Global Weekly Update March 21, 2011

March 21, 2011

Call on Senators and the Media to Be the Firewall Against Deadly Cuts

We should all be outraged about cuts to the foreign aid and critical U.S. anti-poverty programs proposed in the House of Representatives. Are we in such dire financial circumstances in that we have to resort to taking away mosquito nets, TB treatment, and AIDS drugs from the world’s poorest people? If budgets are moral documents, we can only be left to question what our values are as a nation.

The positive news is that the Senate can correct this situation by proposing a spending bill that doesn’t cut lifelines and call our values into question. But our senators are nervous about speaking out against the cuts in this political environment because they are not sure they have the support of constituents. We have to let them know that they do have support to speak out, that they do have support to express our values by reversing these cuts. Here’s what you can do:

  • Make Calls: Congress has passed a new Continuing Resolution that keeps the government running through April 8. We must get everyone we know to call their senators and ask them to reverse the House cuts to foreign aid. We have created a special action alert to make the calling easy. Send it to your friends and post it on your social media sites.
  • Generate Media: We have a great editorial packet to pitch to your editors, and an excellent Action Sheet for writing letters to the editor. Joanne Carter also has a great piece in the Huffington Post you can borrow from. Write and get others to write. You can also use these resources to write your own oped. If we can get our messages out in the media it will educate our communities and give our senators courage to speak out.

Your actions are critical for the rest of 2011 and all of 2012. If foreign aid cutters get away with cutting in 2011, you know they will be even more aggressive for 2012. We must stop this unconscionable cutting now. Surely we can do better than taking away basic, inexpensive, life-saving tools from the world’s poorest people.

Congressional Briefings and World TB Day Events Across the US

This World TB Day invite your members of Congress and their staff to attend tuberculosis briefings at the Capitol Visitor’s Center. This is a great introduction to TB for those new staffers and the freshmen members! Ask Senate offices to attend this briefing event on March 24 at noon titled: Overcoming Obstacles to Achieve Results: Tuberculosis in the 21st Century. Ask House offices to attend this TB panel on March 29 at 1:30 pm titled: Accelerating Progress to Combat TB: Innovation and Partnership. There are great panelists at both events!

From Georgia to California and everywhere in between, RESULTS activists have taken a lead in planning community outreach events, rallies, walks, and educational panels to better advocate for global tuberculosis control this World TB Day. Keep up the great work! Here are some highlights for WTBD events we know about:

  • Atlanta RESULTS group sponsored a World TB Day Walk with the CDC and other community partners on Saturday. The event was complete with clowns, facepainting, a rockin’ band, and, of course, advocacy! Over 1200 people came out to support fighting TB here in the US and around the world.
  • Chicago RESULTS is planning a coalition event with approximately 200 TB professionals and advocates. RESULTS will present an advocacy skills workshop and will reach new audiences that have the potential to connect local and global TB.
  • Denver RESULTS participated as a sponsor for the annual TB Trot and is hosting RESULTS’ media trainee, Jigna Rao, for two days of community outreach. Jigna will share a panel discussion on TB with the Infectious Disease specialist, Dr. Randall Reves, to raise awareness within the medical community on the need to continue to fight TB.
  • The North Carolina Triangle group sponsored a TB and nutrition event with their member of Congress, Rep. David Price. This event combined both service and TB advocacy. RESULTS advocates recruited volunteers to assemble food packets for international relief efforts for the local non-profit, Stop Hunger Now. They connected the need for good nutrition to fight TB and educated event participants on how to take the next advocacy steps to end the spread of TB.

Tell us what you are doing locally to raise awareness this World TB Day!

Yunus Decision Delayed, Time to Take Action!

On March 15, the Bangladesh Supreme Court decided to adjourn for two weeks to review the High Court’s ruling that supported the government’s firing of Prof. Yunus. We now have two weeks to continue mobilizing media and Congress. Read More.

Congress Wants You Mobilize More Voices Through Outreach

As our activists have been meeting with members of Congress and their aides, we’ve heard a regular refrain, “we need to hear from people about the foreign aid cuts.” The best way to do this it to get out into your community. Activists in Amherst, MA recently got 70 people to make phone calls to their senators at a recent tabling event. Imagine what you could do to build your group and your action network through a letter writing meeting, a World TB Day activity, or other events. Consider collaborating with the Global Poverty Project, or premieres of the film To Catch a Dollar. Engage your community with HungerFast, former Representative Tony Hall’s effort to protect the world’s most vulnerable from cuts. Ken Patterson, Global Grassroots Manager has some great ideas for you in his blog post, Outreach is the Only Way To Generate New Voices.

This spring RESULTS will also be participating in Education for All advocacy events with the Global Campaign for Education’s (GCE) annual Global Action Week May 2–6 and during the April congressional recess. GCE will be driving the the Blue Ribbon Campaign that seeks to build awareness and support for the nearly 70 million children globally who are denied the opportunity of even setting feet in a primary school classroom. RESULTS groups can start planning outreach to community groups, grade schools, and scout troops now to support EFA advocacy with resources that GCE has on its website!

We have a new, interactive online grassroots forum. The forum will enable activists to communicate and collaborate more directly. Click on My RESULTS, get your own personalized sign-in name, and start collaborating.

March: Outreach Month! Organize a group outreach workshop or event.

March 21–25: Congressional Recess

March 24: World TB Day

April 9: Global Conference Call, featuring Congresswoman Nita Lowey. 2:00 pm ET. (888) 409-6709

April 13: Beginning of next New Activist Orientation series. 9:00 pm ET. Call (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. To RSVP for the next series (April 13 and 27, May 11 and 25) or to get more information, contact Lisa Marchal.

May 14: Global Conference Call. 2:00 pm ET. (888) 409-6709 

June 19–21: RESULTS International Conference

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