It's August Recess -- Have You Taken Action Yet?

Act now:  Make the Parkinson’s Community Heard!

Congress is on August Recess through September 7.  Members are at home, meeting with constituents.

Did you know that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded $151 million in Parkinson’s research in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011?  Yet, the tight economy and threat of across-the-board cuts (sequestration) in 2013 threaten this funding.  It is critically important for you to talk to your elected officials about the benefits of an increased investment in biomedical research at the NIH, as well as the potentially devastating impact of funding reductions and/or sequestration.

If you have not already reached out to your Representative, here are three things to do:

  1. Schedule meetings with your Representative or his/her staff.
    To do so, you can either visit your Representative’s website or call the district offices.  Click here to enter your address and obtain contact information for your Representative.  Here are talking points that you can use when meeting with your Representative.
       
  2. Send a letter to the editor.
    Here’s a template to customize and send.  We’ve bracketed and capitalized the areas for you to personalize (to find out how much your state stands to lose if sequestration goes into effect, visit PAN In Your State).  Check your newspaper’s website or editorial/letters page for instructions on how to submit letters to the editor.  Many newspapers have an automated letter-submission page on their websites, while others provide an email address for you to use.  Remember to include the text of the letter in the body of your email to the newspaper – emails with attachments go right into their spam folders and are generally not seen or considered. 
      
  3. Find and attend a town hall meeting.
    To find out when and where these are being held, check your Representative’s website, Facebook and/or Twitter accounts, the local newspaper, or call the office. Once there, be sure to ask questions!  Ask your Representative what he/she is doing to help the Parkinson’s community and tell him/her we can’t afford cuts to biomedical research funding.  Ask if he/she supports alternatives to sequestration and $32 billion in FY 2013 funding for the NIH.  Some of these town hall meetings are held telephonically.  Don’t be afraid to ask your questions on the phone or in person.  More information.

Finally, please be sure to take a moment to complete a quick form to share how your discussions went.

For any questions, please email [email protected].  Thank you for your work on this important issue.