Due to the ongoing concerns related to COVID-19, we have decided to change how we will handle our legislative training for Amnesty members in Texas this spring. Acting with support from our government relations team, our field organizing team, and our local Texas state team, we are working to ensure that our human rights activism continues even while we recommend that actions be taken from living rooms and less crowded locations.
We have switched this Saturday’s in-person legislative training in Houston to an on-line format, permitting Texans located from El Paso to Beaumont, Amarillo to Brownsville, to be included in a valuable training about how to make change in Congress.
The second change we have made is regarding what we expect to do. Normally, when groups hear from their legislative coordinators (i.e. Sarah Ahmed and me, Ben Steele), they’re preparing to do an in-person lobby visit. Amnesty is currently recommending against in-person visits, and Congress is reticent to take in-person meetings. That does not mean we cannot do our jobs, and we will continue to advocate. What we want to do is spend some time talking about how we continue to work together to ensure a Congress that works for human rights globally, and this training is aimed at precisely that.
You can expect to walk away with skills more suited to a longer campaign rather than a one-off meeting, including planning phone calls (and phone banks with friends), looking at social media activism, and how our classic letter writing skills transfer perfectly over to our work ensuring a just world with dignity for all humanity.
TO ACCESS THIS SATURDAY’S MEETING, please visit [https://zoom.us/j/380018087] or call into [1-646-568-7788] using meeting ID [380-018-087]. If you have questions about how to do any of this, I am happy to work with you to ensure you’re able to join in our meeting. You can get in touch with me (Ben) at firstname.lastname@example.org
Further, if you would like to have a smaller gathering (a pair of additional activists, to make sitting around a computer screen a little bit less uncomfortable), you can contact Tony Goodwin (email@example.com), our field organizer for Texas, who will send you the handouts via email or snail mail (Please request physical copies from Tony by Thursday morning at the latest).
While I am sorry that I cannot do a training in person, I am excited to virtually meet with you all next weekend! I’m wishing you all health, community, and calm as we live through this turbulent time.