From Pat Reuss of the National Organization for Women (NOW)
Please forward widely!IT'S JULY 9TH - time for the House and Senate to solve the procedural logjam and get the REAL VAWA passed before they go on recess for their August vacation.TAKE ACTION: CALL YOUR OWN SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVE AND TELL THEM TO DEMAND CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS SOLVE THE BLUE SLIP PROCEDURAL HOLDUP OR WE'LL GIVE THEM THE PINK SLIP IN NOVEMBER.Tell them: The conference for VAWA is being blocked because the House leadership says the Senate's inclusive VAWA has a small revenue measure that is supposed to be passed first by the House. But in many previous instances, including the Transportation Bill that the President just signed, Congress has carried out a simple procedural option that resolves the problem, so that the bill under consideration can move forward. That must happen NOW so that VAWA 2012 can be negotiated in conference and become law. The House's posturing and refusal to act will sink the vital improvements, programs and services that our nations' states and communities rely on to meet the needs of all victims.We need House and Senate leadership to hear from their fellow Representatives and Senators: Deal with the blue slip problem and pass VAWA NOW! Please call your Representative and Senators and demand that they get their leadership moving on this important bill!Tell a story: "VAWA has positively impacted me/my community in the following way: _______________." Or "Just this week, (a serial rapist attacked two women/an ex-spouse shot…/an immigrant was terrorized by her employer/a child watched…../a rapist on tribal land….)"You are our leaders and we know you care about the tragic loss and cost of sexual assault, domestic and dating violence and stalking. By reauthorizing a bipartisan VAWA reauthorization bill like S. 1925 that protects all victims of violence, the programs and services in your state can continue to serve victims and make our communities safer. You must pass VAWA before you go on vacation!"
Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), (202) 225-4000Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), (202) 225-0100Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), (202) 224-3542Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), (202) 224-2541Chair of the Democratic Conference Senator Chuck Schumer, (202) 224-6542We've told them in meetings, on the phone and through the National Rally on June 26th. In the words of a very wise 10 year old: "If you don't know, we were rallying because the Senate had passed a VAWA that included protection for Native Americans on reservations; it protected the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community, and it protected immigrants and people of color. The bill protected both men and women. But, when the Senate sent it over to the House, they had different opinions. They passed a VAWA that didn't protect the people that the other bill passed by the Senate did. What I loved about the rally was that everyone there had the same opinion, no matter where they came from, what organization they worked for, if you were well known or not so much, we all had one opinion and one voice. The VAWA passed by the House would not work, at all!"Not only do 10 year olds know that the REAL VAWA is the right VAWA, but so do the majority of Americans. A new United Technologies/National JournalCongressional Connection Poll found Sixty-two percent of respondents support "including gays and lesbians in the group that is protected under this law," compared with only 30 percent who are opposed to that addition. Among women, 67 percent support expanding the law to cover gays and lesbians, as do 77 percent of respondents ages 18-29 and 69 percent of those 18-49. Fifty-eight percent also support "expanding the authority of Native American officials to handle abuse cases of Indian women by non-Indians." Once again, support runs higher among women and young adults. A provision "increasing the number of visas granted to abused legal and illegal immigrants from 10,000 to 15,000" was supported by fifty-two percent of adults under age 50, with women (55 percent) more likely to support it than men (49 percent).We all know that passing a VAWA that includes ALL victims is the right thing to do – spend this month telling your Congress Members to get over themselves and get VAWA done before they go on vacation.###Check our website for fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates: www.4vawa.org.Follow us on twitter at @NTFVAWA and "like" our Facebook page where you can find a toolkit and other action and information items: http://on.fb.me/NTF_Facebook_page.Don't forget to tweet about VAWA using the hashtags #ReauthorizeVAWA, #RealVAWAand #VAWA.If you aren't on one of the VAWA email lists or want to add members of your staff or state/community leaders to our grassroots alerts e-mailing list, send names and contact information including email to email@example.com.