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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Anti-War

Sit In At Farr's Office to Demand Cut Off The War Funds! Feb. 16
by Liberation News ( steveargue2 [at] yahoo.com )
Friday Feb 9th, 2007 11:13 AM
Protest To Bring The Troops Home Now!

Friday Feb. 16,
Santa Cruz County Building, 701 Ocean Street

Sit in at Representative Sam Farr’s Office to Demand:

Cut Off The War Funds!

Sam Farr has voted a number of times for the billions of dollars that have been used to wage war and murder hundreds of thousands in Iraq. He has promised to vote against the $93 billion emergency war appropriations bill that Bush has forwarded to congress, but Farr still consistently supports and votes for massive general appropriations for the military budget. These are votes for war.

The People of Santa Cruz Demand No Money For War!

This protest is part of the growing national movement demanding that representatives, like Sam Farr, that claim to oppose the war stop funding it.

Money For Jobs, Healthcare, Housing, and Education! Not a cent for war!

People holding all political philosophies in opposition to the war are welcome. This includes those that think that Democrats like Sam Farr can be persuaded or pressured into opposing the war as well as others that want to expose the Democrats as useless and put forward mass action, strike action, direct action, green, anarchist, and socialist alternatives towards ending the war.

This is being organized as a nonviolent event, but we cannot guarantee the conduct of the Santa Cruz Police.

Friday Feb. 16, Santa Cruz
Meet 1:00 PM on the front steps of the county building, 701 Ocean Street.

Sponsored by Liberation News
http://lists.riseup.net/www/info/liberation_news

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by sit-ins
Friday Feb 9th, 2007 8:19 PM
Project Occupation has been staging protests/sit-ins/demonstrations nationwide targeting the offices congress-critters who have not made public statements that they would vote against continued Iraq war funding.

St. Louis has an feature about an action at Rep Russ Carnahan's office:
http://www.stlimc.org/newswire/display/2840/index.php

Some casual searching yields coverage of similar actions nationwide:

*Senator John McCain's (R-AZ) DC Offices
http://wmass.indymedia.org/newswire/display/1711/index.php

*Barrak Obama’s and Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) offices in Chicago
(which resulted in 8 arrests)
http://nyc.indymedia.org/en/2007/02/82702.shtml

*The San Francisco offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA),
and
U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA)

*The Portland office of Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR). More actions are planned (or underway)
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2007/02/353477.shtml

*Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Seattle, WA
http://seattle.indymedia.org/en/2007/02/257544.shtml

*Rep. Mike Honda in the South Bay (by Raging Grannies!)
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/02/08/18359668.php

*Rep Matsui in Sacramento, CA
http://pdamerica.org/articles/news/2007-01-28-22-10-01-news.php

*De Moines, IA
http://www.kcci.com/news/10965748/detail.html (very brief)

*Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN.
(no link)
by activist
Saturday Feb 10th, 2007 4:19 AM
have you asked any of the antiwar groups in santa cruz for support? not that you need anyone's endorsement.. but you may appreciate the extra bodiese :)
by Steven Argue
Saturday Feb 10th, 2007 7:51 AM
A number of groups and a large number of activists have been contacted, and more work needs to be done. All organizations that are opposed to the war are invited to participate and send speakers. Pass it on.
by Robert
Saturday Feb 10th, 2007 2:07 PM
This protest is fine and dandy. However, a few things should be noted. Sam Farr has never voted for a "supplemental appropriations" bill for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, so your effort to force him to vote against this one is nice, but your rhetoric is lacking. I also find it highly suspect that a post on this page highlighting Farr's bill to end the war and bring the troops home is at the bottom, under "other news", and there is little comment.

From what I can see on this site, for years there have been calls for Farr to introduce a bill to end the war. he does so, and that action is pushed to the bottom of the site, and no one seems to care. Now Mr. Argue has decided he needs to protest (because, come one, it has indeed been awhile since he's been in jail for violence) against one of the congresspeople who has been the most against this war.

Did Sam Farr vote for military funding in general? Yes. Did that bill include the greatest breast cancer research funding in the country? Yes. So if Farr voted against the general funding bill (with the research dollars) would you be protesting him because he apparently opposes breast cancer research? I know you won't be happy until the entire military is completely extinguished, which is wonderful and nice and wow your efforts have truly made headway (sarcasm). Why not actually support your elected official who is one of the most outspoken congresspeople against this war?

Why decide that you need to attack him because seven years ago he voted for a bill and you punched a cop in anger?

