Use the Campaign Season to Connect with Your Congressional Representatives

Washington, DC (September 11, 2012) – The Senate and House of Representatives reconvened on September 10th, but many elected officials—and new congressional hopefuls—are sticking close to home districts as they campaign for re-election. That means there’s still time to connect and build relationships with your local representatives as they crisscross the state campaigning. Show them what you do, invite them to local tree plantings, and tell them why trees and green infrastructure matter to their constituents and to the health of communities. And don’t forget to encourage them to take action on the 2012 Farm Bill.

Congress has an impending deadline of September 30, 2012 to extend or reauthorize the 2008 Farm Bill.  The Senate appears committed to completing the Farm Bill in this session. The House may propose a one year extension which would leave the job of negotiating and passing a new Farm Bill to the next Congress.

If movement in the House proves unsuccessful, the House is responsible for proposing a Continuing Resolution (CR) because the current Farm Bill expires at the end of September 2012.  A CR will allow funding to continue and will move the responsibility of a new Farm Bill to the next Congress, post 2012 elections.

Take action now to meet with your local representative to share your successes and concerns.  Be sure the importance of passing a five-year Farm Bill in 2012 is on the agenda. Farm Bill appropriations fund regional, state, and local municipal foresters and their programs, and it’s through these channels that many local urban forestry organizations receive resources. Check out ACTrees 2012 Farm Bill Information Sheet and Talking Points to guide your conversation (see Related Resources).

Related Resources:
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
You Spoke Up and Saved Urban & Community Forestry in the Farm Bill
ACTrees Advocacy Agenda – Farm Bill Re-Authorization
2012 Farm Bill Re-Authorization Recommendations Webcast