Need Offering of Letters-to-Editors!
President and Laura Bush are in Africa this week highlighting successful U.S. aid projects. An Associated Press story quoted Mr. Bush, from Tanzania's Meru District Hospital, proclaiming: "The power to save lives comes with the moral obligation to use it."
The media coverage of the trip provides a perfect ‘hook’ for letters to editors, and the timing is ideal for the Offering of Letters campaign.
If you have never submitted a letter to a newspaper, try it now! Make it a Lenten project. Click here for tips.
Recruit a flock of friends to write, too. Several of my friends are willing to submit letters if I ask them directly, one to one. I explain what the ‘ask’ is ($5 billion for poverty-focused development aid and Senate passage of the Global Poverty Act, S. 2433), why the issue is important, why the timing is critical, what the local angle is, and I provide background material. I just submitted a letter to my state paper, the Des Moines Register, and persuaded three friends to submit letters to our city paper, the Cedar Rapids Gazette; we don’t know the results yet.
These friends are members of the United Nations Association, so they already support the MDGs. Letters are needed now while the press is focused on successes in Africa, and because the Congressional budget process is ramping up. One of our senators (Chuck Grassley) is on the Budget Committee and the other (Tom Harkin) is on Foreign Operations Appropriations, so we have a local connection. I mentioned that if members of Congress are named in published letters, their staff is likely to ensure the member sees it.
I tried to cut out all the extra steps for my friends to make it as convenient as possible for them to write and submit their letter. I provided the newspaper’s email address for letters, the maximum word count, and the requirement for including the writer’s name, address, and daytime phone number.
I provided my friends with some background info to help them get started:
1) A link to our local newspaper’s coverage of Pres. Bush’s trip that they can reference or respond to when writing their letter.
2) Bread for the World’s 2008 Offering of Letters Campaign page: ‘What We Want to Achieve in 2008’
3) A background paper on the Millennium Challenge Account, because Pres. Bush was signing an MCA grant in Tanzania.
I’m hoping to see your letters posted soon on Bread for the World’s press page!
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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