The Mighty and Beautiful American Grassroots
There's an old song that lauds the lazy, hazy days of summer. Well, perhaps this summer has been hazy at times, but there has been nothing lazy about it. The pro-life grassroots have been busy and effective! July saw the passage in the House of the Conscience Protection Act of 2016 following an unprecedented number of email and Twitter mesages from "We the People" to our Representatives. Together we were heard! And we were all busy until 11:59 PM September 6 submitting comments in objection to the NIH proposal to lift a funding moratorium on human-animal chimera research. We will keep you posted on that.
When Human Life Action sends out an alert you are always generous in your responses to click and send a message. Thank you! But, of course, grassroots advocacy is more than just sending or responding to an email. It requires team work and personal connections to be successful. Here in DC, we supply the message, but you in the field are the mighty messangers that make this work succeed. Let me share with you some beautiful examples of what I mean.
The day before the House vote on the Conscience Protection Act, I answered our office phone to hear the lovely voice of a senior citizen from the Midwest. She wanted very much to contact her member in the House, but didn't have a computer or know how to proceed. I was happy to be able to give her the phone number and talking points she wanted and she was quickly ready to take action and make a difference. Before I hung up I asked how she had heard about Human Life Action. Her answer warmed my heart! She explained that the Pro-Life Committee leader at her parish is on our email list and heard about the action alert and the impending vote. This grassroots leader then went to daily Mass and afterwards went from pew to pew giving everyone the information they needed to take action. This lady's daughter was there and called her to let her know. Word of mouth and personal contact is still powerful in this digital age!
Last week, during the push to submit comments to the NIH in the very short time span they allowed, another grassroots warrior led the charge in Virginia. Knowing that submitting electronic comments would prove difficult for some, he printed off the letter Human Life Action provided in the alert. Armed with several dozen copies, envelopes, and stamps, he attended the parish First Friday Coffee after Mass. He encouraged those with smart phones to take action online and to others he made available the printed letter for them to sign and address. After the gathering he drove more than 30 comment letters to the main post office to insure that they would arrive timely at the NIH headquarters.
Now that's mighty and beautiful grassroots advocacy!