9-1-1 Leaders and Friends:
Later this month, the Congressional E9-1-1 Caucus, chaired by United States Senators Burns and Clinton and Representatives Eshoo and Shimkus will formally launch at the conclusion of the NENA CIF (February 25th).
Supporting public safety and 9-1-1, the Congressional E9-1-1 Caucus is perhaps one of our most high profile opportunities to work with government leaders in Washington. As a voice within Congress, it will help set the tone, message and validation in all that we do as professionals, as an association, and as leaders. An important milestone in our growing presence in government, the Congressional E9-1-1 Caucus is an opportunity to be heard in a collective voice like never before.
We need your help!
Supporting the formation of the caucus and our activities in Washington, we are asking each and every one of you to promote awareness through a recruitment letter writing campaign to Congress.
Below is a form letter to send to your individual congressional members. The following are detailed instructions on how to write your Congressional Members and help you get started in the process.
1. Find out who represents you.
If you are not aware who they are, there are several resources to gather this information.
Your local telephone book most likely will have the listing in the government pages. Find the appropriate listings for US Representatives (note: the phone book will often list state representatives as well).
There are several web sites which will allow you to insert your information in order to determine the identity of your representative or senator. The most popular is: thomas.loc.gov/.
On the page that you see, there is a heading in the middle of the page Quicklinks”; to the right of Quicklinks, you can choose House Directory or Senate Directory. From there, you only have to enter your state to determine your senator or representative (you need to know which district you are in for the representative).
A second web site to help in finding your representative is as follows:
Library and City Hall
Your local city hall or library should have the information readily available.
Once you locate the information, make sure to take note of the senator/representatives addresses and phone numbers in Washington along with the local office.
2. Send a letter.
Ok, so now you know who represents you in Washington. Now its time to contact them.
Below this information is a sample letter we have prepared to introduce NENA to your Senators/Representative. This letter indicates that you are supporting the Congressional E9-1-1 Caucus and would like them to join.
First, save the letter to your computer. Then copy it onto your letterhead. Edit and add any additional information that you feel the staff should know about regarding 9-1-1 in your community. Then simply print it, sign it and send it by fax, email and regular U.S. Mail to the senator or representatives office. We would also request that you send a digital copy by email to [email protected]. This allows us to follow up where necessary and keeps an active file once contact has been made.
3. Follow up with a phone call.
Using the information you gather in Step 1, make a call to the Washington office of your elected official.
When you contact the Senator/Representatives office, explain who you are. Indicate that you sent a letter and would like the Senator/Representative to support 9-1-1 by joining the Congressional E9-1-1 Caucus.
If you are not successful in any of these activities, and have additional questions regarding any of the above, please feel free to contact NENA Headquarters for assistance. We will be more than happy to assist you in these most important endeavors.
[Agency Letterhead and/or State Chapter Letterhead]
The Honorable [Insert Congressional Members Full Name]
United States [Insert Senate or House of Representatives]
Address [Washington, DC. Congressional Office]
Washington D.C. [Zip]
Dear [Insert Representative or Senator and Last Name]:
I am a 9-1-1 professional and a member of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA). I am writing to you to encourage your participation and support of the E9-1-1 Congressional Caucus, a bi-partisan, bi-cameral caucus co-chaired by United States Senators Conrad Burns and Hillary Clinton and United States Representatives, Anna Eshoo and John Shimkus.
Serving more than 7,000 members, NENA represents the nations very best in 9-1-1. As you are well aware, 9-1-1 plays a vital role in the provision of emergency services in our great nation. The availability and effectiveness of our 9-1-1 systems for homeland security and every day emergencies is of paramount importance. It is NENAs goal and mission to provide the best service possible. While most areas in the United States have 9-1-1 service, there are still many communities operating without it. In today’s world of modern communications and systems, nothing is more vital than ubiquitous 9-1-1 services for all communities, all communications devices and all citizens.
While the need for 9-1-1 is widely accepted, the needs of the 9-1-1 community are generally unknown. It starts with location. As you may know, in many circumstances 9-1-1 call centers may not always know the location of the caller. The proliferation of wireless phones, multi-line telephone systems, mobile devices, in-vehicle safety systems, the growing demand for advanced communications capabilities in personal digital assistants, home computers and others all present unique challenges in providing location information. In the most basic form, E9-1-1 capabilities provide adequate automated location information to 9-1-1 centers.
The establishment of the E9-1-1 Caucus is long overdue. Working on these issues and others, we are reaching out to every Congressional member in support of E9-1-1. Simply, nothing could be more important than the numbers, 9-1-1 for every citizen, emergency and community.
I encourage you to join forces with your colleagues in Congress and participate in the E9-1-1 Caucus. Your involvement in these efforts is vital to ensuring the safety and security of the nation.
Thank you for your leadership and I look forward to working with you.
[Name and Title]
cc: NENA National Office