Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Participating in Lobby Day from Outside the Beltway

You've heard the term outside the beltway. This term is intended to convey a message, among other things, that government should be responsive to those of us who live outside the highway that encircles Washington, D.C. (Interstate I-95).  I don't often quote Wikipedia, but the online source has a very good definition:
"Inside the Beltway" is an American idiom used to characterize matters that are, or seem to be, important primarily to officials of the U.S. federal government, to its contractors and lobbyists, and to the corporate media who cover them—as opposed to the interests and priorities of the general U.S. population.
Lobby Day 2007
On Tuesday, June 10, a week from today, hundreds of Bread for the World members will converge on Capitol Hill (inside the beltway) to visit the offices of our members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to advocate on two issues: food-aid reform and immigration reform. (The picture on the right shows Bread members outside former Rep. Heather Wilson's office on Lobby Day 2007).

Here's what Bread members will be telling the aides or the elected representatives themselves on Lobby Day this coming Tuesday.
  • Pass immigration reform without delay! Immigration reform will reduce hunger by ensuring immigrants receive fairer wages and work in better conditions. Our Christian faith calls on us to welcome the stranger, and with Congress’ attention already turning to the November elections, the window for a vote on major legislation is closing quickly. Congress must act now to provide a path to legalization and citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
  • Reject changes to food aid that hurt the hungry! An obscure provision before Congress would change the transportation requirements for U.S. food aid in a way that would make the process of getting food to people in need slower and more expensive. Two million people would go without lifesaving food aid just to pad the bottom lines of a few powerful shipping companies, and that’s not right. Congress must reject any action that increases transportation costs for food aid and support common sense food-aid reforms.
Read More from Eric Mitchell, Bread's director of government relations.

Lobby Day 2013 w/Heinrich staff
Three New Mexicans (Larry Buelow, Ellen Buelow, and Carlos Navarro) will be on Capitol Hill this year to advocate on those issues. We are visiting the offices of Sen. Tom Udall at 1:30 p.m. and Sen. Martin Heinrich at 2:30 p.m. on June 10.  A meeting with Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham is still pending. Here is the partial Lobby Day Schedule for all visits to congressional offices.

Bread members in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Farmington and other communities in our state have the opportunity to join us (from outside the beltway) on the day before Lobby Day. On Monday, June 9, please take a couple of minutes to make a call to Sens. Udall and Heinrich and your own House member about immigration reform and protecting food aid.
  • Sen. Tom Udall (202) 224-6621
  • Sen. Martin Heinrich, (202) 224-5521 
  • Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (202) 225-6316
  • Rep. Steve Pearce (202) 225-2365
  • Rep. Ben Ray Lujan,  (202) 225-6190
Meeting with then-Rep.Udall in 2005
Your calls will reinforce our message during our visits on Lobby Day.  (While we won't have formal meetings scheduled with Reps. Ben Ray Lujan and Steve Pearce, we will be dropping by their offices with packets of information)

You can show your commitment to participating in the virtual Lobby Day on June 9 by taking this pledge online.

(Even though this note is prepared especially for Bread members in New Mexico, this applies to any Bread member around the country who will not be able to travel to Washington on June 10).

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