We at the Center for Inquiry are doing all we can to educate the public, policy makers, and the media about the importance of safe and secular health care and the threats we face, but we can only do so much. It’s crucial that you take part, and act to promote and defend safe and evidence-based health care.
On this page you will find a collection of different ways that you can take action on each of this campaign’s issues—from contacting political leaders to helping raise public awareness. In order to show that we are a unified and strong constituency, make sure you mention the Center for Inquiry and the Keep Health Care Safe and Secular campaign in all of your communications!
How to Track State and Federal Bills
The first step toward getting involved in and affecting the policymaking process is to know about proposed legislation. Here’s how you can track bills proposed at the state and federal levels.
We recommend that you check the Center for Inquiry’s Bills We’re Tracking page. Our Office of Public Policy will send an action alert on each measure if and when it comes up for a vote.
For tracking state-level legislation, we recommend using Open States. Users can search both pending and recently voted on legislation in their respective states based on keywords, lawmakers, and a number of other functions. Users can also register and receive email updates legislation, as well as committee and individual official actions.
For tracking federal-level legislation (in the U.S. House and Senate), we recommend GovTrack. As with Open States, users can search both pending and recently voted on legislation based on keywords, lawmakers, and a number of other functions. Users can also register and receive email updates on legislation, as well as committee and individual official actions.
On both state and federal issues, we also recommend users sign up for email alerts from their elected officials, as well as follow them on Facebook on Twitter. This is a good way to learn which specific issues your elected officials care about.
How to Speak out on State and Federal Bills
Now that you know the kind of legislation proposed in your state or in Congress, it’s time to let your elected officials know what you think. Here’s how to best contact them about political issues.
The easiest way to take action is through action alerts. Action alerts allow you to quickly fill out a pre-written form letter that is sent directly to your state or federal official. You can sign up to receive action alerts from CFI here. We also recommend that you sign up for action alerts from organizations such as Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and other groups that advocate for safe and secular health care.
When your state lawmakers or Congress is set to vote on a bill, one of the most effective ways to voice your opinion is tocall them on the phone. You can find both your local and federal elected officials’ phone numbers by visiting Common Cause. Here’s a handy tip sheet on how to call your elected officials.
Another easy and effective way to share your opinion, whether in regards to a specific vote or a broader issue, is to send your elected officials an email. Your message doesn’t need to be long; in fact, a few sentences are more than enough. The longer the email, the better the chances most of it will be ignored. Here’s a tip sheet on how to send an email to your elected officials.
Request a Meeting With Your Elected Officials
For most legislative issues, action alerts, phone calls, and emails will suffice. However, in-person meetings can have a powerful impact. This section will help you figure out how and when to try to schedule an in-person meeting.
Generally, in-person meetings are best suited for having broader, larger, and longer discussions with the elected official’s staff regarding either basic introductions, or the complexities of a specific legislative issue.
We recommend that people try to arrange a small group of 3-5 people who care about health care issues to schedule an in-person meeting with their elected official’s staff to introduce themselves, and their reasons for concern on any number of health care issues. Here’s a tip sheet on how to request and carry out meetings with your elected officials.
Spread Social Awareness
Many of the issues and stories in this campaign have not garnered local, national, or international media attention. We need to change that. How? Here are a couple of ideas:
- Post about the Campaign on Twitter with the hashtag #safeandsecular
- Share news articles, videos, and other materials regarding the Campaign on Facebook.
- Write posts about the Campaign on your blog or website.
- Write a letter to the editor in your local newspaper.
- Organize an event in your community.
The interests who want health care decided by religious belief and pseudoscience aren’t waiting. It’s going to take all of us to keep health care safe and secular. Get active today!
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