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VFW National Legislative Conference March 2-5, 2014 VFW National Legislative Conference March 2-5, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "VFW National Legislative Conference March 2-5, 2014 VFW National Legislative Conference March 2-5, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 VFW National Legislative Conference March 2-5, 2014 VFW National Legislative Conference March 2-5, 2014

2 WELCOME TO WASHINGTON Your visit to Capitol Hill should be productive, memorable, and enjoyable. You are a very powerful and important part of the VFW Legislative Process.

3 National Legislative Service Staff Policy Issues Director – Ray Kelley Deputy Director – Ryan Gallucci Senior Legislative Associate – Aleks Morosky Senior Legislative Associate – Brendon Gehrke Action Corps Manager – Teresa Morris Office and Action Corps Assistant – Ann Markel

4 GUIDING PRINCIPLES All politics is local! Your influence counts – use it! Your voice as a constituent is what makes a difference. You are the employer.

5 NLS UPDATE What have we been doing? – Testified 24 times on nearly 100 bills – Generated 40 letters of support – Advised on Legislative Language – Participated in dozens of policy panels and press conferences – Conducted regular of media interviews on veterans’ policy Multiple Bills and Amendments signed into law Legislation still moving forward National Legislative Director Ray Kelley participates in a press conference calling for full advance appropriations last week.

6 LEGISLATIVE ACTIVISM Not just one week a year! Become a full time advocate for veterans What to do this week Tools to use every day

7 What To Do This Week Visit Your Members of Congress. Educate them on the VFW 2014 Legislative Priority Goals and the 2014 “ WE ARE STILL AT WAR ” booklet. Leave a copy of the VFW’s 2014 “ WE ARE STILL AT WAR ” booklet and Priority Goals with staff.

8 Plan your meetings You will have 15 to 30 minutes – Choose the topics that are most relevant – Know what you want to say – Let multiple people talk Stop by even if you don’t have an appointment – Drop off talking points booklet – Get a business card – Send a message

9 This Week (Con’t) Thank your Legislators for supporting: – Veterans – Military Personnel – Their Families Educate your Legislators on what it means to be a Veteran and Why we have Unique Programs! Ask them to sign up for VFW Action Corps updates.

10 Talking Points 2014 Priority Goals brochure outlines general issues – Lets them know what issues are important to VFW “OUR NATION IS STILL AT WAR” Booklet discusses VFW’s specific objectives – There are five, choose the ones that you are the most passionate about – Go in a group Allow different people to talk from different points of view One-Page Flyers highlight items that need IMMEDIATE ACTION Stay away from political powder kegs – Gun Control, Gay rights, women in combat arms Forward those inquiries to NLS

11 2014 Priority Goals Outlines issues VFW membership has directed the organization to address in 2014 Offers general information for those unfamiliar with VFW

12 “OUR NATION IS STILL AT WAR” Booklet Outlines VFW’s Objectives and Solutions in Five Categories: 1.Veterans Affairs Funding 2.Benefits Delivery System 3.Military Personnel and Retirees 4.Veterans Health Care 5.Success After Service Leave a copy behind!

13 One-Page Flyers Three items demanding IMMEDIATE ACTION: – END BUDGET SEQUESTRATION – FULL ADVANCE APPROPRIATIONS FOR VA – IN-STATE TUITION FOR VETERANS Leave Copies Behind!

14 Enhance Your Visibility WE WANT TO SHARE YOUR STORIES! Ask for photos with your Legislators Post photos to Social Media via #VFWHill2014 Compile AARs from visits Submit your photos and AAR to or fill out the online WE TAKE CARE OF THE REST! WE WANT TO SHARE YOUR STORIES! Ask for photos with your Legislators Post photos to Social Media via #VFWHill2014 Compile AARs from visits Submit your photos and AAR to or fill out the online WE TAKE CARE OF THE REST!

15 Twitter Activation 1: Do you have a personal Twitter account? 2: Do you have a smartphone with a Twitter app? (It’s Free) 3: Tweet your photos and comments from meetings LIVE! Click here to create a new Tweet #VFWHill2014 When typing in your 140 characters, type in the #VFWHill2014 hashtag Tweets/photos will automatically appear on the VFW Hill blog, To add a photo, click the camera icon To join Twitter, visit follow the prompts, download the app, and start Tweeting. Any questions? NLS staff can help.www.twitter.com

16 Enhance Your Visibility (Part 2) Follow the conference on the blog or on Twitter or #VFWHill2014 To speak with reporters about your visits, speak with Teresa Morris or Ryan Gallucci KEEP UP THE WORK WHEN YOU GET HOME! Follow the same steps to highlight your local events. Follow the conference on the blog or on Twitter or #VFWHill2014 To speak with reporters about your visits, speak with Teresa Morris or Ryan Gallucci KEEP UP THE WORK WHEN YOU GET HOME! Follow the same steps to highlight your local events.

17 SUMMARY Thank your Legislators for supporting issues affecting our Nation’s Veterans, Service Members, and their families. Educate your Legislators on VFW Priority Goals. Submit your After Action Reports with photos and stories to publish on the blog. Enjoy your visit!

18 TOOLS TO USE AT HOME Build your relationships – Talk to your VFW Legislative Committee member – Talk to your Congressional district staff Meet new advocates – Seek out events in your community – Plan your own VFW events – Sign up new Action Corps members Keep in touch with NLS – We’re here to help – Let us share your stories

19 REMEMBER All Politics is Local. Your Influence Counts – Use It! There is nothing more powerful than a constituent voicing concern about an issue.

20 COMMANDER’S TESIMONY Wednesday, May 5, 2014 Dirksen Senate Office Building Room G-50 10:00 a.m. ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED Transportation Provided By Bus In Front of the Hotel at 7:30 a.m. In Front of the Hotel at 7:30 a.m.

21 LEGISLATIVE RECEPTION Wednesday, May 5, 2014 Hart Senate Office Building Room 902 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. ALL ARE INVITED! Invite your members of Congress

22 EVERYDAY IS VETERANS DAY! QUESTIONS?

23 Useful Links Web site: Blog: Facebook: Twitter: YouTube:


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