alert will explain how to prepare for your meeting.

Additional Questions:

  1. “I belong to an organization in my area that is arranging to meet with the Representative to talk about VAWA. Should I coordinate with my group?”

    Yes, by all means.

  2. “One of the senators in my state is also up for re-election this year. Should I try to meet with the Senator, as well?”

    Yes. We encourage you to coordinate this meeting with others in your state.

  3. “The Alert only mentions meeting with the incumbent. What about the challenger?”

    Good question. As the campaign progresses, we’ll be asking persons to get involved in activities such as putting up signs and making phone calls for the candidate. Obviously, you can’t do that for both the incumbent and the challenger. So you have to choose. The incumbent wins 95% of all races, so generally you’ll want to meet with the incumbent.


Sample letter for requesting a meeting. Copy the section below and paste it into your favorite word processor. Then fill in the information indicated in [brackets].

[Letterhead with your name, address, and phone number]

[Date of letter]

[Name of scheduler]
[Street address]
[City, state, zip]

Dear [Name of scheduler]:

I am a member of a coalition of 50 organizations around the country. [If you are writing as a representative of a local group, indicate the name of that organization.]

I am following up on our conversation to meet with Congressman [Last name] to discuss the Violence Against Women Act and how it impacts families and children.

The best dates for me to meet are [fill in several dates and/or times, and any other information about location].

Thank you for your help. I'll look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

[Signature]



Date of RADAR Release: June 26, 2006

Want to improve the chance that they'll pay attention to your letter? Click here.

R.A.D.A.R. – Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting – is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of men and women working to improve the effectiveness of our nation's approach to solving domestic violence. http://mediaradar.org