Silas Kain of Blogcritics suggests a great idea to help raise funds for disaster relief. By all means, give as generously as you can to worthy organizations such as those mentioned below. If you are able to do so, volunteer your time to relief efforts. But consider this as well: What did the government do when the warnings were issued? They told people to evacuate New Orleans, but did they provide transport for the poor and infirm, those who had no means to escape? What about all the money the national treasury is bleeding for the Iraq invasion? And those questions merely scratch the surface. One can easily see that the Bush Administration’s priorities are completely out of whack.
Rather than spending too much time kvetching about it, Mr. Kain suggests we give lawmakers an opportunity to show what their priorities are, that we give them a chance to do the right thing by the people devastated by the fury of Hurricane Katrina.
- Become part of a Blogger challenge to send donations to the Red Cross or any other charity designated to do work in the Katrina ravaged region. Let’s get bloggers around teh world to jump on board and place a note on their respective blogs.
- Email the Political Action Committee or politician of your choice and ask them to donate to the relief effort on behalf of a political candidiate rather than donate money directly to their campaign. I challenge every Congressperson and Senator along with their respective campaign organizations to issue releases asking their political action committee supporters to do so.
The following is a form letter I’ve come up with. I challenge you, your friends and the blogs you visit to copy this letter and send it to those who represent you in Washington:
Dear Senator/Congressperson _________________________:
As you know our fellow Americans in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are facing a gargantuan task in rebuilding their communities in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Since this is an off-election year, I am asking you to support an effort to ask those political action committees who support you to donate money to the relief efforts on your behalf rather than give the money to your campaign committee. Americans need your help and this effort could pump millions of dollars into this region without placing a heavy burden on government funds.
Thank you for your support and cooperation. I look forward to your expedient reply.
YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS HERE
Good idea, eh? I’ve already complied and challenge you and yours to do the same.
Here are ways to contact your lawmakers:
Via phone, call the Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121
To write them, visit the contact Congress page at Congress.org.
And hey, do the same for your state and local legislators too — Congress.org can help you reach them as well. If Jerry Lewis can redirect some of his Muscular Dystrophy telethon funds to help those hurt by Katrina, a move he announced earlier today, surely governmental “leaders” can do the right thing as well.
So take the challenge: Challenge your lawmakers to do what’s right. Challenge them to put people before politics.