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May Mission Focus - Bread For The World
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Writing Letters to Members of Congress & Sample Letters
     Writing a letter is one of the most effective ways we can communicate with our elected officials and advocate for hungry people. Most representatives and senators tally handwritten letters from their constituents to gauge public opinion, so the more letters we write, the greater influence we have over public policy.
     Contrary to what some people think, it doesn't take an expert to write a good letter. Read the sample letters at the bottom of the page. Just a few sentences can convey a need and motivate our leaders to specific action.
Tips for Writing a Letter to Congress:
   •  Be personal. A mailed handwritten letter attracts much greater attention than does a preprinted letter or card, or e-mail. Be sure to include your postal address on both your envelope and letter so your member of Congress can know you are a constituent and respond.
   •  Be concise. Express your request clearly in one or two paragraphs.
   •  Request specific action. Ask your representative and senators to support and provide full funding for the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) and the HIV/AIDS initiative without cutting other poverty-focused development assistance. As the time approaches to write your letters, please contact your BFW regional organizer at 1-800-82-BREAD for an update on the legislation.
Important: Ever since anthrax was found in congressional buildings in 2001, mail to Congress takes a bit longer because all letters go through a decontamination process.
Here is what we recommend when mailing your letters:
Send the letters to your members of Congress’ Washington, DC, office, not the local office - the DC office handles matters related to legislation; the local office usually does not. Assume your letters will take about a month to get to your members of Congress. After mailing the letters, call the DC office of the senator or representative; the Capitol switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. Tell them the basic message of the letters and how many were sent.
Sample Letter (from May 12th Handout at 2nd B Dinner):
Your Name
Your Address
Date
(Select One)
Senator John Cornyn
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Representative Randy Neugebauer
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

     I urge you to help reduce global hunger and disease by funding the Millennium Challenge Account [MCA] at $3.3 billion and the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief at $3.6 billion, without making cuts to other development and poverty-focused assistance programs.

     Millions of our world's people still suffer from hunger, poverty, and disease. The world's nations, including the United States, have agreed on goals to reduce hunger and poverty, and our country should keep its promises. U.S. Development assistance targeted to improve health, education, agriculture, and small business can make a big difference to individuals, communities, and countries struggling to make life better now and for future generations.

Sincerely,
Your Name

A variation of the 2nd paragraph (from the Bread for the World website):
     The world's nations, including the United States, have agreed on goals to reduce hunger and improve health, education, and the quality of life for millions of people in poor countries. In creating the MCA and strengthening the fight against AIDS, Congress has made a public commitment to the people these programs affect. With poverty and hunger on the rise, we don't need more tax cuts that benefit wealthy people; we need to keep our promises to those most in need.
(Most Content) © 2004 Bread for the World
50 F Street, NW, Suite 500 / Washington, DC 20001/USA
Tel. 202-639-9400 / 800-82-BREAD / Fax 202-639-9401
Full Contact Information for Our Local Representative and Senators
Senator John Cornyn
U.S. Senate
517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-2934
http://cornyn.senate.gov/
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson
U.S. Senate
284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-5922
http://hutchison.senate.gov/
Representative Randy Neugebauer
U.S. House of Representatives
1026 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-4319
Phone: (202) 225-4005
Fax: (202) 225-9615
www.house.gov/neugebauer