It all adds up

It all adds up: support in the Senate for protecting Utah wilderness is on the rise, thanks to the actions of volunteers like YOU. Photo copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.
It all adds up: support in the Senate for protecting Utah wilderness is on the rise, thanks to the actions of volunteers like YOU. Photo copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

Just 2 months after America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act (S. 769, H.R. 1630) was reintroduced in the 113th Congress, we have surpassed the number of Senate cosponsors from the 112th!  Currently 16 U.S. Senators, along with 86 U.S. Representatives, have signed on in official support of the legislation that would protect over 9 million acres of spectacular redrock wilderness in Utah.

When I say “we”, I am not referring to SUWA’s staff, or solely the staff of SUWA and our partner organizations.  YOU are an essential part of that WE.

In the past few months, thousands of you have sent email messages and made phone calls to your members of Congress.  Prior to bill introduction, over 30 activists from Utah and across the country traveled to DC to meet in person with members of Congress and their staff.  And when we’ve needed you, you have stepped up to the challenge.

A couple recent success stories:

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) DC staff had asked for more constituent contact before she signed on to the bill this Congress.  We asked, and redrock activists from across New York delivered by contacting her DC office with personal stories of why protecting Utah wilderness was of importance to her constituents.  Last week, she cosponsored the bill, and the messages received from NY citizens were cited by her staff as integral to her decision.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) had not cosponsored America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act before.  This year, activists met with the Senator while he was home in Connecticut, on separate occasion his district staff, and with his DC staff during Utah Wilderness Week.  Combined with postcards, emails, and phone calls from redrock fans throughout the state, these efforts convinced the senator to sign on to the redrock bill last week as well.

Democracy in action!

YOU can help make cosponsorship happen for your members of Congress too!  If your Representative and/or Senators are not on the list of cosponsors for America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act yet, please consider taking action this summer to help add to the growing list.

Here’s what you can do:

1)      Volunteer to visit your Representative’s and/or Senator’s district office this summer.  Click here to sign up, and SUWA’s grassroots staff will help you prepare for an in-district meeting or to drop by a district office.

2)      Call your members of Congress and ask that they cosponsor America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act (S. 769, H.R. 1630).  Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak with your Representative’s or Senator’s DC office.  Remember to tell his/her staff why protecting Utah wilderness is important to you as a constituent.

3)      Use SUWA’s action center to send an email to your members of Congress.

And don’t forget: if your members of Congress have already cosponsored, please remember to thank them!  Either call their offices (see instructions above) or send them an email by clicking here.  This is extremely important, as it will help ensure that these members of Congress will continue to support protecting Utah wilderness in the future.

Thanks to all of you who have volunteered as part of this effort!  Together, we can achieve protection for Utah’s redrock wild lands.