Update from DC Trip - Action Needed to Keep Momentum
In total there were about 26 people who attended more than 30 meetings in groups of 4 with key members of Congress and/or their staff, to ask for their support of the RECA amendment bills.
The delegation also participated in a press conference that was featured live on CNN and was carried by outlets across the country. Senators Ben Ray Lujan of (D) New Mexico, Senator Josh Hawley (R) and Senator Eric Schmitt, (R) Missouri along with Representative Teresa Leger Fernandez of (D) New Mexico and Representative James Moylan of (R) Guam were in attendance at the press conference and expressed their support for the RECA amendments.
The TBDC was able to communicate the message that the clock is ticking and people are dying. We have no time to waste in passing the bills. RECA was grated a two-year extension in 2021 in large part because of the efforts of the TBDC. The federal program is set to sunset in June of 2024.
We want to thank those of you for your generous donations to the TBDC. Those funds were utilized to pay for the trip to DC. More to come.
Impacted community members:
Following the in-person meetings last week, you can keep up the momentum on RECA by calling the offices we met with and encouraging them to support RECA in the NDAA. Here is a sample call script, and the phone numbers for each office we met with are at the end of this email.
Hello, my name is [your name], and I’m a [downwinder/uranium worker/etc]. I’m calling to stand in solidarity with the downwinders, uranium miners, and communities exposed to nuclear waste who met with staff in your DC office last week. I urge [Congressmember X] to support legislation introduced by Sen. Hawley to strengthen the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, or RECA. During the Manhattan Project and Cold War, nuclear testing, uranium mining, and nuclear waste exposed untold thousands of people to dangerous levels of radiation. RECA provides partial compensation to these suffering communities, but too many communities have been excluded from this program. [share personal story here]. You can help right this wrong: support Senate Amendment 1058 to the National Defense Authorization Act, to strengthen RECA.
If you have an email list, you can help by sending out an email alert to your members, reinforcing the asks we made in DC.
Offices we met with -
Andy Biggs - AZ - 202-225-2635 John Curtis - UT - 202-225-7751 Burgess Owens - UT - 202-225-3011 David Schweikert - AZ - 202-225-2190 Blake Moore - UT -202-225-0453 Mike Johnson - LA - 202-225-2777 Cliff Bentz - OR - 202-225-6730 Juan Ciscomani - AZ - 202-225-2542 Paul Gosar - AZ - 202-225-2315 Doug Lamborn - CO - 202-225-4422 Matt Rosendale - MT - 202-225-3211 Debbie Lesko - AZ - 202-225-4576 Jake Ellzey - TX - 202-225-2002 Mark Amodei - NV - 202-225-6155 Ken Buck - CO - 202-225-4676 Russ Fulcher - ID - 202-225-6611 Jim Jordan - OH - 202-225-2676 Adam Smith - WA - 202-225-8901 Jerry Nadler - NY - 202-225-5635 Hakeem Jeffries - NY - 202-225-5936 Jim Moylan - GU - 202-225-1188 Senate: Martin Heinrich - NM - 202-224-5521 Ben Ray Lujan - NM - 202-224-6621 Josh Hawley - MO - 202-224-6154 Dick Durbin - IL - 202-224-9447 Jack Reed - RI - 202-224-4642 Roger Wicker - MS - 202-224-6253 Lindsey Graham - SC - 202-224-5972 Mike Lee - UT - 202-224-5444
Press Conference in front of US Capitol was broadcast live broadcast by CNN. Senator Ben Ray Lujan (D) New Mexico is at podium. Other speakers included Tina Cordova, Robert Celestial - Pacific Association of Radiation Survivors, Arlene Juanico - SouthWest Uranium Miners Coalition Post 71.
Team meets with Senator Josh Hawley (R) Missouri. From left: Kim Visintine, Missouri, Arlene, Senator Hawley, Tina, Larry.
TBDC and SW Uranium Miners Post 71 gather with Lilly Adams with Union for Concerned Scientists in the Methodist Building across the street from the Capitol.
Frontline Coalition Celebratory Dinner Thursday Evening at Old Ebbitt Grill
Back Row: Larry and Arlene Juanico from Laguna Pueblo, Paul Pino -TBDC, Linda Perez - Guam, Mary Martinez White - TBDC.
Middle Row: Nora Begay - Navajo Nation, Loretta Anderson - Laguna Pueblo, Holly Beaumont - TBDC, Tina Cordova - TBDC
Front Row: Robert Celestial - Guam, Lenora Garcia - Navajo Nation, Mary Dickson - Utah, Bernice Guttierrez - TBDC.
Attending but missing from photo: Phil Harrison, Lesley Begay, Navajo Nation.