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VFW Legislative and Political Activism NEW COMMITTEE MEMBERS 2013. Our Guiding Principles:. All Politics is Local Your Influence Counts – Use It. LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS JOB RESPONSIBILITIES:. Work with National Legislative Service/Action Corps on legislative campaigns and alerts
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Our Guiding Principles: • All Politics is Local • Your Influence Counts – Use It
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERSJOB RESPONSIBILITIES: • Work with National Legislative Service/Action Corps on legislative campaigns and alerts • Establish and maintain working relationships with congressional members/staff in their district offices and in Washington • Inform and update VFW/Auxiliary members regarding key legislative issues, and educate the general public on VFW’s legislative agenda • Submit Monthly Reports to NLS regarding your activities • Submit periodic “Field Reports” to NLS for consideration on the VFW Capitol Hill blog
Action Corps/ Washington Weekly/ Action Alerts Action Corps VFW platform for grassroots advocacy Sign up for and promote Action Corps Washington Weekly Communicates NLS weekly activities Action Alerts It allows NLS to communicate to the Troops on specific bills Our strength in numbers on issues
Get to know your Elected Officials and their Staff • Members of Congress • You are the local face of the VFW • Be known, attend town hall meetings, get other VFW members and veterans involved in the process • Congressional Staff • They are the brains of the operation • Earn their trust and respect and you are in • In D.C. and the District • Both are key • District = advisory committees, round tables, town halls • DC = policy
Inform and Update • You are the conduit between NLS and membership • This is more than forwarding the Weekly • Be an advocate, get members and non-members to sign up for Action Corps • Non-members and General Public • Explain our agenda and why its important to our veterans and the Nation • They can join Action Corps
Build a network of advocates • You cannot do it all by yourself • Find others who are interested but don’t know what to do • As you advocate, ask them to work with you • Try to find a member who can assist with “getting to know” Members and staff. • Join or know who is on advisory committees • Build a network of subject matter experts • Health Care, Employment, DVOP/LVER, Vet Centers, SVA
MONTHLY REPORTS Your monthly legislative reports help demonstrate the power of the VFW to influence veterans’ policy. • You will receive a reminder • Ann Markel will send a blank copy of the form every month • If you need one contact: firstname.lastname@example.org • Fill out an email to Ann following the format on the form. • Send email reports EVERY MONTH
“FIELD REPORTS” for the Blog NLS maintains a blog, www.thevfw.blogspot.com, which reaches more than 10,000 readers every month, highlighting VFW advocacy work. We want to share your stories! • When you host or attend an event, take pictures and take notes (who, what, when, where, why). • After the event, fill out our online form here: http://www.vfw.org/Forms/Capitol-Hill-Blog-Submissions/ • Don’t worry about space. You can write as much as you need to in each field. • When you click “Submit,” your info will go to NLS. • To send pictures, attach digital photos to an email and send it to email@example.com. (You can also send your stories and notes here, if you think it’s easier) • Don’t worry about writing style. We’ll take care of formatting for the blog.
VFW Members… • Must play a Key Role on State and Federal Policy for Veterans and the Military • Be Visible and Ask the Informed Questions • We must Be Involved in the Political Process
We CAN Make a Difference • Congress and staff are looking for informed constituents • We are protecting 22 million Veterans and their families Nationwide • Representing the 2 million VFW Members, and our Auxiliaries
Talking Points • Use the Trifold for general issues • Lets them know what issues are important and where we stand • Talking Points Booklet for more specific issues • There are five, choose the ones that you are the most passionate about • Let multiple people speak. Different perspectives are good • Women/ OIF/ OEF • Stay away from political powder kegs • Gun Control, Gay rights, women in combat arms • Forward those to NLS
Action PlanNational Legislative Service • Continue to educate VFW & Auxiliary Members, Supporters, and the Public on Military and Veterans Issues • Help you to build Coalitions of Supporters in Your State and Communities • VFW grassroots • Other VSOs • Community Leaders • You Must open VFW Posts for Town Hall Meetings • Know your members’ staff both in their district offices and in Washington
www.thevfw.blogspot.com Stay Visible We will follow the 2013 Legislative Conference on the VFW Hill blog and social media. We want to share your stories! As you conduct your visits, ask for photos with your representatives and compile a quick After Action Report. Submit your digital photos and your AAR to firstname.lastname@example.org through the online form. We take care of the rest! Additional opportunities: If you would like to speak with military media about your visits, speak with VFW Washington Office staff. Keep up the work when you get home! We are always looking to highlight your work on the blog. Just follow the same steps for your local events. Twitter Users: Live Tweet with the hashtag#VFWHill2013
Goals Inform Congress of our priorities and advocate to have them enacted into law Build a strong and active grassroots program within our membership Broaden VFW exposure in the Community
Ultimate Goal • Veterans and the Military Must be a Priority in the 113th Congress
Remember… • All Politics is Local • Your Influence Counts—Use It!