We need to support those who vote with us, remind them that their constituency is anti-war, etc. But you are so caught up in negative language and feelings that you'd rather bother his staff (because, let's face it, he probably won't be in the office that day) and tell him to do what he is already doing and plan a sit-in so you can get more headlines for yourself in a selfish grab for attention. What, are you running for city council again?

by is "other news"
Saturday Feb 10th, 2007 6:15 PM
"I also find it highly suspect that a post on this page highlighting Farr's bill to end the war and bring the troops home is at the bottom, under "other news""

Yes, reposts from the Corporate Media are considered "other news" and therefore not placed into the "local news" wire used for non-corporate news with a direct relation to the Monterey Bay Area.

Sam Farr calls for troop pullout
http://indybay.org/newsitems/2007/01/19/18349300.php
by Steven Argue
Sunday Feb 11th, 2007 9:15 AM
Robert declares, “Did Sam Farr vote for military funding in general? Yes. Did that bill include the greatest breast cancer research funding in the country? Yes. So if Farr voted against the general funding bill (with the research dollars) would you be protesting him because he apparently opposes breast cancer research?”

Is this the best Sam Farr’s people can come up with?

Sam Farr has voted for well over a trillion dollars in “defense” (actually war funds) since the beginning of the Iraq war. Besides being used to put the world in terror of U.S. corporate interests through the massive military machine of the United States government, that money has also been used to directly occupy Iraq. By voting for this money Sam Farr voted for funds that were used for an occupation that has destroyed much of the Iraqi economy and infrastructure, poisoned the country with radioactive depleted uranium, destroyed many of the gains women had made in acquiring more rights before the invasion, gunned protesters against the occupation down in the streets, caused millions of Iraqis to become refugees in neighboring countries, caused a war that had left 650,000 Iraqis dead as of October of 2006, caused death and injury to thousands of U.S. soldiers, and installed a U.S. backed death squad government.

Robert, you want to claim that one of these votes by Sam Farr for war funds is justified by breast cancer research? Breast cancer research is needed, but when it is tagged onto a bill giving monetary support to mass murder and suffering I think we’d understand him voting against it and instead working to have the breast cancer legislation introduced separately.

Robert claims, “…you are so caught up in negative language and feelings that you'd rather bother his staff (because, let's face it, he probably won't be in the office that day) and tell him to do what he is already doing and plan a sit-in so you can get more headlines for yourself in a selfish grab for attention.”

Tell him to do what he is already doing? Sam Farr has not voted against the general war appropriations, only against the supplemental war appropriations. Robert, this kind of insincere double-speak can only discredit the Democrat Party in the eyes of those of us who are paying attention.

As for bothering Sam Farr’s staff, I’d apologize for the inconvenience of democracy, to what small extent we have it in this country where the wealthy including the military industrial complex are the true rulers, but my apology would be insincere. The minor inconvenience that your staff may suffer is nothing compared to what the Iraqi people have been put through.

“Why decide that you need to attack him because seven years ago he voted for a bill and you punched a cop in anger?”

Robert, this statement is dishonest support for police repression.

The protest that Robert is referring to was one where the anti-war movement was protesting against Sam Farr’s support for the bombing of Yugoslavia. It was a peaceful and legal protest outside of a Democrat Party fundraiser that was violently attacked by the Santa Cruz Police. Five protesters were wrongfully arrested. They were Kou Ling Lao, Vincent Lombardo, Nassim Zarriffi, James Cosner, and Steven Argue.

The Citizen’s Police Review Board (a Santa Cruz government body that was famous for rubber-stamping police abuse) even ruled that protesters were not given adequate warnings by the police, that the police used excessive force against a woman with a small child, that excessive force was used against Steven Argue, and that there was an inappropriate use of mace during the arrest of Steven Argue.

A woman was dragged in front of me by Officer LaFavor that was screaming in pain from LaFavor’s pain compliance hold while she held a terrified child that was screaming: “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” I asked LaFavor to stop torturing the woman, and when he did not I used the force necessary to stop him. It was Officer LaFavor and other cops that were committing the crimes that day, not me and the other protesters. Those crimes, while including the violence committed against individuals at the protest, also included the crime of denying the democratic rights of free speech and freedom of assembly.

A number of groups spoke out in favor of the anti-war protesters including the Santa Cruz Coalition to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Santa Cruz Green Party, the California Peace and Freedom Party, Socialist Organizer, Street Spirit Newspaper, the main trade union body of Bangladesh, the Spartacist League, the French Workers Party, Socialist Action, and Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom.

