June 2019: Advocacy Update

June 2019: Advocacy Update

In politics, numbers matter.  The more voices you raise, the better you will be heard.  The more constituents speak up, the more attentive a member of the House or Senate will be.   

This spring, our community proved that by once again responding to threatened cuts to the Fulbright with impressive, powerful numbers.  5,700 Fulbrighters and friends from every state and the District of Columbia signed our petition to continue funding the Fulbright Program at $271.5 million.  That’s a 26% response rate from the 22,000 on our mailing list—which is very strong, and we are grateful to all of you who signed. 

All of you were also asked to “Contact Congress,” and I’m pleased to say that 100% of the Senate, and 75% of the House received emails from their constituents asking them to support Fulbright.  We had great response from those of you from New York, California, Illinois, Florida and Pennsylvania.   

The constituent connection is our most powerful tool and the focus of our strategy.  You make that happen by taking actions like these. Thank you! 

No point in signing a petition if you don’t deliver it!  Last week, the wonderful interns in our Washington office delivered those printed petitions by hand to 18 key leadership offices in Congress, including the leaders of both parties in the two chambers, and the chair and ranking member of the two Appropriations committees, as well as House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations (a committee Senator Fulbright once chaired). 

If you did not participate in this campaign, do not worry—take action!  We want at least 200 of you to come to Washington for Advocacy Day on October 24, attached to our Annual Conference, which begins the next day.  We hope to break our record of 215 advocates who participated in 2017.  

Remember: numbers matter.  The more of you that join us, the more teams we can assemble, and the more offices we can visit.   

Geography matters too!  Even better, if we can get just one person from every state, we can arrange appointments with every Senate office.  Many House members will only meet with groups that have at least one constituent.  So we need folks from every corner of America if we are to have the impact we need to keep the Fulbright Program strong. 

You can register right now to participate.  Please join us! 

–John Bader
Executive Director

Interns Sara Williamson, Ben Adkison and Minjung Kang deliver petitions to offices on Capitol Hill.

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