Thread: Congress...

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    Default Congress...

    Now that you've hit <submit> once, twice or 18 times...make sure to send a copy of your narratives to your Congressional Rep, both Senators, and the State legislators from your district.

    No need to debate about whether it will help a single application--the real value is in all of us sharing our need with those who control the budgets. If you know others who submit but don't read this forum, encourage them to make the request also.

    If we don't tell our story, nobody else will.

    Good luck to all, and thanks to all of you for your questions and answers--i learn from all of you.

    earl

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    I'll second that motion greenacres. Folks only 2 years left to AFG if you don't motivate Congress ,apathy will kill this program.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    You all know that the letters of support really don't affect your application and won't get you higher in the queue. In fact, the peer reviewers do not see the letters.

    But, as has been noted above, the letters let our congress members and senators know that this program is important and that continued funding is vital.

    I have already had discussing with our state's representatives and have been assured that they will help lead actions to continue AFG beyond the 2010 date. I would encourage everyone else to begin the push. There were a lot of us in Washington DC over the past few days for the CFSI dinner and taking the opportunity to walk the halls of Congress and the Senate. I know that one of the things many of our brothers have been pushing in the continuation of AFG. Thanks to all who took the time to be here and make that a priority.

    Dave

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    Hey Earl! Where you at? You at Chicagoland this weekend for the race? I'll watch for you on TV. Will you be the guy in the firesuit with the helmet or the guy in the firesuit with the helmet?

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    Default PA has the right idea!

    Thsi just off the wire. Grants for FDs to cover fuel costs:

    http://www.centredaily.com/news/local/story/708612.html


    Now this is something every one of us needs to send an email to our congressional reps supporting!
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Default It does make a difference

    When we received the news that our grant was reduced by 83% I contacted my friend in our Senator's office to let them know. It looked like we were in a pretty tight spot. They took my concern and sent some emails to AFG personnel. A few days later they emailed me back and let me know that everything had been ironed out.

    The key here is that they knew our department. When I sent them my proposal they read it and submitted a detailed letter of support. When I ran into some trouble they knew exactly what I was talking about and offered to go to bat for us.

    I think the letters of support are important. Not only do they communicate our needs to our members of Congress, they give us an opportunity to share our perspective with them about the emergency response community. It is a "win:win" for both of us. They are willing to listen and help and we benefit from their support and leadership in Congress. If we are successful in our grant writing they can use our success as a tangible indicator of their success in supporting local communities in their home state.

    I imagine two grants being considered by AFG for funding. Both are well written and were successful in peer review. But AFG staff can only fund one. One has a letter of support from a member of Congress and the other one does not. What do you think would be the logical conclusion? It cannot hurt, can it?

    Our Senator sits on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Last year he asked Secretary Chertoff a question based on my correspondence with his office. Now that is Democracy in action!

    I strongly encourage every department to build a healthy collaborative relationship with their members of Congress. They are willing to advocate for our causes in Washington D.C. and we need their help.

    Jon
    Last edited by 7Stones; 07-11-2008 at 01:01 PM.

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    Default You are so right on

    If we dont tell COngress no one will. Just look at whats happening to CEDAP. I found a press release on the internet and it sure doesnt look good.

    Eliminating Duplicative Programs: $98 million saved by eliminating funding for Buffer Zone Protection grants, Demonstration Training grants, and the Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program.


    We've been successful in a couple of rounds and our Congressman supports us but now it looks like a good program is gone. I think its time we spoke up for CEDAP. I'd hate to see this go away.
    I'm calling my congressman to make sure he helps us keep CEDAP around.

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    Default Letters don't help?

    Dave,

    I know that they don't help....at least they're not supposed to.

    We got letters of support from our elected officials on two occasions. Those were 2004 and 2007.

    Those are the only two years we've been awarded grants. I know it doesn't help, but.....do you think we got letters this year?

    I guess with the letters it's more of a chicken soup for the soul/feel good thing for the department.

    I don't think anyone would argue that it hurts.

    Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by depchf View Post
    If we dont tell COngress no one will. Just look at whats happening to CEDAP. I found a press release on the internet and it sure doesnt look good.

    Eliminating Duplicative Programs: $98 million saved by eliminating funding for Buffer Zone Protection grants, Demonstration Training grants, and the Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program.


    We've been successful in a couple of rounds and our Congressman supports us but now it looks like a good program is gone. I think its time we spoke up for CEDAP. I'd hate to see this go away.
    I'm calling my congressman to make sure he helps us keep CEDAP around.
    What you saw was a "proposed" budget, not the actual one. Sen Byrd put $10 million back in CEDAP and your award from this year is not in danger, I assure you. The final appropriations never match the proposed budgets. They have AFG sinking to $300 million. Don't get complacent here folks you better start getting a collective voice on this.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Sent a letter to Sen Byrd for support for the 2 grants I submitted. His office typed up a very nice letter of support for our deptartment and forwarded it on. Like someone said earlier on, if they don't help at least they are aware that there is a alot of us that still need help. I remember the days long before the afg program. It was very tough to get enough money to purchase new gear, trucks, etc. I hope people generate enough concern with their elected offical's.

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    I appreciate the scoop on the budget. But you have to admit the $10 million we might get this year is a heck of a long ways away from the $50 million we used to get. To my way of thinking CEDAP is being axed and if one proposed budget say 0 and the another says 10 million, i dont think we can just wait and see what happens. we have to ask and ask and ask till they get tired of hearing us and find the money we need.

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