Voice Platform and Support Network for Families of Missing and Victims of Crime
By now you are well aware of the Help Find the Missing Act (Billy's Law) S.3019. I pray my words carry weight with you and the rest of the committee. This is a very hard letter for me to write as I know first hand the major importance of this bill becoming law. I only ask that you read this and when done you back and co-sponsor this extraordinary piece of legislation.
Here is the letter I rec'd from my Senator regarding Billy's Law.....
February 8, 2011
Ms. Angela Montgomery
Dear Ms. Montgomery:
You sent me a letter last year, and I appreciated receiving it. Unfortunately, due to an error made in my office, you did not receive a response. I want to apologize for that error and respond now to your letter.
Thank you for your message regarding Billy's Law. I am sorry to hear about the disappearance of your friend Beth. Searching for a missing friend must be incredibly difficult and my thoughts go out to you.
Billy's Law, also known as the Help Find the Missing Act, would allow the Attorney General to update public databases (National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, or NamUs) to include missing persons records and unidentified remains cases to assist in identifying missing persons and solve cases of unidentified human remains. In addition, it would integrate information on missing persons and unidentified remains cases on various databases into NAMU and allow states to report information to these databases. This bill also would create a grant program to help with the reporting of cases to databases.
Billy's Law was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which I am a member. Unfortunately, it was not reviewed by the committee in the 111th Congress. I will keep your views in mind if this legislation is reintroduced in the 112th Congress.
Thank you again for contacting me. If I can be of any service, please do not hesitate to contact my office.
Sincerely,Richard J. DurbinUnited States Senator
Could you scan this and send me a .pdf of the actual letter?
If anyone else has letters received about "Billy's Law," will you please do the same thing.
These will be hugely helpful.
Where does this Bill stand now Angela's letter is the second one I have seen sent out since the new year.
Are we back at square one again??
Three things come to mind:
(1) In this 112th Congress, the Joint Resolutions are H.R. 1300 and S.R. 702. Every two years, all pending legislation expires. Legislation then has to be re-introduced and find new co-sponsors. These two Resolutions have been introduced, and our tasking is now to get additional, bi-partisan supporters. Citing the current Resolution Numbers will help.
(2) Address the letter to "Members of the 112th Congress." Our goal is to send a copy of the lobbying book to all 535 Members (435 in the House and 100 in the Senate. Use a broad salutation to signal your knowledge that the letter is being circulated with your permission.
(3) Please mail a copy to me via 1st class mail, bearing your full address, telephone number, and your signature in blue ink. I'm not kidding. Washington places a premium on knowing that a real person has taken the time to get in touch with them.
Narratives are such an effective lobbying tool. If you can make these few format revisions and send it on to me, I'm then going to ask who else you can recruit? Critical mass is important.
We'll be putting together binders with petition signatures, a narrative about George, and all additional narratives that we can collect. What we're also hoping to do is to have a 1-page briefing summary for each missing person case so that the Member can take a quick overview -- needless to say, we'll also be identifying information about the specific House District where the missing person lived and was last seen.
I'm writing too much, but I suppose that organizing is what I do. I've been to the Hill and I've seen some of the binders that get submitted by the big lobbying firms. There simply isn't any reason not to do the same thing for the issue of missing persons.
I'm also attaching a template letter in case someone doesn't know how to get started. I've adapted it to our current project.
Keep me posted!
Thanks Paloma. This was my letter from the first go around that I haven't updated yet for the reintroduction. Great advice!!!! I'll make the changes and mail it to you.
Super! I also started doing outreach to several local groups today. Anyone who hears about the legislation wants to sign on and help out.
I'm also attaching the simple petition page that we're using to amass signatures in blue ink, in case you'd like to join in and add some names on to the stack we're piling up over here.
What will be key is to make it easy for Members, by putting nationwide support into a single binder.
Great getting connected with you:) Paloma