Cardin Resolution Phone Drive Volunteer Call List

Organizer’s Name:  ______________________________                       State_________________   

Caller Name

Phone  Number Call Completed (Circle)
1.   Yes                            No
2.   Yes                            No
3.   Yes                            No
4.   Yes                            No
5.   Yes                            No
6.   Yes                            No
7.   Yes                            No
8.   Yes                            No
9.   Yes                            No
10.   Yes                            No
11.   Yes                            No
12.   Yes                            No
13.   Yes                            No
14.   Yes                            No
15.   Yes                            No
16.   Yes                            No
17.   Yes                            No
18.   Yes                            No
19.   Yes                            No
20.   Yes                            No
21.   Yes                            No
22.   Yes                            No
23.   Yes                            No
24.   Yes                            No
25.   Yes                            No

Notes:

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‘Thank you’ letters to Senators and Representatives

Dear Oromo Constituents,

Thank you for the critical work you are doing in reaching out to your senators and representatives to ensure that the Oromo voice is heard and that the sacrifices of many brave Oromos are brought to light and translated into action.

It is very important that you follow up your April 19th meeting with your senator and or representative with a thank you letter. Below are sample thank you letters you can use.

Please pay very close attention to the title for each sample letter and select the appropriate one for you. Be sure to carefully review the letter to make sure you have filled in all the appropriate blanks and deleted any statements that may not apply to your meeting.

SENATE Letter 1: sample thank you letter to a Senator who has not yet signed on or co-sponsored the resolution.

Dear Senator _________________,

The Oromo community in ________ [Enter community organization name or state]   would like to express our appreciation for the opportunity to meet with your staff [give the names of the persons on the Senator’s staff who met with you — refer to the card that you collected at the meeting i.e. Ms. XXX and Mr. XX] on April 19, 2016 in Washington, DC.   We know that this office is very busy and we are grateful that you made time to schedule a meeting with us about the Ethiopian government’s crackdown on dissent in the country and the human rights challenges facing the Oromo and other people in Ethiopia.  We appreciate your willingness to work with us to discuss ways to influence Ethiopia in a more democratic direction.

We strongly urge you to cosponsor the Cardin Resolution [Senate Resolution #432] on “supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia.”  We are pleased that the resolution was introduced and referred to Committee on April 20.  See this link for the Resolution Text https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-resolution/432/text and this link for the Press Release http://www.foreign.senate.gov/press/ranking/release/cardin-rubio-colleagues-condemn-ethiopias-crackdown-on-civil-society-

Since our meeting, we learned that the Ethiopian government disregarded its constitution, the appeal of its citizens, and the international community in charging a number of detained protesters as terrorists.  These charges include Bekele Gerba, a prominent opposition member and Deputy Chair of the Oromo Federalist Congress, who is himself a strong advocate of nonviolence. We urge you to call for their immediate and unconditional release. Please note that Human Rights Watch’s report from April 12, 2016 details the Ethiopian government’s continued use of violence against peaceful dissenters and its execution of a total media blackout which prevents any reporting on it own repressive tactics  (https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/04/12/deafening-silence-ethiopia).

We look forward to continuing this conversation as events unfold and to future meetings with the Senator and the dedicated staff concerning civil liberties in Ethiopia for the Oromo and others. In the meantime, if we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

First Last Name

Title and Organization (if applicable)

Address, email, phone number

 

 ———————————————————————–

SENATE Letter 2: for Senators who are Co-Sponsors

On behalf of the Oromo Community of ______ we would like to take the opportunity to thank you for signing on as a cosponsor of the Cardin Resolution ‘on supporting respect for human rights and inclusive governance in Ethiopia.”  We are very pleased that the Resolution was referred to the Senate on April 20, 2016 (http://www.foreign.senate.gov/press/ranking/release/cardin-rubio-colleagues-condemn-ethiopias-crackdown-on-civil-society-).

Without your recognition and support, the plight of thousands of Oromo student and displaced farmers would go unnoticed. By enlisting your help, we ensure the steady growth of awareness of the human right crisis taking place in Ethiopia. We must strive to continually ensure that Ethiopia respects the human and civil rights of all of its citizens.  It is only when Ethiopia is pressed to institute true democratic reforms will there be peace and stability in the Horn of Africa.

