Friday, August 1, 2014


This is my 100th blog post.

By contacting Senators back home during the August recess in great numbers we can increase the volume on the CRPD. Doing so has value but we must remember that is a tactic not strategy.

We must be strategic in August.  It is very important in August that people, who know Senators personally and who also support the CRPD, talk to Senators. People in great numbers, who also happen to have disabilities, and big signs saying, "VOTE YES ON THE CRPD", make a great photo op or back drop, but the most important thing will be quiet conversations between senators and people they know.

People who support the CRPD, know Senators personally, especially veterans and business people, are the ones who can have those quiet conversations. Again, with Senators, not staff.

The message that these people deliver is also very important. The message must be fact-based. That means numbers and information from official documents. Information shared shouldn't sound like talking points. That means it must include something about the Senator or things that are important to him. Three areas that will probably have the most traction generally are: the value of the CRPD to veterans who choose to go overseas for any reason; business opportunities that will be gained if the CRPD were ratified; and U.S. standing in the world improving, if ratification were to happen, on a whole range of human rights issues.

Other things that are part of an effective strategy are -- a compilation of information gathered; timestamps on each piece of information acquired; a centralized place to keep it; a willingness to share it; and, most importantly, a willingness to gather it in the first place. If our August strategy includes these components we will more likely have a shot at a ratification vote in September.

I know we have learned a lot and done more in the last months, especially July, to secure ratification of the CRPD. The biggest lesson we learned is that we did not do enough, the right things, or a combination thereof to get a powerful vote in July.

So now we have a chance to be honest with ourselves and be smart over the next five weeks -- the Senate will be back in session on September 8, 2014. Then, the Senate will work for just three weeks, and go out again to campaign for the fall elections. If the Senate chooses to return to Washington, D.C. after the elections, called a "lame duck" session, we need to remember that Republicans have a strong aversion to voting on treaties in a lame duck session.

All this means we have only three weeks in September to get a vote on ratification. And if the Senate were to have a Republican majority as the result of the November 2014 elections, we probably would not see any action on ratification through 2016.

Bottom line is we must go all out in August 2014. If you are not someone who knows a Senator personally, please check out my two blog posts on six degrees of separation. Better yet, buy my book --

Thank you.
Common Grounder

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