2010 Summer District Work Period

Washington, DC (July 13, 2010)- Your Congressional representatives will be home at the end of the summer for the Summer District Work Period, with Congress in recess from August 9 to September 10. This is a great opportunity to schedule a meeting with your representative. As a constituent, your issues and concerns speak far louder than ACT can on your behalf. So call your representative’s district office, and ask to schedule a meeting or invite him/her to an event. ACT has provided some talking points as follows

* Remind your representative of who you are and what you do in the district
* Explain how your work benefits constituents
* Invite your representative on a tour of neighborhoods that could benefit from more green infrastructure
* Reinforce how trees are an effective, low-cost strategy that will grow the local economy
* Discuss legislation that you support.

On the latter point, here are the bills to ask your representatives to support (if they are not already co-sponsors):

*Climate Bill (H.R. 2454 and S. 1733)
The House and Senate bills include the following three provisions advocated for by ACT: Tree Planting Program (House Sec. 205, Senate Sec. 167)- aka. Energy Conservation through Trees Act; Making It Green (House Sec. 295, not in Senate bill)- aka. G.R.E.E.N. Act; Carbon Offset Registry (Sec. 733)- Allows “urban tree planting and maintenance” as an eligible carbon offset expense.

* Green Communities Act (H.R. 2222 and S. 3055)
This legislation would fund 80 pilot communities to undertake community greening initiatives. Funds will go to municipalities but broad partnerships are required for activities including: revitalizing municipal parks and public spaces, landscaping community gateways and key corridors, and tree plantings and urban forestry projects.

* Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act (H.R. 3734)
Formerly known as UPARR, this bill will rehabilitate and improve urban parks and recreational infrastructure and revitalize communities by increasing economic development, improving public health, increasing daily physical activity, reconnecting children with nature, reducing crime, and providing safe, healthy alternatives for at-risk youth.

* Small Business Environmental Assistance Act (H.R. 4509 and S. 3279)
To provide grants to state forestry agencies to enable communities to undertake tree-planting projects that beautify retail storefronts, rental housing, and parks. Each locality receiving funds is obligated to contract with nonprofit organizations or private industry companies.

* USDA-Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program (Interior Appropriations)
To appropriate $40 million in FY2011 and $100 million thereafter to help deliver the baseline technical, financial, research, and educational services that help communities in every state assess, manage, and optimize the benefits of trees in urbanized landscapes.

Related Resources:
ACT 2010 Advocacy Agenda
ACT Public Policy
2010 Green Infrastructure Summit