Oromo constituents in your state and across the nation have watched the breakdown of democracy in Ethiopia and have been in contact with your office in search of assistance to end Ethiopia’s violent reaction to peaceful dissent. On their behalf, we thank you again for supporting the respect of human rights and democratic reform in Ethiopia.

Since our meeting, we learned that the Ethiopian government has disregarded its own constitution, the appeal of its citizens, and the international community to charge a number of detained protesters as “terrorists”  This includes Bekele Gerba, a prominent opposition member and Deputy Chair of the Oromo Federalist Congress and advocate of nonviolence. We urge you to call for their immediate and unconditional release. Please note that Human Rights Watch’s report from April 12,  2016 details the Ethiopian government’s continued use of violence against dissenters and its execution of a total media blackout which prevents reporting on the government’s own repressive tactics (https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/04/12/deafening-silence-ethiopia).

Thank you again for joining us to address the conditions in Ethiopia

Sincerely,

First Last Name

Title and Organization (if applicable)

Address, email, phone number

 

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 HOUSE Letter 1: Thank you letter for House of Representative Member

Dear Representative _________________,

I would like to express my appreciation for the opportunity to meet with [Insert staffer’s name i.e Mr. xxx and Ms.xx] while I was in Washington, DC. I know your staff is very busy, and I was pleased that we were able to meet and discuss issues that are important to the Oromo and other communities from Ethiopia.

[Staffer’s Name] and I had a productive conversation about the Ethiopian government’s treatment of dissent, its human rights violations, and its restriction on civil society in Ethiopia.  We documented Ethiopia’s particularly harsh crackdown on the peaceful expression of dissent by students and farmers protesting large scale land confiscation.

Since our meeting, we learned that the Ethiopian government disregarded its constitution, the appeal of its citizens, and the international community and charged a number of detained protesters as terrorists.  This includes Bekele Gerba, a prominent opposition member and Deputy Chair of the Oromo Federalist Congress and advocate of nonviolence. We urge you to call for their immediate and unconditional release.  Please note that Human Rights Watch’s report from April 12, 2016 details the Ethiopian government’s continued use of violence against peaceful dissenters and its execution of a total media blackout which prevents reporting on the government’s own repressive tactics (https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/04/12/deafening-silence-ethiopia).

We ask that the Representative call for a full Hearing on the human rights and governance situation in Ethiopia before either the Lantos Commission on Human Rights or the House Subcommittee on Africa, Human Rights and International Organizations.

We look forward to continuing this conversation with your office concerning civil liberties in Ethiopia for the Oromo and others in Ethiopia.  In the meantime, if we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

Sincerely,

First Last Name

Title and Organization (if applicable)

Address, email, phone number

 

 

Senate Resolution 432 Call Drive Directions for Community Leaders

 Dear Oromo Community Representatives,

Thank you for your long term commitment to the Oromo cause.   Your participation in the meetings, briefing, and rally on April 19, 2016 led to the introduction of the Senate Resolution 432 (Supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia) into committee on April 20, 2016.  It was only through your meetings, phone calls, and letters that the Oromo communities in North America were able to cooperate to achieve progress.  However, the fight to make the United States take a firm stance on Ethiopia has only just begun.   We need to continue our efforts to ensure that the Senate Resolution 432 is passed and that a hearing about the human rights situation in Ethiopia takes place.  To this end, we are organizing a call drive to make sure that we continue to keep the Oromo issue on the minds of our elected officials.  If we do not continue to call and write to our Senators, we will not make progress and the Senate Resolution 432 will not pass.

We need your help!  We are asking that Oromo community organization coordinate a call drive to get S. Res. 432 passed.

Step 1:   Identify constituents in your city/state to commit to call their Senator about either co-sponsoring or supporting Senate Resolution 432 sponsored by Senator Cardin.

Step 2:  Do not call at the same time, divide the group of volunteers and assign each a certain day to call (for instance, if 25 volunteers sign up, have 5 different people call each day).

