Action Alert: Contact Washington Week

Contact the House and Senate Leadership, YOUR Members of Congress and the White House every day through August 2, and demand they protect GEAR UP.

The debt ceiling debate rages on in Washington, DC. Negotiations between the White House and Congress collapsed last week. Now, both the House and Senate leadership are pursuing two separate plans to raise the debt ceiling before August 2, when America’s borrowing authority reaches its legal limit, resulting in default.

As you can see, things are evolving very rapidly as time runs out and only three things are certain:

  1. Both Republicans and Democrats are aware of the need to raise the debt ceiling to avoid default, but there’s no agreement on how to do this;
  2. Both the House and Senate plans include $1.2 trillion in cuts to discretionary spending over the next 10 years (approx. 12 billion a year);
  3. You need to stand up for the principle that low-income people should be protected in whatever deal is cut.

You need to make sure your voice heard every day this week leading up to August 2 and demand that GEAR UP and other college access programs be safeguarded in the deal-making process.

Here’s what you can do now:

  1. Recruit 5 persons to reach out to the House of Representatives, Senate and White House (GEAR UP students, GEAR UP parents, GEAR UP teachers, GEAR UP partners, colleagues, friends and family).
  2. Contact the following offices:
  3. Follow-up with your group, ask them to continue the “chain” by recruiting 5 more people and get the word out!

PLEASE NOTE: Capitol Hill switchboards and websites have been overloaded over the past few days, keep insisting until you get through because GEAR UP must make its stand for college access, NOW!
The Message

“[ELECTED OFFICIAL NAME], the American people need you to protect the programs and services our low-income, minority and disadvantaged students depend on to enroll in and succeed in college. I urge you to defend GEAR UP in the debt-ceiling and deficit-reduction negotiations, because only an educated workforce can help us secure a prosperous economic future for our country.”

Thank you very much for your hard work and your support in responding to this call to action. It is very important that you act NOW for the duration of this process. Not doing so will have dire consequences for GEAR UP, college access and all of education for many years to come!

Action Alert: Call Congress and Save GEAR UP

(Click on call script above to enlarge and download.)

As you know, the environment in Washington is quite heated with the Administration and Congress negotiating how to pare down the federal deficit. A number of rumors are swirling around town and the only thing that is certain is that all non-security programs – including GEAR UP -are at risk of being severely reduced or cut altogether. In the coming days the GEAR UP community is organizing advocacy measures directed at the House of Reps, Senate, and the White House. Here is the schedule:

  • Wednesday, July 13 – U.S. House of Representatives
  • Thursday, July 14 – U.S. Senate
  • Tuesday, July 19 – White House

Here is how:

  1. Search who your legislators are here.
  2. Call your House Representative via the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
  3. Deliver the message (from script above): “Tell [LEGISLATOR NAME] not to cut GEAR UP in FY 2012!”
  4. Find five other people to do the same!

Here is how to call the White House:

  • Call the White House @ (202) 456-1111 and let President Obama know he “MUST protect TRIO and GEAR UP in the debt ceiling and FY12 negotiations.  There is no college success, without college access.” Also, e-mail (click) the President and repeat your messsage!

    PLEASE NOTE: White House switchboard shuts down @ 5:00 PM (ET) and the lines are often busy. Please call early and insist until you deliver your message!

We know our programs work. We know they make a tremendous difference in the lives of all of the students we touch. Many on Capitol Hill know this as well, but the nature of the current debate is so serious that we cannot sit idly by in hopes of being spared. Now is the time to act!

TRIO and GEAR UP to Shut Down Washington!

ACTION ALERT! ACTION ALERT! ACTION ALERT!

Dear TRIO and GEAR UP Colleagues:

As you know, the environment in Washington is quite heated with the Administration and Congress negotiating how to pare down the federal deficit. A number of rumors are swirling around town and the only thing that is certain is that all non-security programs – including TRIO and GEAR UP – are at risk.

We know our programs work. We know they make a tremendous difference in the lives of all of the students we touch. Many on Capitol Hill know this as well, but the nature of the current debate is so serious that we cannot sit idly by in hopes of being spared. Just a few months back, in the 11th hour budget deal negotiated by President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), leaders cut TRIO and GEAR UP by 3.1% and 6.3%, respectively. All told, we were forced to absorb a joint loss of $47 million in funding cuts, impacting 650,000 students!

We cannot and will not allow this to happen again. Therefore, we are joining forces to make our voices heard on Capitol Hill and let federal leaders know that they MUST protect TRIO and GEAR UP from further cuts!

We strongly urge you, your co-workers, students, parents, alumni, friends, and neighbors to participate in each of our three call-days.

TRIO and GEAR UP Call-In Days

  • Wednesday, July 13 – U.S. House of Representatives
  • Thursday, July 14 – U.S. Senate
  • Tuesday, July 19 – White House

How to Participate? It’s Easy!

  1. Search who your legislators are here.
  2. Call your House Representative via the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
  3. Deliver the message: “Tell [LEGISLATOR NAME] not to cut GEAR UP in FY 2012!”
  4. Find five other people to do the same!

(You do the same thing for the Senate on July 14 and for the White House on July 19. Call President Obama at (202) 456-1111.)

In order for this plan to work, we need thousands – literally, thousands – of TRIO and GEAR UP supporters to call the Washington, DC and speak in a unified voice. This is how we’ve won battles in the past and this is how we will win now!

Please do not hesitate to contact the Government Relations Team at COE (202.347.7430) or NCCEP (202.530.1135, ext. 110) for more information about this joint effort!