Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hunger and the Congressional Elections

Picture this... You're at a town hall meeting with Darren White or Martin Heinrich or Harry Teague or Ed Tinsley or Ben Ray Lujan, Dan East, Carol Miller, Dan Simmons or Tom Udall or Steve Pearce. If you know who all or most of these people are, you are ready to join Beat Hunger NM.

As a part of BEAT Hunger NM, you'll be speaking up to House and Senate candidates about hunger and poverty at town hall meetings and community events - a tactic commonly known as "bird-dogging."

Sign up for BEAT Hunger NM to receive updates on candidate events near you.

Here's how it works...

The candidate finishes her stump speech, and now it's time for Q & A. Your heart is racing as you stand up to the microphone in the aisle... You introduce yourself, and ask your question about what she will do about the 35 million people in our country who are hungry or at risk of hunger... The candidate responds - maybe with an answer you like, maybe not. Your friend in the audience captures the whole thing on video and will post it on YouTube in about an hour. The candidate leaves the meeting knowing that this is an issue she must address if elected.

We will track when many candidates for the House and Senate hold public events and notify you once you've signed up for BEAT Hunger NM. Ideally, two or three (or more) BEAT Hunger NM members will be able to attend a town hall meeting - there's real strength in numbers. We will also help you along the way with tips on how to ask questions effectively, how to organize a group of people beforehand, how to document your experience, and how to follow-up with the campaign.

We invite your creativity too. We'll need guest bloggers, and we welcome short videos of question and answers to post on our Web site. BEAT Hunger '08 participants may also raise issues in the media, meet with candidates for office, and take other actions to let candidates know they have a constituency that cares about hunger. The sky is the limit.

We have set teams in all three congressional districts. In District 2 in southern New Mexico, our coordinator is LaVerne Kaufman, with the help of Ellen Young. In District 3, our coordinator is Bro. Jim Brown, with the assistance from Heidi Ernst Jones and Jane Hanna. Carlos Navarro is coordinating efforts in District 1 and the Senate campaigns. But we're just a handful of people and we need your help.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about this exciting new initiative. Our mission at Bread for the World is to urge our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. With your efforts and God's help, we can move one step closer to realizing this vision.

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