To help booksellers respond to last week's historic tie vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the Freedom to Read Amendment to the Commerce, Justice, State (CJS) Appropriations Bill, ABA has prepared template letters that can be adapted by booksellers to send to their representative based on his or her vote on the measure. The sample letters are posted online and can be accessed by clicking here.
"The roll call shows how all members of Congress voted, and it is really important for bookstores to immediately communicate our thanks and appreciation to those members of Congress who supported our position, as well as to express our disappointment to those who did not," said ABA COO Oren Teicher in a recent e-mail to booksellers. (The final vote results roll call is on the House Web site at http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2004/roll339.xml).
In addition, Teicher encouraged every bookstore to send a note of thanks to the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Bernie Sanders [http://www.bernie.house.gov/contact.htm; fax (202) 225-6790], for his exemplary leadership in focusing national attention on this issue.
Contact information for all members of the House can be found at http://www.house.gov/writerep/. Booksellers are encouraged to send correspondence via e-mail or fax for timely impact.
"When the USA Patriot Act was first passed, there were but a few voices speaking out in opposition to Section 215," concluded Teicher, "but we demonstrated that this is hardly a fringe position. I assure you that when this fight is joined again -- with your help -- we can prevail! Keep collecting signatures ... and keep spreading the word!"