26 Sep Call Congress to Protect Poverty-Focused Foreign Assistance!
National Action Day! Call Congress to Protect Poverty-Focused Foreign Assistance!
Join activists from around the U.S. and tell Congress not to cut life-saving foreign assistance!
On September 26th, grassroots activists across the U.S. will mobilize for a national call-in day. Members of Save the Children, Bread for the World, RESULTS, ONE, Oxfam, CARE, and many others will join forces to ensure that the phones of their representatives and senators are ringing all day with a single, unified message: Protect funding for life-saving poverty-focused foreign assistance.
Members for the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia are joining this effort. Call Congress and urge your representatives to protect programs – such as those for pneumonia prevention and treatment – that protect child health. Click here for the phone number of your representative and here for the phone numbers of your senators.
Poverty-focused foreign assistance is less than 1% of the federal budget, but it has a huge impact and delivers real results, including:
- Feeding 46.5 million of the world’s most vulnerable people and children through P.L. 480 Food Aid, and 5 million school children through the McGovern-Dole School Feeding Program;
- Preventing more than 114,000 infants from being born with HIV;
- Nearly 4 million Africans are receiving life-saving antiretroviral treatment (up from only 50,000 in 2002), mostly through PEPFAR and Global Fund;
- Providing 33 million HIV-positive people with counseling;
- Saving 3 million lives through USAID’s immunization programs;
- Between 2000 and 2009, 5.4 million deaths were averted through immunizations supported by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations;
- Helping, over the last decade, to bring 1.3 billion people safe drinking water sources.
Will my one call make a difference?
Yes! Congress responds to its constituents, but unfortunately vulnerable people and children around the world can’t voice their needs to Congress – they are counting in you and your voice as a constituent to help protect poverty-focused foreign assistance.
I’ve never called Congress before. Is it hard?
Making a call is really easy and it only takes a few minutes! When the office receptionist answers the phone, follow the basic call script below. The receptionists’ job is to make sure messages from constituents are relayed to their boss, so make sure you give them your name and address so they can officially log your call into their database.
- Introduce yourself to the receptionist and make sure that he or she take your name and address so that your message can be logged. Insist they take your information if they forget to ask for it.
- Tell the receptionist that you recognize that Congress is making tough budget decisions right now and share why you, as a constituent, feel strongly that your member of Congress fight to protect programs in the International Affairs Budget that save lives and help the world’s poor pull themselves out of poverty.
- Feel free to share why this issue is important to you and let the receptionist know if you are active in your community. It helps when members of Congress know that people across that their constituents care about protecting poverty-focused foreign assistance. Feel free to refer to additional talking points below.
- Say thank you! Receptionists often have many duties, but saying thanks is a great way to let them know that the delivery of your message is important to you!
- Report your call.
Sample Call Script
(Please feel free to add any powerful facts you want to share.)
Hi, my name is _____, and I’m a constituent. I’m calling to ask [Rep./Sen.’s name] to oppose cuts to poverty-focused foreign assistance. I’m a volunteer with [organization’s name].
The U.S. spends less than 1% on poverty-focused foreign assistance — but this funding saves lives and protects our national security. Reducing funding for these programs won’t do anything for our national deficit, but it will have a tragic impact on life-improving and life-saving programs. By making small investments to give people the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty, we are saving lives, protecting our national security, and helping to ensure our economic future. This important funding should not be disproportionally cut in the final FY 2012 budget.
Please take my name and address so I can hear back from [Rep./Sen.’s name] on whether he/she takes action to protect poverty-focused foreign aid. Thank you.
What Else Can I Do?
- Tweet using the common hashtag #cutscostlives. Here are some sample tweets:
- I just called my senator (or representative) & told him (or her) to PROTECT programs 4 the world’s poor. Will you? #cutscostlives @link to landing page with call-in information
- URGENT: Call Congress & tell them to protect programs that fight poverty #cutscostlives @link to landing page with call-in information
- <1% of US budget goes to programs for world’s poor. DON’T let Congress take that away! #cutscostlives @link to landing page with call-in information
- Posting a message on your Facebook page. Here are some sample posts:
- Act now: Call your member of Congress and tell them to protect programs that save millions of lives, strengthen our national security and help lift people out of poverty for the long-term. Link to landing page with call-in information.
- URGENT: Call your member of Congress and tell them to PROTECT programs for the world’s poor: Link to landing page with call-in information.
- Less than 1% of the US budget goes to programs for the world’s poor. Don’t let the Senate take that away! Link to landing page with call-in information.