A Blog Reader’s Three Minutes of Advocacy

June 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

by Kim Usey

After reading this week’s entries about child hunger at the CAFB blog, I just called my U.S. Representative’s office to ask for his support of Child Nutrition Reauthorization and the Weekends Without Hunger Act (H.R. 5012).

Thinking it could be a time-consuming task, I’d set some time aside, but I found that it was quick and simple. The intern who answered the phone was very polite; when I asked to speak to the staff person who works on nutrition issues, he asked for my name, and then let me know that the person I’d need to speak to was not in yet. I told him I was fine leaving a voice mail, and he said, “Okay, then, let me put you through to his voice mail.”

I tried to keep the voice mail brief while still conveying my points. I made sure to say how much I appreciated my representative’s commitment to hunger issues and other social needs in Central Texas, and how important Child Nutrition Reauthorization and the Weekends Without Hunger Act are. I noted that the Capital Area Food Bank was working hard to help fill in the gaps for children at risk of hunger, and that this pending legislation would surely help. I left my phone number and personal e-mail and said thank you again.

The whole thing took maybe three minutes. I have a little experience with Capitol Hill and Congressional offices, and I know that if you can squeeze those three minutes out of your day, the calls do make a difference. On top of conveying your position to the Congressman, the fact of the calls becomes a topic of conversation among the staffers (“we’re sure getting a lot of calls about this child hunger thing!”) and that helps reinforce the importance of the issue for everyone in the office. The thank-yous let these hard-working staffers who are often fielding calls from unhappy constituents feel the love (“and she was nice, not cranky!”). And in three minutes, you’ve added your voice to the growing chorus saying that hunger is unacceptable.

Please make three minutes of your day a special time to support hungry children.  Click here to find your representative and log your call online.

About Kim:

Kim Usey is the principal of Usey Communications and blogs about food and family at The Dinner Hour.  Follow her on Twitter: @useycomm

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