The National Coalition for Cancer Advocacy recently sent out an email asking advocates to contact their representatives at their district office while they are on their spring break from March 15 – March 30.
Specifically, they are asking you (and I am begging you) to request your representative to get behind H.R. 1078, the Comprehensive Cancer Care Improvement Act (See my post of May 18, 2007 for a full explanation of the legislation). I would add that you should also request that they support and join as a cosponsor H.R. 1903, The Post Prostate Cancer Act of 2007 (see my post of November 7, 2007) and H.R. 288 which recognizes that prostate cancer has reach epidemic proportions in the African-American Community. It urges Federal Agencies to allocate additional funding for research, education, early detection and awareness outreach.
Start out your meeting by introducing yourself (remind them you are a voter in their district) and explain why you are meeting them (what legislation you want them to support). Tell a personal story, the more personal the better, which will explain why you are so concerned about the pending legislation. Try to get them involved in a conversation about the issue, prostate cancer. As you wrap up the meeting specifically ask they commit to supporting these three pieces of legislation.
If possible bring friends and family members along to the meeting. The more voters present asking for support will the more likely your requests will be considered.
Visiting your representative at their district office, or in a Town Hall Meeting is easy. All congressional representatives have offices near your home. You can find out who is your representative and where their offices are at: who and where
Historically, men have not stepped up to the plate and learned how to advocate. We need to take responsibility for our personal medical care. Part of taking responsibility is advocating for our fair share of the federal dollar.
Don’t forget to go to the Malecare’s petition to make prostate cancer a national priority. We want 100,000 signatures on the petition by the time our new president takes office. Go to: Make Prostate Cancer A National priority.
Joel T Nowak MA, MSW