Advocacy Update: Educating New Members of Congress


Advocacy Update | November 8, 2012

National Alliance to End Homelessness - Advocacy Update
November 8, 2012
Educating New Members of Congress
This past election day, redistricting, retirement, and competitive races resulted in the election of many new senators and representatives to the 113th Congress. These Members-elect of Congress will start their congressional terms in January 2013. It will be critical to educate these new members on solutions to homelessness and the importance of making ending homelessness a federal priority.
Ending homelessness has been a bipartisan goal for many years. We must ensure that as Members take their place in Congress, they understand that their constituents want them to prioritize preventing and ending homelessness in their districts and states. NOW is the time to begin working with your Members-elect to educate them on these important issues and to help them better understand the issue locally.

If you have a new Member of Congress (even if they are not new to Congress), contact Kate Seif at to strategize outreach to that Member-elect and ways to begin forming a relationship.  
With a new Congress and new Members, it is CRITICAL that we keep homelessness on the federal agenda as a key issue for policymakers. With federal budget issues looming large and the new Congress set to take up federal spending issues soon after their swearing-in, we must act now to educate and ensure that ending homelessness is a federal priority!
National Sequestration Call-In Week
Join the Alliance and its partners across the county in a National Call-In Week from November 26-30 to educate Members of Congress on the importance of protecting HUD programs from sequestration


When Congress returns for the Lame Duck session as soon as next week, they will be focusing almost exclusively on sequestration and plans to alter or reverse it.  


Here's what you can do: 

  1. Call your Senators and Representative(s) the week of November 26th and ask to speak to the person who handles housing issues. You can find their number by calling the congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
  2. Use these talking points to explain how cuts to HUD programs will negatively impact your community.  
  3. Let us know which office(s) you contacted!  
More Information 
With the elections behind us, all focus in Congress will now turn to the so-called "Fiscal Cliff," or more specifically, sequestration. Sequestration is the automatic, across-the-board cuts of approximately 8.2 percent to many federal programs, set to take place on January 2, 2013. Sequestration is mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011; however, Congress is working on finding alternatives to the sequester that may or may not alleviate the burden of those cuts on federal housing and homelessness programs.


Right now, it is up to all of us to ensure that we continue to work toward a future where homelessness is a thing of the past. We must make sure that Members of Congress also understand the importance of fully-funding HUD programs to their constituents. Let Congress know NOW that these cuts are simply unacceptable. Join us the week of November 26 and call your Members!
Survey on State Advocacy Strategies
What issues in your state have the most impact on chronic homelessness? With much of the action on health care reform moving to the states in 2013, advocates working to end homelessness can play an important role by providing policymakers with data on and solutions regarding the intersection of housing and health care. The Alliance aims to be prepared with tools to help advocates working in their state capitals. To do this, we are seeking input through this survey on your current outlook and experience. If you have any strategy sessions coming up, our questions could help start a conversation in your network. Responses are due by Sunday, November 11.
Interim CoC Rule Comments Due
The deadline for submitting comments on the Interim Continuum of Care (CoC) rule is next Friday, November 16. The interim rule, which was released on July 15, went into effect on August 30; however, HUD is still collecting comments to take into consideration for a final rule, with a release date to be determined.

To view a summary and brief analysis of the Interim Rule, please click here. You may view the Alliance's draft comments to HUD on the interim rule here. You are encouraged to use the Alliance's comments as the framework for your own comments. In addition, you can view comments submitted by other organizations and individuals here. Please note that the Alliance will be submitting finalized comments on November 16, at which time they will be released to our networks.
Sequestration Talking Points

CHCDF Sequestration Impact

The Alliance works collaboratively with its local, state, and national partners to advance policies and programs that prevent and end homelessness.

Kate Seif
Policy Outreach Coordinator 


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