[New-hampshire-students] See if this surprises you! Fw: SchedulingRequest
jsorozco at gmail.com
Sat Jan 31 16:31:35 UTC 2009
I know it must be frustrating. My contribution probably won't help that
feeling, but having lobbied for the NFB for the past eight years, and having
assisted with legislative campaigns for several anti-human trafficking
organizations for the past three, I assure you meeting with a member of
Congress is not everything it's chalked up to be. Someone once said, rather
ignorantly, that an organization should line up meetings with at least three
senators to show just how influential the organization could be. Yet,
considering Boys Scouts and other such groups meet with public officials
regularly, I'm not entirely sure what criteria they were using to measure
Have you ever heard the saying that behind every man stands a good woman?
Behind every good public official stands a good group of legislative aides.
With few exceptions, I would prefer to meet with these aides, because it is
they who balance the official's priorities. It is they who conduct the
research, write dear colleague letters, offer language revisions to pending
legislation, things a representative or senator is too busy to figure out
for him or herself.
Now, I'm not saying that meeting with the real deal is not good. I'm just
saying that the way you make those meetings productive is by finding your
way to the top of their personal concerns by cultivating a strong
relationship with the right aide. Every time McCarthy and company issue one
of their legislative alerts, be quick to forward that message along with a
personal note of how it was good to see them in February and how this is a
progress report on a piece of legislation they should really consider being
a part of. I would develop a distribution list in your e-mail client or a
spreadsheet with the right contacts per congressional office and keep them
regularly updated, not only of the legislative progress, but of your own
affiliate's progress. Invite them to your student functions, your state
conventions. Tell them about any scholarship opportunities you guys may be
hosting. In February you should use the opportunity to set the stage. The
rest of the year you spend your time building on that foundation. I think
many affiliates enjoy Washington Seminar for the opportunity to come
together and celebrate our legislative priorities, but few of them manage
effective follow-up operations.
Anyway, I hope this helps on some level. This year may not turn out to be
the year you meet with the representative, but next year I promise you will
have gotten a lot closer to that opportunity through your efforts at
introducing their office not just to the organization, but to its people.
"Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity."--James M.
From: new-hampshire-students-bounces at nfbnet.org
[mailto:new-hampshire-students-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Marie
Sent: Friday, January 30, 2009 7:26 PM
To: New Hampshire NFB State Affiliate Board
Cc: Student List
Subject: [New-hampshire-students] See if this surprises you! Fw:
Scheduling RequestBelow is a reply that I just received and thought I would
share it with all of you for your feedback.
As usual, it comes as no shock to me to hear that he doesn't have the time
nor the desire to meet with any of us for the 3rd year in a row. He hasn't
supported the quiet car legislation either, so can someone, anyone, tell me
who voted Hoad back into Congress and why they did so?
Is it worth the trouble to meet with his aid and wonder if she even
addresses our concerns with him?
Should we chalk him up as a lost cause?
Should the affiliate compose a letter of concern in regards to his
----- Original Message -----
From: Mayer, Jesse
To: jomar2000 at comcast.net
Cc: Levin, Sarah
Sent: Friday, January 30, 2009 3:45 PM
Subject: Scheduling Request
Thank you for your request to meet with Congressman Paul Hodes.
Unfortunately, due to the Congressman's hectic schedule, he will be
unavailable for a meeting. However, I am cc'ing the appropriate staff
member, Sarah Levin, who can set up a meeting with you, and brief the
Congressman at a later time. Again, thank you for your request.
My name is Marie Johnson and I am the current President of the New
Hampshire Affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind. We actually
made connections last year for the purpose of scheduling our annual trip to
A group of us will be traveling to Washington again this year in hopes
of meeting with Congressman Hoad to present our concerns and seek his
support. I would like to schedule an appointment for Tuesday February 10. I
have pasted below a summary of the concerns we would like to discuss with
the Congressman, for his convenience and reference.
I can be reached at either my home phone; 603 225-7917 or my cell phone
number; 603 524-1945, or by email at jomar2000 at comcast.net.
Thanks for your prompt attention to this request. I look forward to
hearing from you in the near future and greatly appreciate your time.
Marie Johnson, President
NFB NH State Affiliate
1. We urge Congress to ensure the safety of blind and other
pedestrians by passing the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act. This
legislation would require the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to:
. Begin a study within ninety days of its enactment to
determine the most practical means of assuring that blind and other
pedestrians receive essentially similar information to what they now receive
from sound emitted by internal combustion engines;
. Determine the minimum amount of sound necessary to offer
sufficient information for blind pedestrians to make safe travel judgments
based on appropriate scientific research and consultation with blind
Americans and other affected groups;
. Within two years of beginning the study, promulgate a motor
vehicle safety standard to address the needs of blind and other pedestrians
by requiring either a minimum level of sound or an equally effective means
of providing the same information as is available from hearing internal
combustion engines; and
. Apply the standard to all motor vehicles manufactured or sold
in the United States beginning no later than two years after the date it is
2. We urge Congress to work with blind Americans to create a
Technology Bill of Rights for the Blind that mandates consumer electronics,
home appliances, and office equipment to provide user interfaces that are
accessible through nonvisual means. This legislation should:
. Mandate that all consumer electronics, home appliances, and
office equipment be designed so that blind people can access the same
functions as sighted people through nonvisual means and with substantially
equivalent ease of use;
. Create a commission comprised of essential stakeholders to
establish standards for nonvisual accessibility of electronic devices
intended for use in the home or office;
. Endow the commission with enforcement powers or locate it
within a government agency having such powers; and
. Authorize it to reexamine and rewrite standards to keep
pace with the evolution of consumer electronic technology.
3. We urge Congress to promote and facilitate the transition by
blind Americans from recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance
benefits to income-earning, taxpaying, productive members of the American
workforce by enacting legislation to:
. Replace the monthly earnings penalty with a graduated 3-for-1
phase-out (i.e., a $1 reduction in benefits for each $3 earned above the
. Replace the monthly earnings test with an annualized earnings
test with an amount equal to twelve times. Substantial Gainful Activity
. Establish an impairment-related work expense deduction for
blind Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries equal to the amount
applicable for this deduction when determining an appropriate income subsidy
under Medicare Part D or 16.3 percent of earnings, whichever is greater.
Congressman Paul W. Hodes
1317 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
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