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Reach out to your Members of Congress about Parkinson's Community Priorities

PDF has received another important update from the Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) about how you can make a difference this summer by reaching out to your elected officials. Here are some tips from PAN for how you can let your Members of Congress understand how Parkinson's disease affects you.

From PAN

As you know, earlier this month, Congress and the White House reached an agreement to raise the United States' debt ceiling.  PAN is closely monitoring ongoing negotiations and the anticipated impact on medical research and health care.  While there are still many unknowns and many decisions left to be made, here's what we know for sure; now, more than ever, we need you to vocalize your support for federal funding for medical research.

Now's your chance! For the rest of August, your Senators and Representative are at home working and meeting with constituents like you. If you haven't already done so, reach out!  The August recess provides the perfect opportunity to advocate for the Parkinson's community by reaching out to and speaking with your Members of Congress, and/or their staff, either individually and/or at a town hall meeting. 

After you take action, let us know! PAN advocates have informed us that several letters to the editor have already been published. And we just received this great report from PAN New York State Congressional Coordinator Bertie Cole regarding a one-on-one meeting with Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY):

"I had a 30 minute meeting with [the Congressman and his staff]… [he's] on the Budget committee and has been distressed to see funds cut. He promised to fight for funding for the NIH and also the establishment of NCATS. He remembered voting for the National Surveillance System Act last year and said he would support it again this year… it was a very good meeting."

Outreach works! Keep the updates and advocacy coming!

Reaching out has never been easier!  Here are some options:

  • Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.  Here's a template you can customize, highlighting the importance of funding for the National Institutes of Health.
  • Find and attend a town hall.  Not sure where they're being held?  Check your members' individual websites, the local newspaper, and/or Facebook and Twitter accounts, or call their offices.

When reaching out to your elected officials individually, make sure to tell your personal story, talk about Parkinson's disease, and how it affects you and your family.  If attending a town hall meeting, ask your Member what they are doing to help the Parkinson's community.  During the meeting or town hall, ask your Member of Congress to:

  • Cosponsor the Neurological Diseases Surveillance System Act of 2011 (S.425/H.R. 2595). More information.
  • Fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriations bill and support establishment of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). More information.

For more detailed information about meeting with your Members of Congress, please see here.

PAN is the voice of the Parkinson's community in Washington, DC.  In 2011, PDF is supporting PAN with a grant of $200,000.

Source Date: Aug 15 2011