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Updated August 10, 2015
By Rev. Douglas L. Meyer, Pastor Quentin Mumphery, and Rev. Brian Roots
"If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday” (Isaiah 58:10).
Sometimes an intentional effort from faithful advocates is all it takes to move our members of Congress. That has been our experience in Illinois, where Bread for the World members and faith leaders in the Chicago area and across the state are working to get the entire Illinois congressional delegation to cosponsor the Global Food Security Act, a bill that would secure and advance our historic gains against hunger and poverty around the world.
The bill passed the U.S. House last year but was held up in the Senate for procedural reasons. So getting as many cosponsors as possible this time around will help push this bill across the finish line.
Here in Illinois, our strategy has been simple. Leaders have been identified in every congressional district, and they have reached out to the appropriate congressional staffers with a simple message: Along with Bread for the World, I want to make sure my member of Congress is aware of the Global Food Security Act and would like him/her to cosponsor the bill. Can you look into this, and let me know what your boss thinks about the bill, or if there are any questions or concerns?
Leaders began with a phone call, sometimes talking with the intended staffer, and other times leaving a voice mail. Then we followed up with an email and shared Bread’s bill analysis. After that, we followed up again as needed. We have stayed in communication with each other, sharing updates and tips, and encouraging one another as we keep our eyes on the goal. If we are not hearing back from a particular staffer, we adjust accordingly, either having more leaders call, or trying a different staffer.
Before this campaign, there were no members of the Illinois delegation listed as cosponsors of the bill. As a direct result of the work of these Bread members and faith leaders, the following are now cosponsors (both Democrats and Republicans):
We are now calling on U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and the remaining representatives to join their colleagues in cosponsoring the bill.
Across the country, over the past couple months, the list of cosponsors has grown exponentially! Right now, there are 71 cosponsors of the House version, H.R. 1567, and seven cosponsors of the Senate version, S. 1252.
Where do your members of Congress stand on the Global Food Security Act? Click here to see if your U.S. representative is a cosponsor, and here to see if your U.S. senators are cosponsors. If they are, be sure to thank them. If they are not, encourage them to cosponsor the bill!
ACT NOW: Feed the Future can save lives. But it's important to act right now to ensure it continues. Call or email your U.S. representative today. Urge your U.S. representative to co-sponsor The Global Food Security Act.
This blog post was written by Rev. Douglas L. Meyer of Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit in Lincolnshire, Ill., Pastor Quentin Mumphery of New Hope Covenant Church in Chicago, Ill., and Rev. Brian Roots of Christ United Methodist Church in Deerfield, Ill.
Photo: U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.-14), right, and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), center, speak about global hunger with Lisa Bos of World Vision at the Justice Conference in Chicago, Ill. Jared Noetzel/Bread for the World.
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