Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Space Legislative Blitz Update

This update from the Space Exploration Alliance 2008 Legislative Blitz came from a member of SpaceGeneration:

"We met with many staffers (probably on the order of 50 or 60 meetings). Including Boxer, Pelosi, Hutchison, Nelson, etc. We also dropped off materials with Obama and McCains offices. Focus is on funding the presidents request, communicating the importance of human spaceflight, COTS, balanced program etc."
and from the National Space Society:
"126 meetings total, we can send you a copy of the blitz points later.
Meetings with Pelosi, Gordon, Wasserman-Schultz, and many more.
Focused on supporting space exploration, closing gap in human spaceflight, overall NASA funding, entrepreneurial activity, key science missions, and relevance of NASA to climate change / climate science."
And Finally some pictures of training at NSS headquarters




Find out how you can contribute by calling 202.429.1600

2 comments:

Bruce said...

February 12, 2008

I participated in the National Space Society (NSS) Legislative Blitz in Washington, D.C. and had a great time February 10-12, 2008. NSS covered over 125 Senate and House offices with 35 volunteers from all over the country in only two days, wow ! Many thanks to the NSS organizers who put all this together; this was not a small undertaking and obviously took awhile to plan. We visited the offices in teams of three to four unpaid volunteers. We emphasized to the offices that we were not professional lobbyists, which they appreciated. The majority of the congressional staffers we spoke with were college students, but that was ok. Most offices were enthusiastic about NASA funding in a general sense only; we provided them with five specific talking points regarding supporting the now renamed "US Space Exploration Policy" ( no longer the Vision for Space Exploration !? ) , supporting the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) initiative, keeping science missions alive, reducing the human spaceflight 2010-2015 gap between Shuttle decommissioning and Constellation program spacecraft, and energy independence via space solar power. We asked that Congress increase fiscal year 2009 NASA funding to 2005 authorized levels of $18.68 billion, not the President's $17.6 billion. Many of the offices were not informed on space issues, but wanted to be, so we offered to follow up with any questions they might have. What you find when you participate in events like this is that not every congressperson or senator can be educated on all issues all the time; they rely on staffers and people visiting their offices to educate them. Some offices were negative to our message; this was to be expected. They pointed out quite bluntly that with a $400 billion deficit ( your share is $30k !) and each district's unique priorities as given to them by the voters that put them in Congress, it would be hard to advocate for increasing the space share of the budget pie. As space advocates, it is imperative that we know how to argue from the perspective of someone who does not agree with us. This way, maybe we can turn them over to our way of thinking. Part of our message during the NSS Legislative Blitz was that space has an interdependence with just about any 2008 election year political issue you can name. I felt like I made a difference in my own small way to help create a space faring future for humanity by walking up and down the halls of congress and talking to my elected representatives directly. I feel very fortunate that I live in a country where it is my right to walk directly into the halls of power in our great country and make my views known. I would recommend this event to anyone with a passion for space. I really enjoyed this event and will be participating again. Ad astra.

Bruce Powers, NSS Volunteer
Norfolk, VA

John Benac said...

Awesome! Thanks for your comments. The Blitz is the kind of activity has really has the largest impact. Thanks for your example.