The California Peace and Freedom Party stated, “The Peace and Freedom Party protests the beating and arrest of Steve Argue by Santa Cruz police May 22, 1999, and demands that all charges against him be dropped, that he be released from jail, and that he be compensated for his injuries and false imprisonment. We commend his heroic action in attempting to come to the aid of a woman and child being attacked by police without provocation at a peaceful demonstration.”

The previous silence of Sam Farr’s office on these issues of police violence and violations of free speech and freedom of assembly, oppression that appeared to be carried out on behalf of Farr’s locally ruling Democrat Party, has been read by a number of observers as a form of support for that repression against the antiwar movement. Are you speaking for Sam Farr’s office Robert? If you are I request an apology from Sam Farr’s office. If not I request a statement from Sam Farr condemning the police abuses that have been ruled to have occurred on May 22, 1999 and affirming his support for free speech and freedom of assembly.

These points, however, are not the demands being raised by the upcoming protest. On Friday we will be exposing that Sam Farr routinely supports massive general appropriations for the military budget. These are votes for war. The People of Santa Cruz Demand No Money For War!
by Robert Norse
Monday Feb 12th, 2007 3:48 PM
Farr has been the target of earlier protests--which have pressured him to act. He has never--unlike Barbara Lee--voted against the bloated military budget.

The point now is to respond to the example of others doing direct action throughout the country in an emergency effort to get meaningful action on Iraq (and stop the bombing of Iran).

Farr is "our" federal rep. He needs to be doing more than he's doing. We need to be doing more than we're doing.

Below are some older stories which may be helplful:

Sam Farr's Town Hall in Santa Cruz: Is the problem Farr or the system?
http://indybay.org/newsitems/2006/08/24/18300375.php

8-1-04 Sam Farr's Open Record
http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/10502/index.php

4-1-03 Protest Against The War Weds. April 9th
http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/3843/index.php

2-18-03 Representative Farr uninvited to peace rally
http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/3199/index.php

2-18-03 Pretty Words, Ugly Actions: Dump Recycled Politicians!
http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/3210/index.php



4-12-03 Radio Debate: Mike Rotkin v. Joe Williams on Farr & the Peace Movement
http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/4010/index.php

4-1-03 13 Activists visit Farr's office Monday
http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/3831/index.php

3-22-03 Rotkin attacks the anti-war movement and Steve Argue
http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/3660/index.php

2-20-03 Anti-war crowd asks Farr for action
http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/3254/index.php

11-24-02 Demanding Farr Speak Out Against the War
http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/2529/index.php

11-20-02 Farr Far-Away From Office; Staff Close It Early to Protesters
http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/2500/index.php

11-29-02 Stop The War
http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/2576/index.php

by Robert
Wednesday Feb 14th, 2007 6:00 PM
Mr. Argue, I apologize for my delay in responding to you. That whole job thing gets in the way.

Speaking of jobs, you appear to infer that I work for or with Farr. That is not the case at all, and although you probably won't believe me, my comments are my own (shock!) and are not connected with anyone who works or campaigns for Farr. I happen to be a longtime resident of Santa Cruz and, yes, a fan of Sam and am tired of him constantly getting smeared by you and a few others on this site.

I don't always agree with him 100% of the time, of course- if you can find anyone you agree with 100% of the time then your opinions are too shallow. However, I recognize that Sam is one of the most consistent voices against the war in iraq, and has been from the very beginning. Instead of recognizing that fact, you are intent on a campaign to smear him, not support him and his efforts to work for peace.

I also happen to know a thing or two about the federal budget, having lived for awhile in Washington DC (where, to keep you from supposition, I did not work for him). Despite your constant insistance, general budgetary items for the Department of Defense are for ongoing expenses, not for direct military operations. The DoD doesn't write its budget that way, except for long-standing operations, such as the bases in Korea. I just want to make that known to those who may be reading this, because your language makes it seem as though a vote for the general appropriations bills is funding things like the troop surge. It is not. Is there a connection in some way? Obviously. But my earlier point about breast cancer research funding was just highlight that there are many things in the general DoD budget, and a vote for that does not mean you support killing babies.

