[nabs-l] Washington Seminar Question

justin williams justin.williams2 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 28 05:27:00 UTC 2015


Keep the facts straight, but do them in your own words; it should sound and
be authentic.
Justin

-----Original Message-----
From: nabs-l [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Vejas
Vasiliauskas via nabs-l
Sent: Sunday, December 27, 2015 11:59 PM
To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
Cc: Vejas Vasiliauskas <alpineimagination at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Washington Seminar Question

When you wrote to your congresspeople, did you just simply copy the
information from the fact sheets? Or did you paraphrase the information in
your own words?
Vejas


 ----- Original Message -----
From: Elizabeth Mohnke via nabs-l <nabs-l at nfbnet.org
To: "'National Association of Blind Students mailing list'" 
<nabs-l at nfbnet.org
Date sent: Sun, 27 Dec 2015 20:43:49 -0500
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Washington Seminar Question

Hello Vejas,

If I recall correctly, I believe the fact sheets for Washington Seminar are
usually posted sometime in mid-January.  There are usually several
announcements posted to email lists and Twitter accounts when the fact
sheets become available.  The fact sheets contain information you can use
when contacting members of Congress.

When I contacted my Congressional Representative using the contact form
located on his website, I received a response from someone in his office
indicating appreciation for my support for the legislative issues I
mentioned in my correspondence with them.  However, there are generally
address filters attached to these forms that only allow correspondence from
constituents, or people living in the Congressional district, to go through.

When I contacted members of Congress using the email addresses provided to
me by my state affiliate legislative coordinator, I generally did not
receive a response to my email.  However, I always used subject lines that
indicated support for a specific piece of legislation by mentioning the bill
number in the subject line.  So even when someone did not read or respond to
my email, they still knew why I was writing them.

If you prefer receiving feedback when contacting a member of Congress,
perhaps you could call their office instead.  The person you talk to on the
phone may not know much about the specific issue you are calling about, but
they can reassure you that the member of Congress will take note of your
support on any legislative issue.

One thing I thought of after posting my previous response to your email is
the use of Twitter.  Recently, I have seen an increase of the use of Twitter
in thanking members of Congress who support the legislative issues of the
NFB.  Additionally, I have also seen some state affiliates use Twitter to
thank members of Congress for meeting with them during Washington Seminar.
So this is something else you could do to help support the legislative
efforts of Washington Seminar if you are not able to be there in person.  I
am honestly not quite sure how effective using Twitter might actually be in
promoting legislative issues, but I would imagine every little action in
gaining support for the legislative  issues of the NFB would be helpful.

I hope this helps answers your questions.  However, I would be more than
happy to answer any additional questions you might have regarding Washington
Seminar.

Warm regards,
Elizabeth







-----Original Message-----
From: nabs-l [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Vejas
Vasiliauskas via nabs-l
Sent: Saturday, December 26, 2015 8:50 PM
To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list <nabs-l at nfbnet.org
Cc: Vejas Vasiliauskas <alpineimagination at gmail.com
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Washington Seminar Question

Thank you all so much for your answers.
I would be very interested in getting in touch with my members of Congress.
I just have a few more questions:
What are the main issues that we are trying to get across? I know that there
is the one bill that people with disabilities should have equal minimum
wage.  Is this the only issue we are bringing to our congresspeople, or is
there something else?
My next question is: do you find that most Congresspeople fairly good at
answering their e-mails? I know from attending the NFB Law Program as a teen
that even when you talk to your congresspeople in person, they may just
completely forget about the bill or ignore it and don't follow through, so I
would imagine that follow-up with e-mail contact would be more difficult.
Thank you so much.
Vejas


 ----- Original Message -----
From: Elizabeth Mohnke via nabs-l <nabs-l at nfbnet.org
To: "'National Association of Blind Students mailing list'"
<nabs-l at nfbnet.org
Date sent: Sat, 26 Dec 2015 13:28:23 -0500
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Washington Seminar Question

Hello Vejas,

I have never heard of any national or state conventions where you could
participate by phone before.  I know the national convention along with some
state affiliates will stream the convention online so other people can
listen.  But I have never seen people who are not at a convention be able to
participate and interact with specific events and activities at a
convention.  However, I do know some state affiliates as well as state
student divisions hold meetings via conference call, so perhaps this might
be what you are talking about when talking about people being able to
participate via phone.

I think the only way a person can participate in meetings with members of
Congress during Washington Seminar is by attending Washington Seminar.
However, there are still ways you can have an impact on the legislative
efforts that go on at Washington Seminar despite the fact you are not able
to attend Washington Seminar.

In years past when I have not been able to attend Washington Seminar, I
would write an email to my members of Congress shortly before other members
of the NFB would be meeting with them during Washington Seminar.
In general,
there is usually a coordinator in each state affiliate who is in charge of
contacting members of Congress to set up the appointments for Washington
Seminar.  I am sure if you contact the coordinator for Washington Seminar in
your state they should be able to provide you with the names and contact
information for the people they will be meeting with during Washington
Seminar.

Contacting members of Congress before and after Washington Seminar is just
as important as meeting with members of Congress during Washington Seminar.
Sometimes it can take a lot of follow up to get a member of Congress on
board with our legislative efforts.  Following up with members of Congress
after Washington Seminar can be a rather tedious but rewarding job if it is
something you are interested in doing.

Anyway, I hope this helps answer your questions about Washington Seminar.
Attending Washington Seminar can sometimes be challenging for students.
Hopefully you will be able to attend Washington Seminar next year since you
are not able to attend this year.

Warm regards,
Elizabeth



-----Original Message-----
From: nabs-l [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Vejas
Vasiliauskas via nabs-l
Sent: Saturday, December 26, 2015 12:26 PM
To: nabs-l at nfbnet.org
Cc: Vejas Vasiliauskas <alpineimagination at gmail.com
Subject: [nabs-l] Washington Seminar Question

Hi All,
I was very interested in going to the Washington Seminar in January, but I
now can't, due to reasons I do not wish to disclose on a public forum.
My question is this: I know that for the NFB conventions, if you couldn't
make it to meetings, you could still do it by phone.
Does anyone know if you could still have state appointments and meetings
with your affiliate by phone and still participate?
Thanks,
Vejas

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