Join our Grassroots Effort
The 112th Congress officially began on January 5, 2011. It is a new Congress and a new schedule. This year there will be more opportunities for constituents to meet with their members as Congress is slated to be back in the district one week a month. This is a great opportunity for us to put the heat on members to pass our new, modified Earned Retiree Healthcare Benefits Protection Act of 2011 (H.R. 1322).
Why should I get involved with ProtectSeniors.Org's grassroots effort?
The answer is simple: No one else is looking out for you. ProtectSeniors.Org is working hard everyday to educate Congress and the Administration on the importance of this legislation, which we titled "the Earned Retiree Healthcare Benefits Protection Act," for the 14.3 million retirees who earned and receive employer-sponsored healthcare benefits.
ProtectSeniors.Org is aggressively lobbying to pass this legislation to protect your healthcare benefits in retirement - benefits you earned over the many years of dedicated service to your employer. This should be an important reason for you to join with ProtectSeniors.Org in this fight!
UNITED WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE, divided we cannot. With your help we can send a message loud and clear to corporate America and our leaders in Washington, D.C. that the days of breaking promises to retirees are over!
What Can I Do?
This year is critical to our efforts. We need to start putting pressure on our elected officials early and keep building our momentum until they act. Passing this legislation won't be easy, but nothing worth fighting for is. We need to make sure that our message is being heard and we will do that by sending as many letters as we can; by calling their offices; by attending town hall meetings; by visiting their district offices while they are home each month. This is what is going to make them act. And that means we need you to recruit as many people (they don't have to be retirees) to do the same.
We encourage all supporters of ProtectSeniors.Org to meet with their Representative and Senators often. They need to know how important this issue is to their constituents, and you need to send that message. Your elected representatives need to hear directly from you about what corporate America is doing.
Remember: the staff of ProtectSeniors.Org is here to help you in this process! We want your efforts to be successful and will provide you with whatever resources you need to do so. Feel free to call our headquarters at 1-800-398-3044 and talk to our Executive Director and lobbyist, Paul Miller, if you have any questions or are not sure how to ask the right questions.
What are the most important things I should request from my elected official?
Before you leave any meeting or write a letter, be sure you accomplish three critical goals:
1) Ask your Member of Congress to cosponsor H.R. 1322, the Earned Retiree Healthcare Benefits Protection Act. Make them give you a definite answer. If the meeting is with their staff, request a formal reply within a week and let them know you will be following up if you haven't heard from them by then. If the request is via letter, then make sure any response specifically addresses your request. If it does not, write back and be more direct. Let them know they did not answer your question and as a voting constituent you would like a direct answer to your direct request. You deserve nothing less.
2) If they say they won't cosponsor the bill, find out why. This information will be critical to move forward. If we know why they have problems with the bill, we can find ways to fix those problems.
3) Ask them what changes need to be made to the legislation that would get them to support it publicly. This information will help us modify the bill so that it will gain widespread support. If they identify something as a roadblock, others may too.
These three keys seem easy enough and they are, if you are persistent. Don't let the members or their staff out of the room without having them answer these questions. They may try to duck the questions, but be persistent. You have a lot to lose by not getting a straight answer from them. Let them know that (in a polite way).
Please feel free to contact ProtectSeniors.Org if you have any questions or need any assistance. Our staff is willing to help. Good luck!