And you can repeat your tired old "legal and peaceful protest" line all you want, but the fact of the matter is you and some of those at that protest were anything but peaceful. I doubt that if you had been peacefully assembled to let folks know your opposition to the campaign in Yugoslavia, anything would have happened at all. But members of that group decided to take the action to the next level and become disruptive and agressive (no, not violent necessarily, but agressive). And as much as you may like to believe that the local county Democratic Central Committee has the chief of police on speedial to arrest you, it was your (in the plural) actions that caused the protest to be disbanded. You'll refute me, I know, but I don't consider banging on windows and doors to be "peaceful", for instance.

And then you slam Sam for not supporting you when you were arrested protesting him. Seriously, do you think he'd come out and say "Steve's a nice guy, leave him alone"? I was also at a student event just after the incident and saw you and your cronies turn a forum for UCSC students to interact with their congressman into a chance to grandstand about what the city police did to you. Not Sam Farr, but city police. I was one of many students who did not get a chance to ask my representative questions at an event paid for with my tuition because you decided you were more important than us.

So back to your sit-in: you'll probably want to make a stink, chain yourself to the desks like you did a number of years ago in order to force him to call the police when his staff wants to go home for the day (as I said, I've been a longtime local and fan of my congressman) and then be able to claim that Sam Farr Hates Protesters and Wants Them To Meet A New "Girlfriend" In Jail in your next post.

I'm just so tired of you and a handful of others making the majority of us who are progressive look like numbskulls. You never offer constructive dialogue; you never look for solutions, just for confrontation; and you'll never be happy. You see things the way the NeoCons (and, incidentally, religious fundamentalists) do: You're either with us or against us, and there is no grey area at all. In the real world, there are always grey areas, but that doesn't equate to an abandonment of all principles.

I invite others to go to the sit in as well and make sure that Sam knows that there are those of us who understand that the positions he has taken have been consistent from the beginning, sometimes in the ultra-minority (ie: 425-7) and we appreciate that. Then remind him that you expect that conviction to continue and widen, now that he is in the majority in Congress.

I would be there, except, again, for that pesky job thing that Steve doesn't seem to have a problem with...
by Not Farr
Wednesday Feb 14th, 2007 9:59 PM
"I'm just so tired of you and a handful of others making the majority of us who are progressive look like numbskulls."

Good, stop being a "numbskull" then. Stop supporting a guy that votes for the MASSIVE military appropriations of this country, voted to bomb Yugoslavia, votes to prop up the death squad government of Colombia, etc.
by Thomas Leavitt
Thursday Feb 15th, 2007 6:39 AM
Useful information for those intending to attend the protest at Farr's
office on Friday, or otherwise urge him to cut the military budget.

-Thomas


FCNL Legislative Action Message - February 8, 2007

Read this alert online at: http://www.fcnl. org/action/ 2007/lam0208. htm

President Bush has proposed a federal funds budget of $2,200,000,000, 000. By FCNL's calculations, about $967 billion, or 44% of the total, would be devoted to current military activities and keeping up with the continuing costs of past military programs. Removing that huge slice of the pie leaves only 56% of the federal funds budget to pay for all other government activities, ranging from the court system to child care, and to address huge challenges, such as climate change and health care.

*Take Action: Urge Congress to Cut Military Spending
http://capwiz.com/fconl/issues/alert/?alertid=9350861&type=CO

*$967 Billion Is Too Much For the Military

It's $100 billion more than this year's allocation (FY 2007) so far. It's more than this nation has spent on the military in any year since
the end of the Cold War, even after adjusting for inflation. It's more
than the peak year of President Reagan's aggressive military build-up against the "evil empire." The amount earmarked for the Iraq war ($142 billion) is, all by itself, more than the largest amount the nation spent in any year on the Vietnam War.

*Congress Is Not Protesting This Big-spending Military Budget

FCNL's lobbyists are hearing that both Democrats and Republicans either support or are unwilling to challenge the president's $968 billion military budget. Both parties accept arguments that cuts in military spending will hurt U.S. troops abroad without examining whether additional military spending will improve U.S. security. Hiding behind that rhetoric, members of Congress are prepared to approve billions more to:

* build weapons such as the Navy DDG-1000 Zumwalt class destroyers ($3.8 billion a piece, seven planned), a "bloated acquisition program with marginal relevance to the threat landscape," according to the Brookings Institute;

* develop aircraft -- such as the V-22 Osprey which is now being produced at $110 million a copy (three times its originally projected price) -- in spite of a substandard track record on safety and survivability;

* commission the production of military hardware in the home districts
and states of House and Senate leaders, such as C-17 transports, that are not even requested by the Pentagon; and

* build bases in Iraq, in spite of congressional direction that no permanent military installations should be constructed there.

