1. #1
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    Default Congressional letter of support worth it's weight in... (you complete the sentence)

    Go ahead and complete the sentence....


    But seriously, I stopped by the station this afternoon and on the mail pile was a "canned" letter from our congressperson urging us to apply for the upcoming 2012 AFG grants. It also stated that their office would be willing to write a letter of support for us. I am fairly new to these grants, but it seems that with all the computer scoring and peer review, a congressional letter of support wouldn't help with FEMA's AFG/SAFER/FP&S grants. Am I wrong here or should we be contacting our congressperson and/or senator?

    ~Skojo

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    A letter of support from your congress critter won't be seen by the computer or the peer reviewers, But at least yours seems to understand the need for the funding to be continued.

    We do ask ours for a letter of support as a way of letting them , [AND their important staffers] know we really need this program to continue to be funded in the future. It also helps develop a relationship with the staffers that really make things happen behind the scenes.
    Get to know their chief of staff and local office managers. they control access to the senator/congressperson.
    Reminding them of the budget battles we are fighting along with the real risks is always a good thing.

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    Althought they like to take credit where credit is not due, I always urge all of my clients to pursue letters of support. Aside from making sure your Congressional type indeed knows about you department's need and hopefully keeps their vote favorable when it comes to allocation of funds for AFG, it most certainly cannot hurt. It is also cannot hurt that when it comes down to like right now where money is at very end and afunding decision must be made between one or the other to have a few Congressional types in your corner. You also have to wonder why, if it did not matter at all, do they publish the address and procedure to follow for submitting same?
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    OK, I understand the rationale. At the very least, it might get your name/needs known to your congressperson. And who knows, there might be more financial support (outside of FEMA/AFG) that could come into play in the future (e.g. pork barrel, other local grants, etc.). Kurt - what do you recommend your clients do with their letters of support? File them away in a grants folder? Thanks for the feedback guys.

    ~Skojo

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    Send them in to the address listed and have them filed with their original grant.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Afternoon all,

    I just received a copy of my congressional letter of support. My letter of support did list my grant application #. The letter was addressed to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. Quick question about where to send a letter of support and what you've all done in this year.

    The 2012 AFG FAQ webpage says to mail them to:
    David J. Kaufman, Acting Assistant Administrator
    DHS/FEMA/Grants Program Preparedness
    Tech World Building – 9th Floor South Tower
    800 K Street, NW Washington, DC 20472-3620


    Previous Firehouse.com forum threads say to send it to:
    Ms. Elizabeth M. Harman, Assistant Administrator
    DHS/FEMA/Grants Program Preparedness
    Tech World Building -- 9th Floor South Tower
    800 K Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20472-3620


    My copy of the letter of support I just received was mailed to:
    Mr. W. Craig Fugate
    FEMA Administrator
    500 C Street S.W.
    Washington, DC 20472-0001

    Should I assume that Craig's office will forward my letter of support on to the right people, or should I grab the bull by the horns and mail my copy of the correct address?

    Thanks for your thoughts! Waiting patiently for my 1199A to get updated....

    Skojo

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    Had a conversation on these letters of support with our recently retired long term Senators chief of staff. Olympia Snowe was a powerful long term senator and used the knowledge of these letters being requested to help when funding issues came to the floor for a vote. By making them involved in the process it keeps the main staffers aware of the ongoing needs for the funding.
    The staffers are the real power on the hill.
    I don't know how much of a difference it makes in the actual awarding of grants, but it can't hurt.

    It also makes for good press when they get to announce that a department in their district has received funding through the AFG.

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