[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
This is a joint announcement by CAN, NAAR and ASA.
POLITICAL ACTION ALERT
Wednesday, September 22, 1999
Hearings have been called in the Senate and the House! The Senate heard testimony supporting Senate bill S.512 on September 16, and the House hearing in support of HR997 and HR274 will occur on October 5.
This legislation will authorize much needed autism research funding for our children, but we need your help now!!!
If we can obtain majority support among our congressional Representatives and Senators, our legislation stands an excellent chance of becoming law. We need 51 Senators to cosponsor S.512 and 218 Representatives to cosponsor HR997 and HR274. We currently have 40 Senators and 164 Representatives cosponsoring.
Please call your Representatives and Senators within the next two weeks that are not yet cosponsors and are listed below. These hearings create great visibility and awareness in the Senate and the House, and the time is now to make that one last push before Congress adjourns in late October. See the suggestions below, and make sure to ask them to sign on as cosponsors of this important legislation.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR ACTION
How You Can Help Make a Critical Difference
Here’s what you can do to help:
1. Call your Representatives and Senators. Ask to speak to the Health Staffer. If you get voicemail, leave a message asking them to call you back. If you reach the staffer, tell him or her that you are a constituent and the parent of an XX year old boy or girl with autism, and your child’s future is directly linked to S.512 (for Senators) or H.R.997 and H.R.274 (for Representatives) and ask if they are familiar with these bills.
2. Congress is currently holding hearings on this legislation that will authorize research into this devastating disorder, and you are calling to ask that Senator/Representative _____ co-sponsor S.512 or H.R. 997 and H.R. 274 and reverse years of scientific neglect. Autism is the third most common developmental disability after mental retardation and cerebral palsy, and more common than multiple sclerosis or cystic fibrosis, yet it receives significantly less research funding from the federal government. Also tell them more than half of children with autism will never learn how to speak or communicate. The vast majority will never live independently. While it will not affect the life-span of those with autism, individuals with autism require a lifetime of services and interventions, all of which pose a tremendous financial and emotional drain on not just their families, but our nation as a whole.
3. Tell them we have 40 Senators and 164 Congressmen already cosponsoring, and say that it would make you proud to know that your own state’s representatives are also on that list and care about children with autism.
4. Tell them they can get more information from the CAN website at http://www.canfoundation.org, or from the ASA website at http://www.autism-society.org, or the NAAR website at http://www.naar.org, or better yet, you can print out the pertinent pages and give them to the staffer yourself.
5. Ask them to call you back at your number and let you know if you can count on Sen./Rep. ____ to cosponsor the legislation. Tell them that time is of the essence for our children, and thank them for speaking with you.
6. Tell them that to become a cosponsor of S.512, they can call Kristen Michael in Senator Slade Gorton’s office at 202-224-3441. For Representatives, to cosponsor H.R. 997, they should call Joel White in Congressman Jim Greenwood’s office at 202-225-4276, and for H.R. 274 they should call Andy Napoli in Congressman Chris Smith’s office at 202-225-3765.
7. Call back every two days until you get an answer on their co-sponsorship one way or another. Be sure to call one of the representatives from CAN, NAAR, or the ASA listed below if they give you a clear “yes” or “no” to cosponsorship.
THANK YOU for adding your voice! If you need more information, please contact one of the representatives below.
Elizabeth Emken, CAN
Prisca Marvin, NAAR
Dayle Lewis, ASA