*Congress Should Pay Attention to Human Security at Home and Abroad

Nearly 40 million people live in poverty in the U.S., lacking the most
basic means to house, clothe, feed, and care for themselves and their families. The Bush budget proposal would cut support for housing and home heating assistance, food aid, welfare payments, child care, child
health programs, and assistance to the elderly, among others critical programs with proven track records of success.

The Bush budget proposal also under-funds the United Nations and focuses most international aid on military priorities. Illiteracy and treatable diseases still plague the poor in the U.S. and are widespread
in many nations of the Southern Hemisphere. President Bush has increased support for AIDS prevention. But the Bush proposal diminishes funding for development programs. According to the humanitarian group CARE, more than 30 million children in the world are not immunized against treatable or preventable diseases. More than 130 million school-age children worldwide have no access to school. For an additional $6 billion a year (less than 1% of the military spending proposed for this year) every child in the world could go to school.

*Take Action Now

Write your senators and representative today -
http://capwiz.com/fconl/issues/alert/?alertid=9350861&type=CO -
Tell them the president's budget does not reflect your priorities.
Urge your elected officials to cut military spending and invest the money in programs that will improve human security by funding the United Nations, providing development assistance to the poor in other parts of the world, and supporting the poor and needy in the United States.


The Next Step for Iraq: Join FCNL's Iraq Campaign,
http://www.fcnl.org/iraq/

Contact Congress and the Administration:
http://capwiz.com/fconl/dbq/officials/

Order FCNL publications and "War is Not the Answer" campaign
bumper stickers and yard signs:
http://www.fcnl.org/pubs/
http://www.fcnl. org/forms/forms.php?type=bump

Contribute to FCNL:
http://www.fcnl.org/donate/

Subscribe or to this list:
http://capwiz.com/fconl/ mlm/.

Subscribe to other FCNL legislative, policy, and action alert lists:
http://www.fcnl.org/forms/forms.php?type=ls.

____________ _________ _________ _________ _

Friends Committee on National Legislation
245 Second St. NE, Washington, DC 20002-5795
fcnl [at] fcnl.org * http://www.fcnl.org
phone: (202)547-6000 * toll-free: (800)630-1330

We seek a world free of war and the threat of war
We seek a society with equity and justice for all
We seek a community where every person's potential may be fulfilled
We seek an earth restored.
by Steven Argue
Friday Feb 16th, 2007 9:04 AM
Proposed Resolution To Be Adopted At Today’s Protest

While Sam Farr has voted against supplemental war appropriations, He has voted for well over a trillion dollars in “defense” (actually war funds) since the beginning of the Iraq war. Besides being used to put the world in terror of U.S. corporate interests through the massive military machine of the United States government, that money has also been used to directly occupy Iraq.

By voting for this money Sam Farr voted for funds that were used for an occupation that has destroyed much of the Iraqi economy and infrastructure, poisoned the country with radioactive depleted uranium, destroyed many of the gains women had made in acquiring more rights before the invasion, gunned protesters against the occupation down in the streets, caused millions of Iraqis to become refugees in neighboring countries, caused a war that had left 650,000 Iraqis dead as of October of 2006, caused death and injury to thousands of U.S. soldiers, and installed a U.S. backed death squad government.

We are protesting today to demand that Sam Farr end his monetary support for the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

The fact that Sam Farr is one of the most leftwing members of the U.S. Congress does not deter us from this mission. It instead shows the extreme dangers of our current system of corporate run politics in the United States and points to the need for the people’s movement not to rely on the Democrats and Republicans for solutions. We must mobilize our own people’s power as the antidote.

While corporate politics promote policies that have made the United States the biggest polluter in the world (good policies for the profits of big oil) and have made the U.S. the biggest threat to peace in the world (good policies for the war industry, profits of big oil, and other corporate interests) the people’s agenda is far different. We want an end to war. We want something done immediately to slow global warming. And we want full guaranteed access to healthcare, education, jobs, and housing.

Democrats and Republicans, including Sam Farr, are incapable of even beginning to tackle these problems because they are elected with corporate money and the backing of the corporate media.

Instead of relying on the Democrats for anything we call for ending the war through building the mass movement in the streets; striking against arms producers; hot cargoing war materials on the docks, trains, and trucks; and building towards a general strike against the war. Likewise we support the right of military personal to refuse orders and resist this war. We support students, such as those at UC Santa Cruz that have repeatedly driven military recruiters off campus. And we call for building the people’s movement and agenda.

