Tuesday, July 28, 2009

it's easy to contact your congressperson about HR2749

I have two jobs and although I currently spend a lot of time at a computer, I never really feel like making phone calls. I always feel like it's going to take too much time and it will be a big hassle. So I already signed three petitions and sent an email to Rep Pete DeFazio urging him to vote nay on HR2749. But you never really know for a fact if petitions get taken seriously and emails get read in time, so I sighed and picked up the phone. It seems I have daily horrible experiences with various companies and government agencies (take your pick- ODA, USDA, USPS, VDACS...) but I have to admit right now that I HAVE NEVER IN 35 YEARS OF ACTIVISM EVER SPOKEN WITH A RUDE LEGISLATIVE AIDE WHO ACTED LIKE I DIDN'T MATTER. Let me repeat: never.
In case you are also delaying your phone call, this is what to expect. First, look up http://www.congress.org/ and click on the button on the left side under "Take Action" that says "Find your official" and when that page loads, type your zip code in. It will pull up your Senators and your Representatives in Congress. This is good for people who have trouble remembering whether the legislator they have in mind works at the state or national level! In this case, since we want to protest a bill that is in the HOUSE, you want to click on your Representative. You will then be taken to your Rep's webpage, which will let you leave an email AND call him/her, which is what I hope you will do. If you need talking points, see my blog on HR2749 below. It will walk you through what the problems are. It would be best if they scrapped the bill and started over, but if Congress sees a need to DO SOMETHING in a hurry because there has been such bad news about food safety lately, they can at least write an amendment that clearly exempts farms and homesteads with 5 or fewer non-family employees (this allows farms to have interns) that sell goods in their own state. The federal government is not supposed to meddle in interstate transactions anyway. It violates the Constitution.
So you will take a deep breath and call your Rep's phone number, which may even be an 800#. You will tell the charming person who answers the phone that you want to register your opinion on a bill that is coming up to be voted on. You will give your name and address. Then you will state something like, "I request that Representative _________ (name) please vote nay on HR2749." The aide may ask you why and jot down some notes, which is why you may want to make the call in front of the computer or take your own notes before you call. The whole process should take less than five minutes.
Thank you in advance for picking up the telephone and calling. God bless!

1 Comments:

Blogger Larisa from Localvore Fresh Oregon Foods, LLC said...

The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund in Washington, DC writes intelligently and thoroughly about the problems with this bill. Go to http://www.ftcldf.org/
Also, their explanation of why they can not sue the State of Michigan over NAIS just made me shake my head.

July 28, 2009 at 4:55 PM  

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