Write Here! Write Now!

Join UUs around the country in writing their members of Congress during Climate Justice Month. Mobilize your congregation to write their Senators and members of Congress with their personal stories and concerns and urge them to fully fund the EPA and NOAA. Organize a time for your entire congregation or a task force at your congregation to make some hand-written letters to your Congressional representatives. If you can mail your letters to the UUs for Social Justice in the National Capital Region (UUSJ)  to be received by May 5th, they will be hand delivered by the UUSJ Advocacy Corps on May 9th.

 

To participate, download, read, and distribute the following:

1. Cover Letter

2. Sample Letter and Talking Points

 

 

ISSUE:Recent proposed Administration budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) & the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) jeopardize our national commitment to protecting the environment, preserving our natural resources, advancing human rights of frontline communities, and improving public health. Such devastating cuts are in direct conflict with the UU vision of building a sustainable world, as outlined in our 7th Principle.  

 

ASK: We urge members of Congress to maintain and increase the budgets for the EPA and NOAA, thus reinforcing our federal commitment to critical research, programs and enforcement efforts aimed at building a sustainable world.

 

BACKGROUND: The President’s fiscal year 2018 Budget Blueprint proposes approximately $3.5 billion in cuts to research, programs, and enforcement activities conducted by the EPA and NOAA. These proposed massive budget cuts  severely compromise the existing federal commitment to protecting our country’s natural resources and the public’s health. Such cuts will lead to the elimination of numerous federal-state-local partnerships as well as thousands of jobs. As we have seen in the past, these consequences disproportionately impact our most vulnerable populations and further reinforce the great inequalities and disparities that we are currently facing as a nation.

 

The $3.5 billion in proposed cuts include:

 

  • Decreasing grants to help states monitor public water systems from $102M to $71M.

  • Reducing spending on civil and criminal enforcement against corporate and individual offenders of federal environmental laws by 60%.

  • Eliminating $400M for coastal waterway regional cleanup programs, including the Chesapeake Bay, Gulf of Mexico, Lake Champlain, Long Island Sound, Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay, South Florida, and the Great Lakes.

  • Reducing overall funding for the Superfund program (focused on cleaning up sites contaminated by hazardous substances and pollutants) by 45%, and for the Brownfields program (which provides funding to local communities to repurpose former industrial sites to environmentally sound community options) by 30%.

  • Eliminating a $6M research and screening effort targeting chemicals classified as “endocrine disrupters”, which have been linked to breast cancer in women, birth defects in children, and other diseases and chronic conditions.

  • Zeroing out over $250M in targeted NOAA grants and programs supporting coastal and marine management, research and education. NOAA budget cuts endanger climate science research and data collection, and coastal resilience programs to help communities adapt to the increased risk of extreme weather and sea level rise.

 

Talking Points:

 

  • I oppose the proposed $3.5B cuts to the 2018 budget for the EPA and NOAA. These cuts greatly dilute our nation’s commitment to protecting the environment and completely devastate the ability of EPA to support states and local communities to address environmental challenges and enforce national environmental laws.

  • We must protect our environment for future generations. Federal investments and collective responsibility in protecting the environment and promoting a sustainable world for current and future generations is critical. Severe cuts will deny our future generations clean air, clean water and the natural beauty of this great country.

  • We need to maintain a healthy ecology and healthy economy - cutting the budget of the EPA and NOAA is bad policy.  The proposed cuts will:

    • Result in loss of thousands of jobs created through various federal-state-local partnerships supported by EPA and NOAA, thus jeopardizing the economic stability of local communities.

    • Deny services provided by EPA-funded programs to local communities, including flood protection and erosion control; wildlife food & habitat; healthy fisheries; water quality and safety.

    • Compromise the health and well-being of vulnerable populations who will lose access to EPA environmental justice local grant funds and may be at risk of contaminated land, air, and water.

 

 

Elements of an Effective Letter:

 

  • Decide who you are writing to: your Senators and Representative or both.

  • Focus on our topic: Maintain and increase funding for existing staff, programs and research & development activities of the EPA and NOAA.

  • Do some research, and thank your Senator or Representative if he/she has previously been a supporter of EPA/NOAA funding.  [NOTE: You can actually download and view your Congressional delegation’s voting record on environmental issues at http://scorecard.lcv.org/].

  • Be brief and clearly state the issue, specific concern and your position.

  • Be original and speak from the heart; if possible describe a personal experience or story on the subject; or include 1-2 talking points, in your own words, to support the main message.

  • Include a specific action request(s).  “I urge you to…”

  • Include the date, your name and full address.

 

Delivery Instructions: we must receive your letters by Friday, May 5:

  • Put all of your congregation’s letters together in one envelope and send to the address below.

  • Do not put individual letters in envelopes.

  • Send 2-day delivery by USPS or FedEx preferably.

  • Call or email Lavona Grow (information below) to let UUSJ know the letters are coming.

  • Take pictures of people writing letters. Share w/ UUSJ and upload to this Google Photo Folder.

  • Sender: Include in your envelope your congregation’s name, your name, phone number, email address, and the number of letters to each legislator.

  • Please check that people have included their full address on their letters.

  • Send your letters to:

           UUSJ

c/o Lavona Grow

2308 N. Buchanan St.

Arlington, VA 22207

703-786-5206 c 703-524-4860 h

 

Questions? Contact Lavona Grow, lavonagrow@mac.com or call 703-524-4860 (home) or 703-786-5206 (cell).

 

WHEN
April 05, 2017 at 9am - May 10, 2017
WHERE
At your congregation --- Mail letters to the Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice in the National Capitol Region to hand deliver on Capitol Hill
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