That people’s agenda:

1. Opposes Sam Farr’s consistent votes for the massive general military budget of the United States. These are votes for war.

2. Supports the use of billions of dollars currently used for war to be used for the purposes healthcare, education, housing, and an emergency program to try to save the planet from global warming.

3. Opposes Sam Farr’s votes for aid to the rightwing death squad government of Colombia, a government that routinely murders unionists and leftists.

4. Supports the struggles of unionists for decent wages and benefits and calls for a doubling of the minimum wage in the United States.

5. Opposes Sam Farr’s failure to act in a meaningful way against global warming. We demand the nationalization of the oil industry to take the profit out of global warming and war.

6. Supports the use of society’s resources in meeting human and environmental needs instead of for corporate profit.

If accepted by those attending the February 16 demonstration this agenda will be presented to Sam Farr and the press, but most importantly it will be submitted to the people with a plan for the next action.
by The Buffalo In Da' Midst
Saturday Feb 17th, 2007 12:47 PM

...and ya don't crumble cookies on their f-cking table either.
Got that?

Stan Goff, ex-Marxist:

(16) Visit a Congressperson.

This may sound generic; and it is. Many people have never done this, so they have this vague imagination of governance and who performs it…. which intimidates people (as it is probably meant to). Keep track of local organizing efforts on issues (now, the war), and join the next group of people who are going to visit this elected official in her/his office. They do this all the time. Going with them will be a real education, we assure you. You will not only see the actual office (generally unimpressive) and the actual person (often just as unimpressive), you will see how other interact with this rep as well as lose the feeling of being intimidated. Little known fact: Actual visits by groups of five or more people create real concern for elected officials. The American Mathematical Society (?) has a good guide for these visits. Do not use these visits to show how revolutionary you are. Others in your group may not be down for that, it doesn’t serve any purpose except to stroke one’s own ego, and it’s disrespectful of other members of your own group. If you want to be sharp with the Rep, then do so in letters or during pickets at the office
<b>In Full</b>


From the American Mathematical Society:

e-MATH
How to visit Members of Congress


Meeting with a Member of Congress, or congressional staff, is a very effective way to convey a message about a specific legislative issue. Below are some suggestions to consider when planning a visit to a congressional office.

Visits in the home district are more productive than visits to the Member's Washington office

Members of Congress have hectic schedules when Congress is in session and you have a better chance of meeting with the Members themselves in the district office and with fewer distractions.

Plan your visit carefully
Be clear about what it is you want to achieve; determine in advance which Member or committee staff you need to meet with to achieve your purpose.

Make an appointment
Contact the Appointment Secretary/Scheduler, if possible three to four weeks in advance. Be prepared to offer alternative dates. Explain who will be coming and be clear about your purpose. It is easier for congressional staff to arrange a meeting if they know what you wish to discuss and your relationship to the area or interests represented by the Member.

If coming as a group
Select a spokesperson and a common strategy.

Be on time and be prepared to wait
It is not uncommon for Members to be late, or to have a meeting interrupted, because of their crowded schedule. If interruptions do occur, be flexible. When the opportunity presents itself, continue your meeting with a Member's staff. Staff assistants are often the most knowledgeable about legislation and can be very helpful. Plan on a 15-20 minute appointment

Be prepared and be succinct
Whenever possible, bring to the meeting information and materials supporting your position. Members are required to take positions on many different issues. In some instances a Member may lack important details about the pros and cons of a particular matter. It is therefore helpful to share with the Member information and examples that demonstrate clearly the impact or benefits associated with a particular issue or piece of legislation. Resist the temptation to bring too much material. A one-page "leave-behind" sheet outlining your concerns is appropriate. Contact the AMS Washington Office for mathematics-related hand-out material.

Be political
Members of Congress want to represent the best interests of their district or state. Explain how what you are talking about affects the Member's state or district with a short anecdote or facts about the district (e.g., how many people work for your university, and their economic impact). If possible, describe for the Member how you or your group can be of assistance to him/her. Where it is appropriate, remember to ask for a commitment.

Be responsive
Be prepared to answer questions or provide additional information, in the event the member expresses interest or asks questions. If you do not know the answer, be honest! Always commit to finding out the answer and follow up.

Don't be negative
Never be negative about politicians; do not whine or lecture to Members or staffers; do not imply that funding for science is or should be an entitlement.
Follow up after the meeting

Send a thank you letter offering to be a source of information in the future.

<b>In Full</b>