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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 08-02-2016, 11:03 AM
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There is a good place to find townhalls .
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 08-02-2016, 01:50 PM
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Default Town Hall Doís and Doníts

Town Hall Doís and Doníts (from Legistorm.com)

Before the Town Hall---

Do a little research on your member of Congress. Know their personal background and history. Pay special attention to that Member's stance on the topic or issue you want to discuss. Research the district staff at LegiStorm.com to know who you might get a chance to meet.
Organize your argument. Have a general idea of what you want to say during the town hall. Use stats, facts, and examples to beef up your argument.
If possible, go in a group. There's power in numbers. It will be harder for a member of Congress to ignore a unified and vocal group of people. Make sure that every member of your group is prepared.

During the Town Hall---
Do's

Do show up early.
Do be polite and respectful to your member of Congress and to fellow attendees.
Do find and talk to staff members. At in-person town halls, they will always be there. Introduce yourself, talk to them, tell them your story.
Do find and talk to the media covering the event. Broadcast your message.
Do be aware of the town hall's format. Pay attention to how much time you are allotted to speak.
Do be passionate about what you are discussing.
Do tell a personal story to connect emotionally with the member of Congress.
Do use specific numbers and facts. Opinions are only as strong as their factual underpinnings.
Do bring written copies of your statement as well as business cards to leave with staff members.
Do introduce yourself before asking your question.

Don'ts

Donít fail to show up if this is a scheduled one-on-one meeting. Provide prior notification if you are running late.
Donít interrupt the member of Congress, staff member, or audience member when they are speaking.
Donít be discouraged if the Congress member disagrees with you.
Donít underestimate your importance. As an informed voter, you have the power to influence your member of Congress as well as others in your community.
Donít make your message confusing by trying to say too much at once. This is where preparationóknowing what you will say beforehandóhelps immensely.
Donít expect to be heard if you are not a constituent. Members donít want outsiders taking advantage of their town halls. If you are an outside organizer, get one of your local members to talk.

After the Town Hall---

Follow up. Send a thank-you note, e-mail or phone call to the memberís office. If you were able to connect with a staffer, follow-up with them specifically.
Follow through on any promise you made to the member of Congress or staff.
Be consistent and persistent. Keep showing up to town hall meetings and contacting the member's offices.
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2016, 01:38 PM
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So, some IV people and I were talking today about some of what we consider to be company "front organizations" - FWD, Partnership for a New American Economy - those guys. We were wondering, what it would take for these people to prioritize our issues over more H1?

The best answer we came up with, is we think they will switch their focus to our issues, when things get so bad, that people will not want to come here on H1's - which will most likely be long after we are dead.


People don't seem to understand the seriousness of the situation - they are signing petitions, making videos about petitions, tweeting about petitions, tweeting about videos about petitions, writing blog posts, tweeting about blog posts, tweeting about writing blog posts - in short doing everything except the one thing that will get them out of this mess - which is to do meetings. Doing meetings is harder than all the online "echo chamber" activity - but honestly its not that hard.


In the last 2 weeks, I have been very busy. I have been driving around and have met 3 Rep's - we got new 1 co-sponsorship in my state thanks to the hard-work of a guy who is driving his 9 month pregnant wife 1+ hours for these meetings. A guy in my state Chapter drove all the way to DC from CT to meet the immigration staffer in his District. So far, I have spent around 12 hours, just driving to these things. I am going to meet another one on Saturday morning. I see all these people joining our state chapters and not doing meetings. What is the point in joining a state chapter and not doing meetings? If your Rep hasn't co-sponsored and someone has asked before, it doesn't matter - ask again. Every-time someone from the District join's a State Chapter or decides they have had enough and wants to do something, they should just go meet their Rep's office - regardless of if the Rep has been asked before. Keep asking until they see reason and co-sponsor.

Instead, I see people join and say "anybody from ...", "any event in ...", "...I am free to join..." - and that's the last you hear from them. Do meetings. If you join a state chapter, please do so with the intention to lead. You are most likely the only person - or one of the very few people - in your district who is motivated enough to do something about this issue. If you come in, come in with the mentality that you are a leader, you want to take charge of your destiny and do what ever is necessary to make meetings happen. I honestly believe, that this problem will not be solved until a critical mass of people understand what I am saying. The only way to truly "understand" what I am saying is to experience it. It is very easy to examine leadership in the abstract - but actually doing it is an entirely different experience - and only then will you understand.

