New Year's Greetings!
Advocacy Alert: 1/02/2007
With 2007 beginning and a new Congress getting ready to begin its business, we'd like to share some results from the past year and preview some activities for the coming one.
In 2006, the CFIDS Association's Grassroots Action Center was a busy site. 8,377 messages were sent by 1,577 activists to public health leaders, media professionals and members of Congress. In particular, CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding heard from 1,033 people concerned about CFIDS and Secretary for Health Mike Leavitt received 1,067 messages from CFIDS advocates. 1,774 messages were sent through the Grassroots Action Center to media professionals, most in thanks for positive coverage of CFS in a variety of news outlets. The remainder of the messages went to members of Congress, with leaders of health-related committees the recipients of a large share of those messages. A more general report on Association achievements in 2006 was part of the December issue of CFIDS Link and can be viewed here. We hope you'll take time to review it and feel part of these successes!
41 advocates are now recognized as Grassroots Champions -- each having sent 50 or more messages through the Center. You can read about some of them here.
Through our Lobby Day meetings and the efforts of online advocates, we were able to generate letters signed by 41 members of Congress to Secretary Leavitt about the federal CFS Advisory Committee. That important committee, one of only a handful dedicated to a single disease, was renewed in September and new members will soon be announced to fill the terms of those members whose terms expired last fall. Many of the 41 members of Congress who signed those letters, viewable at http://www.cfids.org/advocacy/congressional-letters.asp, will hold important leadership positions in the 110th Congress that begins its session tomorrow.
Updates to the Grassroots Action Center reflect the changes to Congress that resulted from November's election and subsequent run-offs and recounts that took place in the weeks following. We'll be announcing some new features and using the Center even more vigorously in 2007. Now would be a great time to ensure that you receive alerts based on your current address. If you have moved in the past year, please revise your record by following these simple steps:
1. Visit http://capwiz.com/cfids/mlm/signup/ and scroll to the bottom of the form.
2. Look for the text that begins "If you are already signed up" and fill-in the e-mail address where you receive your advocacy alerts.
3. Update your personal information.
Note: If your record is not found, simply sign up again using your new contact information.
Watch your mailbox for Alerts to educate the new Congress about CFIDS in preparation for more intensive education efforts that will take place in conjunction with our 15th Lobby Day, May 14-15, 2007. We'll also bring you information about important media stories and other public health initiatives.
Thank you for your contributions to progress in CFIDS advocacy in 2006 and look forward to accelerated action in 2007!
K. Kimberly McCleary
President & CEO
The CFIDS Association of America