FIRST Legislation Update, More Help Needed

At this point in time, I’m very happy to say that much headway has been made in the area of FIRST-oriented legislative efforts. Things are going very well, but we still need much help.

My mother, Norma Hammes, is one of the main organizers of this effort, and she would like very much for people from two specific areas to contact her. This very message board is hosted by a team from one of said areas, and the density of teams from these areas is otherwise quite high.

We need contact information and assistance from people in teams from the general areas of Pontiac, Michigan, and Syracuse, New York. However, please be aware of the fact that teams from anywhere around these two areas may be of great help. As a semi-reference, teams from Rochester, New York, which is approximately 75 miles from Syracuse, are well within effective range of Syracuse, and are included in this request. Please only respond to this specific request if you’re willing to keep in contact with Norma Hammes, via email or telephone, and the specific representative from your area. If you would like to be a primary liason, please email Norma at this address. Please be sure to use “FIRST Legislation” as the subject line, so that your email can be easilly identified.

On the other hand, opposite the main liason position, we still want you all to send letters to your respective Congresspersons, especially if you’re in the aformentioned areas.

For more information, please PM or email me, or my brother, Bill Gold, or see this thread

Thank you all for your support of FIRST.

Everything you do really does matter.

ok, i think that we qualify for the “teams near pontiac” thing, but even after reading the original thread, i’m still not sure what exactly i have to do or why. can you try to explain it for me one more time please? thanks!

*Originally posted by cutiebethy *
**ok, i think that we qualify for the “teams near pontiac” thing, but even after reading the original thread, i’m still not sure what exactly i have to do or why. can you try to explain it for me one more time please? thanks! **

Well, this request is mainly directed towards adults (e.g. mentors, parents, and engineers) who are willing to act as direct representatives of this pro-FIRST legislative effort to local Congressional Representatives.

These representatives are key members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee. Joe Knollenberg ® is the member for the area of Pontiac, Michigan, and James Walsh ®, who is the Chairman of the subcommittee, is the representative for the area of Syracuse, New York.

If anyone is interested, please email Norma Hammes at norma@goha.com, using the subject line “FIRST Legislation”, with contact information.

Even if you aren’t able to act as a liason to these members, please send letters and email to them.

Joe Knollenberg can be reached at rep.knollenberg@mail.house.gov, and by regular mail at the addresses listed on his Congressional website: http://www.house.gov/knollenberg/contact/default.htm

James Walsh can be reached at rep.james.walsh@mail.house.gov, and by regular mail at the addresses listed on his Congressional website:
http://www.house.gov/walsh/contact.htm

Thanks in advance.

It’s been over a year, so I assume the 2mil didn’t get into the budget…

Is LFFS currently working on anything else?

Forgive my ignorance, but why do the representatives have to be adults? :rolleyes:

We wanted to address the voting participants in FIRST. Possible voters are more carefully listened to by Representatives.

Joe,
FIRST got $1 million from NIST last year, and “supportive language” was put into the appropriations bill. Such language is often used as a stepping stone to actual funding. After the next congress is seated, there will be another effort to get funding for FIRST. As soon as anything starts moving you’ll be seeing posts on CD from FotoPlasma, myself, or possibly others.

-Bill

Yay for feeling useful! I never thought my government experience would be able to help FIRST directly but I have found an area to help.

Speaking from 3 weeks of experience of working in a Congressional Office, here are tips for approaching this issue:

-While it is definitely more effective to have adults come in as Representatives, you can still make a difference. When you write or phone in, no one checks your age. It’s basically counted by how many people contact the Representative about the issue. If they’re bombarded, they’ll pay more attention to the issue.

-Letters work well if you want to write the same letter and photocopy it so each member of your team signs an individual copy. This is a better route than having everyone sign one paper. Make it look like a lot of people care, and don’t worry, we recycle. Frankly, individual, handwritten letters count the same as mass copies…so unless you REALLY like writing, save your time.

-Heck, save everyone some time and phone call or send in a fax instead of a letter. Trust me, you’ll make an intern very happy with one less letter to open. Letters take longer to process because they all have to be radiated 3x, open and shaken out because of anthrax. It’ll take a good 3 weeks before we actually get your letter. However, a phone call or a fax is immediate and counts the same as a letter. Actually, I think our office probably pays attention to phone calls more than letters. All you have to do is say your name, you address (if you want a response back) and voice your concern. This all gets filed away and the Congressmembers will be told how many people called about a certain issue.