There are so many other Facebook Group's out there were you can do meaningless petitioning, blogging, video viewing, giving each other "likes" for great posts and on and on. In our view life is too short for this kind of bullshit - please don't join ours to do the same thing.


PS: To the "bloggers" out there, would you rather have someone sit down and explain something to you, or have to read some blog and figure it out on your own? Why should a staffer or a Congressman be any different? There is also the small matter of them finding the blog, which deals with an issue they probably don't give a shit about.
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Last edited by hil3182; 08-03-2016 at 02:31 PM.
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 08-04-2016, 11:18 AM
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Somebody on Facebook pointed out that the advocacy guide has material in there for people to gather signatures - something we don't want you to do at this time, since it can take months to gather these things - and we don't have months - we have weeks. So last night we updated it. Here are the highlights:

Process, Important Documents and Resources

STEP-0
Read the advocacy guide.

STEP-1
Register as Constituent – This allows us to reach out to you if we have a specific need to influence your Representative from the District.

STEP-2
Find your Representative – Locate the Member of Congress from your district and check if your Representative has Cosponsored H.R.213. Here is the link to the list of current Cosponsors for H.R.213

STEP-3
Join your State Chapter and look for people to join you when you visit your Representative. If you hear that your Representative has been visited before by someone else and the response was not positive, that just means enough people haven’t visited yet. So take into account the information about the office from others that have been there before you and try again. There is no need to let your Rep’s office know that you are aware of someone else being there before you.

STEP-4
H.R.213 Summary – Schedule a meeting with the office your Member of Congress from your district. This document will be useful when you go to any meeting regarding H.R.213. Print copies of H.R.213 bill summary document and share these with the staffers.

STEP-5
After the meeting, Fill out the feedback form at http://feedback.immigrationvoice.org, so our people in DC can reference your meeting when we need to work with that office. Also, post the Name, Phone Number and email address of the staffer who spoke to you in the State Chapter and ask your fellow members to join you in following up while referencing your meeting. Follow-ups need to be polite and respectful. We generally recommend following up twice a week, but use your good judgement. For example, if the staffer says, they will have a decision in a week; calling them before then is just harassment – so use your intuition and judgement.
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Last edited by hil3182; 08-04-2016 at 02:25 PM.
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old 08-04-2016, 04:01 PM
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RandomizedPrecision is a jewel in the rough RandomizedPrecision is a jewel in the rough RandomizedPrecision is a jewel in the rough
Default PLEASE Do your part!

It is unbelievable the amount of time\energy people have spent in the Peition nonsense. I 100% Guarantee the response this petition is going to get in 90 days: "DHS is working on this as we speak - It is going to issue regulations soon - so please wait. We're very supportive and the President has always advocated for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Congress has to Act - so Call your Fucking Congressman - You Numbnuts!"

If these worked then USChamber, FWD_US or any of these immigrant-moochers would not need to spend millions lobbying. They don't because these are useless and ineffective.

So the net accomplishment would be that DHS would go about and issue the same usless regulation that does nothing to provide EAD\AP and the Legal Immigrant community would have lost crucial 30 days patting themselves on the back for filling out an online form while they could have done what any other sensible person would do - Meet with their Congressperson when he\she is in their district!!!

Ok. Now that I am done venting - I thought of also chronicling how easy it was to get my Congressperson to sponsor HR213.

Step 1: Day 1: I went to his website and got some details. It had a form to fill for a meeting and it also gave me phone numbers for his local and DC office. I filled the form - asked for a meeting about HR213. I also called his DC office AND his Local office and asked for the same thing: To Meet with him to discuss immigration policy and HR213.
Time Spent: 60 minutes

Step 2: Day 3-4: They got back to me in a few days with options. The Congressman could not meet in person but they deferred me to a legislative assistant in his local office. She was very quick to respond with me over email. A couple emails later both she and I settled on a meeting date \ time at his local office for the week after.
Time Spent: 30 minutes

Step 3: Day 5-8: I was going to go alone but just for the heck of it, I posted a note on the IV FB page for the State Chapter and asked if anyone was interested in joining me. 4 people responded yes immeditely but only 1 followed through. I also looked through old posts on the IV Chapter page to see if others had shown any interest in the past. I pestered a few to join me but only one agreed. So I finally had a group of 3 with me included to be there in person.
Time Spent: 60 minutes

Step 4: Day 9: (The day before the meeting) I read up the IV Advocacy Packet. I made a few copies and in one copy I highlighted with a Marker all the main items I wanted to discuss with the Staff. I also spent some time researching the Staff Assistant's background (LinkedIn). How the Congressman voted for HR3012 in 2011 and who else from the state had already co-sponsored HR213
Time Spent: 90 minutes.