Step 3:  Forward each caller the attached script which details how to call their Senator.

Step 4:  Follow-up at the end of each day to ensure that all of the volunteers have made their calls. If the calls were not made or the line was busy, encourage the volunteer to call the next day.

Step 5:  Thank each volunteer for their assistance.

Step 6:  Repeat with new callers the following week.

Step 7:  Publicize the call drive with your members via email and circulate the information about the call drive on social media.

Note:  Please print the the sheet in this link to track the number of calls made.  See the attached script to be utilized during Senate phone calls. Do not just call on one day, call over a period of weeks so as to keep the Oromo in the hearts and minds of our elected officials.

 

Script for Calling your Senator about Senate Resolution 432: Supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia

Your call should be short and focused. Call as frequently as possible in order to get your voice heard. Every call will be logged; as a result, be sure mentioning the Senate Resolution number (432).

Step 1. Dial the Capitol Switch Board at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected with your Senator’s Washington, D.C. office.

You will be directed to an operator at the Capitol Switchboard. This switchboard can direct you to both Senators as well as members of the House of Representatives.

Step 2. Speak to your Senator or his/her representative as follows:

Hello, my name is ____________________. I am a constituent of Senator ___________.

I live in _____ (City/Town) in ___________(State).

I am calling about Senate Resolution 432 introduced by Senator Ben Cardin.

Can I speak to the legislative or foreign affairs staff member please? (Once connected, ask)

May I have your name?

I am calling to urge Senator _________________ to cosponsor or support Senate Resolution 432 entitled Supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia sponsored by Senator Ben Cardin.

Step 3. Tell them why you want your senator to support this resolution.

I am concerned about the human rights violations currently being committed by the Ethiopian government against peaceful protesters in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. The violent treatment of those who practice legitimate forms of resistance indicates a general breakdown of governance in Ethiopia. Without a strong rebuke from the U.S. government, Ethiopia will continue kill and forcefully detain peaceful protesters and dissenting voices in the country.

Step 4. Tell them what you want your senator to do.

I ask that Senator ________________ support Senate Resolution 432.  

Thank you for your time.

Step 5. Repeat.

Cardin, Rubio, Colleagues Condemn Ethiopia’s Crackdown on Civil Society

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, introduced a resolution with 11 other Senators today condemning the lethal violence used by the government of Ethiopia against protestors, journalists, and others in civil society for exercising their rights under Ethiopia’s constitution.

The resolution calls for the Secretary of State to conduct a review of U.S. security assistance to Ethiopia in light of allegations that Ethiopian security forces have killed civilians.  It also calls upon the government of Ethiopia to halt violent crackdowns, conduct a credible investigation into the killing of protesters, and hold perpetrators of such violence accountable.

“I am shocked by the brutal actions of the Ethiopian security forces, and offer condolences to the families of those who have been killed.  The Ethiopian constitution affords its citizens the right to peaceful assembly and such actions by Ethiopian government forces are unacceptable,”  .  “The government’s heavy-handed tactics against journalists and use of the 2009 Anti-Terrorism and Charities and Societies Proclamations to stifle free speech and legitimate political dissent demonstrate a troubling lack of respect for democratic freedoms and human rights.

“Peaceful protesters and activists have been arrested, tortured and killed in Ethiopia for simply exercising their basic rights,” . “I condemn these abuses and the Ethiopian government’s stunning disregard for the fundamental rights of the Ethiopian people. I urge the Obama Administration to prioritize respect for human rights and political reforms in the U.S. relationship with Ethiopia.”

Joining Cardin and Rubio as cosponsors of the resolution are Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

The United States works closely with Ethiopia on signature Administration initiatives including Feed the Future and the African Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnership. It also provides funding for Ethiopia’s participation in the African Union Mission in Somalia.

“Given the challenges posed by the devastating drought and border insecurity, it is more important than ever that the government take actions to unify rather than alienate its people. It is critical that the government of Ethiopia respect fundamental human rights if it is to meet those challenges,”

Source: Senate Foreign Relations Committee