Arthritis Agenda: Advocacy E-newsletter

Welcome to the Arthritis Agenda, an advocacy newsletter of the Arthritis Foundation.

April 2006
Volume 7, No. 2

Advocacy and Kids' Summits Kick-off Legislative Year

Thank you to all who attended the annual Advocacy and Kids’ Summit in Washington DC! With 272 participants including 37 kids, more than 250 congressional meetings were held on February 28 and March 1. Many participants had the opportunity to share their personal story directly with their Senators and Representatives. For those that were unable to attend in person, 711 emails were sent as part of the Virtual Summit to help reinforce the messages. Advocates greatly increased the awareness level on Capitol Hill about the challenges facing kids and adults with arthritis.

Since the Advocacy Summit, 4 Senators and 19 Representatives have joined as cosponsors of the Arthritis Prevention, Control, and Cure Act.

This is just the start—persistent follow-up is necessary to maintain this momentum on the Arthritis Act. Members of Congress also must hear about the critical need for federal funding for arthritis research at the National Institutes of Health and the arthritis public health program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Read more about the Advocacy Priorities.)

Send an E-mail
Members of Congress consider the opinions of their constituents very important. Visit the Arthritis Action Center to send a personal e-mail about how arthritis affects your life and request that Members advance the arthritis advocacy priorities.

Meet in Person
Throughout the year, Members of Congress work in the state or district; it is a perfect time to visit them. April 10-21 is the next district work period. Members are interested in hearing from their constituents and hold town hall meetings at community locations. You also may directly request to meet with them in their district office. Contact your local Arthritis Foundation chapter for further information and to coordinate with other advocates in your area.

The More Advocates, the Louder the Ask

Volunteer to ask others to help send more messages to Congress at the upcoming Arthritis Walks in May. For more information about local walks and how you can assist, contact your local Arthritis Foundation chapter.

As the theme of the Advocacy and Kids’ Summit states, “Take Action Today.” Congress is hearing our voices!


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