Your representatives are now home for April recess. Take a few minutes to give them a call and ask them to #SaveTheNEA.
As you know from our previous LitNet Advocacy Alerts, the President wants to eliminate funding for the arts and the humanities, but Congress has the power to decide whether this happens or not.
The most powerful thing you can do right now is call your representatives’ district office. Tell them that the arts and humanities matter to you as a writer, educator, lover of literature and arts—and as a voter.
Ask them to meet with you when they’re home during their recess.
HERE ARE SEVEN STEPS TO GET A MEETING WITH YOUR REPRESENTATIVE:
As the spring recess comes, members of Congress will soon be back in their home districts until they return to DC on April 24. It’s an opportunity for you to meet with lawmakers face-to-face and directly communicate the importance and impact of the National Endowment for the Arts in your community.
Make the most of the recess with a phone call to your representative, asking to set up a district office meeting to talk about how the NEA has impacted you, or a site visit so they can see firsthand the incredible work you are doing at your organization.
- Establish your goals. Do you want to set up a meeting with your representative in their district office to discuss your concerns about the President’s proposal to eliminate funding for the NEA? Do you work for an arts organization funded by the NEA, and are you interested in inviting your representative to visit your organization, or would you just want to give them a call while they are home from Washington, DC? Decide on your strategy.
- Find your Senate and House representatives. Click through to your senator or representative’s website to find district office locations in your state.
- Get in touch. The best way to first communicate with your representative and their office is through a phone call to the district office nearest to you and make your request.
Here is a simple script: “Hi, my name is [your name] from [your town] and I would like to schedule a meeting with the senator/congressperson to discuss the importance of arts funding and share some information about how the NEA has impacted me/my organization/our community. What is the Senator/Congressperson’s availability during the spring recess?”
- Prepare for the meeting. Brush up on some talking points, as well as your representative’s stance on funding the arts and humanities, and prepare some clear questions and requests to help keep the conversation on track. For some great talking points and background info visit the National Association of States Arts Councils, and The Americans for the Arts. And, to see exactly how the NEA has impacted your community visit the NEA Grants Database.
- Join forces. If you are interested in scheduling and coordinating district office visits and would like to join up with other LitNet ActionAlert members in your area – please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tell the world. If you schedule a meeting during the recess, we want to hear how it went! Please share your story by emailing email@example.com, and be sure to tweet and post on Facebook about the meeting (tag @Litnet_org on Twitter). Be sure to use the hashtag #SaveTheNEA
- Don’t give up! If your representative’s schedule is too packed to accommodate a visit or meeting in the immediate future, don’t be discouraged! The act of calling your representative sends a powerful message about your concern for and passion about the arts. Remember, though they might not be available during the spring recess, they will be back.
Many representatives are very busy during their spring recess, visiting around the state and interacting with constituents—but simply making the phone call is in itself an important way to show where you stand on protecting the arts. Whether you attend a district office meeting, or just make a phone call, carving a slice of your representative’s attention for the arts is one of the best ways to have an impact on their decision-making process.
Looking for more ways to take action?
Check out our #SavetheNEA page for more resources and strategies.