Speak up for welcome!

Raise Your Hand and Your Voice

Raise your hand if you’ve ever contacted one of your elected representatives.  What was it that inspired you to do it? If you haven’t, what’s held you back?

As President Donald Trump to takes office, it is more important than ever for all of our elected officials to hear that their communities welcome refugees. “Refugee resettlement saves lives, encourages other countries to keep their doors open to people needing protection, and promotes regional stability and global security. We cannot turn our backs on the refugees we have pledged to welcome. Nor can we discriminate against individuals based on where they’re from or what religion they practice. Refugee resettlement must continue to be a cornerstone of U.S. global leadership. More than 65 million people have been persecuted and forced from their homes and are seeking safety. As a nation, we must uphold our values of generosity, hospitality and compassion.” (RC USA)

Perhaps you’ve never reached out to your representatives before because you assume that it won’t make a difference, or that it will be difficult and time-consuming. The truth is that your voice does matter and that congress people do listen! They pursue public office because they want to serve the residents of their district and staffers keep track of what constituents are saying. You have the opportunity to be one of the voices that are tracked and presented to your Senators and Representatives.

We also want to let you know that contacting your representatives has never been more convenient. There’s one number that will connect you to the switchboard for all of your elected representatives. You have the opportunity to tell a real person your zip code and they will connect you,  giving you the chance to speak briefly with another real person to share your thoughts! You can also email or tweet your representatives, and there are resources to help you find that contact information. Refugee advocacy experts have even provided sample scripts that might help you convey your thoughts in a way that speaks to the issues being considered by legislators today.

Here’s how!

Call 1-866-940-2439 three times to be connected with your Representative and both of your Senators.

Here’s a sample of what to say: “I am a constituent from [CITY, STATE], and I urge you to welcome refugees and support the U.S. refugee resettlement program. Resettlement is a core American legacy that extends hospitality and offers a chance for refugees to rebuild their lives in safety and dignity. My community welcomes refugees and I urge you to reflect the best of our nation by supporting refugee resettlement in the United States.”

Feel free to share a personal story about the importance of refugees to you, your faith, your community, your business, etc. Let them know the specific ways that refugees benefit and are welcomed into your community, and why refugee protection is so important to you.

You can also tweet your policy makers: “.@SENATOR/REPRESENTATIVE, my community stands #WithRefugees! Show that #AmericaWelcomes by supporting U.S. refugee resettlement! #RefugeesWelcome”

For more tips on how to make your voice heard with Members of Congress, click here.

SHARE THIS MESSAGE WITH YOUR STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS!

Your state and local leaders need to hear the same message. Tell them that your community welcomes refugees. To find your governor, state legislators, mayor, and local officials, click here: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials. To tweet your state and local officials, click to find the twitter handles for your governor and state legislators.

It is more important than ever for all our nation’s lawmakers to represent the hospitality that communities across the country are demonstrating. Take action today to stand with refugees.

Credit: http://www.rcusa.org/advocate-now/

Whether it’s your first time or your hundredth, we hope you will consider adding your voice to the call to keep the US refugee resettlement program strong. Thank you!

 

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