Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Thoughts on making change from Washington

As I reflect on my visit to Washington D.C., I think about the sequester cuts, social security policies, how to “reel-in” your legislators, and the goal set to end homelessness.

As I learned, the sequester cuts are the most drastic cuts in a long time. A main cut they will eliminate in full or in part is the HUD program. As early as next month and in continuing months about 100,000 families across the country will be homeless because they will lose their rent subsidies. As of today, July 23rd, 2013 the senate will bring this cut to the floor.           

So how do we want to assure a legislator is keeping in his mind one’s request for assistance? First of all, never write pages of information as legislators and their staff receive hundreds of phone calls, e-mails, and letters and they can’t even think how to prioritize each, so send a simple-basic one page letter; it’s okay if another two to four pages are graphs or stats. Never spam the legislator. He may take that as disrespect and pressure. I personally am against loud rallying. If I were a legislator, I would prefer up to four or five persons in my office to address their concerns.  Invite the legislator to a ribbon cutting event, or to give speeches or be a main speaker at your event. Legislators value these options more favorably and with that your organization just “reeled-in” that legislator.

I learned a lot during my stay in Washington sponsored the National Alliance to End Homelessness and really enjoyed the sessions, being able to see sites in Washington D.C., and the plane ride. 

By: Albert L

1 comment:

estesgirl said...

Great thoughts, Albert! Here's some more information about how sequestration will affect affordable housing and homelessness: