2008/11/12: UFPJ Urges Citizens to Set Up Meetings with Congressional Representatives TODAY!

 United for Peace and Justice Urges Citizens to Set Up Meetings with Congressional Representatives TODAY!

Below is information to help you set up these meetings and make them as successful as possible. If you need more information or any help with setting up your meetings, please call me at the UFPJ National Office at 212-868-5545.

Joy Schulman
Legislative Action Coordinator, UFPJ

Steps To Take In Setting Up Meetings With Your Members Of Congress
1)      Call the office of your Senators and/or Representatives now to set up your appointments. You may need to be persistent since this is a transitional time in which requests are easily lost or ignored. You should aim to schedule these appointments between now and December 15.

2)      Once you have set up an appointment, be sure to list it here at http://www.unitedforpeace.org/form.php?modin=154. This will help us keep track of what's happening.

3)      For information on the voting record of House and Senate incumbents, our Congressional Report cards will help, http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?id=3940. For newly-elected members, check out the positions they adopted during the campaign.
4)      Put together a small group of people from the district or state who will attend the meeting with you. Try to include representatives from organizations concerned with domestic spending.  
Issues To Address In Your Meetings With Members Of Congress
At a time of economic crisis, the United States needs a new foreign policy, which emphasizes diplomacy and international cooperation, rather than military power and war. In discussions with members of Congress, it will be helpful to stress that our economy will not recover, and we will not have the resources to create green jobs, health care for all, 21st-century education and rebuild the infrastructure, if the military budget is not reduced. The present level of military spending is outrageous and not sustainable with all the new programs promised during the election campaigns.
Other specifics:
1) On Iraq. Congress should insist on the rapid withdrawal of all U.S. military forces and contractors from Iraq. This withdrawal should be accompanied by a new diplomatic surge to stabilize the country and open the political space for Iraqis to decide their own future. Deployment of the National Guard in wars overseas should cease, returning their focus to domestic security.
2) On Afghanistan. Congress should not permit an expansion of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. It should press for a multilateral regional effort at stabilization along with rapid withdrawal of NATO and U.S. forces.
3) On Iran.  Members of Congress should make clear their opposition to a new war in Iran. They ought to encourage unconditional, high-level talks to reduce tensions and urge Iran to abandon any nuclear weapons program. If the U.S. truly wants to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, it will require us to live up to our commitments under Article 6 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Since Congressional meetings are generally less than an hour, your delegation will want to sharpen its focus in advance. Depending on local circumstances, you may wish to emphasize particular items or add some additional concerns. Please keep us posted on how the meeting went here.
Fact sheets, ideas and talking points will be available on our web site.

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