Step 5: Day 10The Day Of the meeting). We met with the Staffer - shared our key talking points. She intently listened, asked some basic questions and said that she will send it to DC and I should hear more in about a week to 10 days. I left the higlighted packet behind so that they have something handy to refer back to.
Time Spent: 120 minutes (Including Drive Time back and Forth)

Step 6: Day 11: I followed up with an email to both the DC Office and the Local Office thanking them for meeting with me, Attached some of the Advocacy material just so they had a soft copy to share around if needed. Asked them to reach out to me for any questions.
Time Spent: 20 minutes

Step 7: Day 11-15. I noted the numbers\names of the DC and Local office staffers and asked as many people as I could to call the Congressman's Local AND DC Offices. I sent many private message to folks on Twitter, FB, IV forum etc. - just tryng to get them to call the Congressman to show his leadership and co-sponsor HR213.
Time Spent: 120 minutes

Step 8: Day 16-20: Almost a week had passed since the face to face meeting. So I decided to start calling them every day asking for an update. I called both the DC and Local Offices at differnt times during the day. Most times I went to the voicemail but I left a message EVERYTIME! By now the receptionist at both the offices started to recognize my voice and would route me directly to the main person responsible for immigration. None of these calls lasted more than a few minutes.
Time Spent: 60 minutes.

Step 9: Day 21: I get a call from an unrecognized local number - so I don't pick it up. It was the Congressman himself calling me. He left me the following Voicemail: "Hi, I was calling for XXXXX. This is Congressman, XXXXX giving you a call. Just wanted to follow up. I know you had a chance to meet with XXXXX on my staff and so I'm just connecting now to let you know that I have taken a good hard look at the legislation that you had come in to meet about and I got an update on it, and I'm going to sign on to the bill when we get back in September. So let me know if you have any other questions. You can follow up with me anytime obviously at (XXX)-XXX-XXXX and thanks again. I just I really appreciate if you could let the other folks know you were with about that I signed on as well. That'd be great. Thanks. Bye. Bye."

I listen to the Voicemail and immediate call the number back. I asked for the Staffer but the receptionist (who by now knows my name) routes me directly to the Congressman. I speak with the Congressman - thank him for his leadership and request him to ask his leadership to bring this bill to a vote as well.
Time Spent : 20 minutes.

Total Time: 580 minutes (~10 hours)

So now if you consider that I was able to go from not knowing anything to getting my Congressman to sponsor in just 10 fucking hours - you'll realize how supportive and non-controversial this bill is. Also, now I have a relationship with my District Congressman and his staffers just in case I need to work with them on any other issue in the future. Compare that with the time folks are spending in the petition shit-show.

This is what a participatory Democracy looks like - not sitting behind social media sites and clicking the mouse in your pajamas!

You don't need any support or a go-ahead from anyone. You don't need anyone to join you - go alone if you can't find anyone else. Read the IV Advocacy Material - it is fantastic and to the point. So, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE - do your bit, get out in the real world and call your congressmen. It is really easy - certainly easier than making corny videos and flyers about a petition!
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  #51 (permalink)  
Old 08-04-2016, 04:42 PM
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Very nicely put. Thank you for the details and the breakdown.
I encourage everyone to ask questions, request guidance if needed. This is the time to act responsibly. Find time to educate your family and friends about HR213, this is much easier and better approach than begging people to sign a stupid and useless petition.
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  #52 (permalink)  
Old 08-04-2016, 04:48 PM
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Hil,

I am falling short of words for the great act done by the person you mentioned. It moved me when a 9 month pregnant wife readily joined her Husband to solve an issue faced by thousands of families. Kudos to the couple. These are the people we should look up to and not the ones who click websites, create petitions and distractions and waste valuable time.

I am glad that we are backed by a couple who is committed to getting it done. This gives me confidence like never before and I hope it inspires others to do the right thing. And lastly thanks to you for your work and patiently dealing with ignorance and stupidity on a daily basis for a greater cause
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old 08-05-2016, 01:33 PM
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September 2016 Advocacy day has been announced.
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