Congress Gets the Message
Photo Credit: Alan Chodos
Steve Pierson of the APS Washington office helps Taner Ozel of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to write to his Representative, as part of the Contact Congress campaign at the APS March meeting in Los Angeles. In 2002, when the Contact Congress campaign was launched, only 580 March Meeting attendees wrote. This year, Ozel was one of 1,400 participants.
"It’s essential for us to show members of Congress that their constituents care about science," said APS Senior Policy Fellow Dave Cooper, who spearheaded this year’s effort for the Washington office, "and the participants in the March Meeting campaign have helped us toward that goal in big way. We keep track of how many messages go to each member of Congress and use the numbers to get the attention of congressional staff."
Last year’s email-writing campaigns helped galvanize support of 55 senators who urged increasing the budget of the DOE Office of Science, which was slated for a cut. Ultimately, Congress boosted DOE science programs by 4.3%.
Anyone interested in the letter-writing campaign can still participate by following the "Write Congress" link at www.aps.org/policy/.