Saturday, May 23, 2009

Jan Schakowsky signs onto HR 2139!

Breaking news: WE DID IT!! On Thurs, Jan Schakowsky signed on to co-sponsor HR 2139, the Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act.

This bill (co-introduced by Mark Kirk, R-10th) will start the process of revamping our outdated Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (which controls all the ways we provide help to people in poverty around the world). For more info on it, you can see the Bread for the World video: There will be more for us to do on this in the fall when it involves the Senate, too, but for now please thank her for her support if you are a IL-9th district constituent.

Bread for the World and RESULTS have worked together and diligently with her office to get this to happen. When I called her staff about about HR 2139s, her global affairs aide pulled up the bill and said "Yes, what IS this exactly?" and didn't think they would be needed to sign on. Because of constituent letters and phone calls, we were able to open a door of communication for the DC anti-poverty staff, educate her office about HR 2139 and gain her co-sponsorship.

I've provided a sample letter for you to personalize if that can help you.


PS Don't forget your address on the letter and on the outside envelope! Sending it to her district office in Evanston will be fastest...

The Honorable Jan Schakowsky
820 Davis Street, Suite 105
Evanston, IL 60201


Dear Congresswoman Schakowsky,

Thank you for co-sponsoring H.R. 2139, the Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act. This bill is a good first step in making our nation’s foreign assistance more effective and streamlined. As your constituent, I am very happy to see your leadership in our country's effort to help people in desperate need. Please work to ensure the bill maintains a focus on poverty so that we can provide the most good for the people who need it the most.


Your Name
Your Address


Some additional points to play with...

-U.S. foreign assistance has helped reduce child deaths, improve agricultural capacity, and increase school enrollment. But more lives can be saved if we improve the way foreign aid is delivered.
- By making our foreign assistance more efficient and effective, U.S. assistance will have a greater impact on poor and hungry people around the world - critical in these tough economic times
- Reforming foreign aid get the most of our tax dollars makes good economic sense for our country and for people in extreme poverty struggling to survive on less than $1.25 a day.


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