Advocacy, as I heard recently in a webinar on human migration and child health, is no longer an elective pursuit. It is the positive actions we take to make change. Right now, public health is our priority as the world is facing a once-in-a-generation pandemic. COVID has and will continue to change the world as we know it, and the most marginalized— women and girls—are suffering the most. As the Gates Foundation said recently in its 2020 Goalkeepers Report: “We’ve been set back about 25 years in 25 weeks.” It further states that “What the world does in the next few months matters a great deal.”
COVID-19 is the most challenging issue facing women and girls right now, making it critical that we continue to push for the U.S. Congress to pass a COVID-19 bill that includes a global response. It is the most important issue we can be advocating for at this time. We encourage you, your friends, and colleagues to write to your members of Congress and write and submit letters to the editor, which can be done very easily through these links. We also encourage you to directly contact congressional staff with this request – further building your relationship with those offices. If you need any assistance with this, just contact me (Leslye) or Ken Patterson from RESULTS.
If a COVID-19 bill is not passed before the election, we’ll continue to pressure Congress to pass a bill with a global response after the election. Your advocacy has clearly made a difference—-in HEROES 1.0, there were no funds at all for International Development Assistance. Yet in the recently passed HEROES 2.0, there was $10 Billion in International Development Assistance. Your voices were heard. But our work is not done until a COVID relief bill is passed, whether it is before the election, during the lame duck session, or in the new Congress.
During our October webinar, we spoke about how to connect with House candidates before the election so that they know who we are, what we work on, and how we can be of value to them. Engaging them before the election will give us a foot-in-the-door after the elections and greater influence on our issues. Consider doing this now and using the resources below in the laser talk and leave behind information. And if an incumbent is reelected, then reach out to their office after the election and get a jump on moving this legislation forward before the 116th Congress ends at the end of December. And watch for further information over the next few weeks about the First 100 Days and our next steps forward.
For those of you who are not yet part of the DFW Advocacy Chapter with RESULTS, consider signing up to take part in the action 2021.