Tuesday, October 21, 2014

CRPD: Don't Miss an Opportunity to Connect "Live" with Senators

There are 14 days until election day on November 4, 2014. Anyone who's tried to schedule a meeting directly with a Senator realizes that it's no easy task. Meetings with many interest groups are relegated to staff only. The circumstances are different if you're a big supporter, a close friend, a witness in a hearing, or a donor at a fund raiser. Granted, a Senator's time is precious, more valuable than gold, therefore, they have to have effective gatekeepers and be good delegators. So how do you get to them? The answer is as plain as the nose on your face. You get to them back home at a public event. At these events you can ask them questions, tell them what's on your mind, and ask them for their support for something. Gatekeepers have only partial control and everyone hears and sees how they respond to you.The situation is perfect. So folks it's time to get off our derri√®res, find those guys, and talk to them before they return to Washington D.C.

Now we have real leverage and access before we vote. If each of us would just make one attempt to say something to a senator between now and election day, think about the impact that would have!

Last night Senator Bob Dole was on the News Hour with Judy Woodruff (CRPD discussion begins at 4:00 minutes http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/bob-dole-tells-lawmakers-to-get-together/). She asked him at one point if he thought the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) would be voted on by the Senate. He said that it could come up for a vote when the Senate returns on November 12th and before it leaves for Christmas, which will be the end of the current Congress. If the CRPD does not pass by then, we have to start over. In addition, the pundits project that Republicans will take control of the Senate in January 2015. If that happens our task will be even more challenging.

If you have been reading this blog or have visited www.disabilitytreaty.org, you know what to say to a Senator when you encounter him at a public event within the next two weeks. Those of you who live in states where the Senate races are very, very tight have incredible leverage. In these races the margin of error is around three points. In these races the differences in polling numbers between candidates are often under three points. That means that the race could go either way. That means one conversation with you about the CRPD could be a deciding factor in who returns to the Senate or who enters the Senate for the first time. Think about it. Then, if you really care about disability rights, find a Senator and talk to him. If two people do this it looks pitiful. If we each do it, it projects real power. A choice like this should be a no-brainer.

Common Grounder 

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