Host an NRDC ALL IN Meetup: Make Phone Calls to Congress to Oppose Anti-Environment Funding Cuts
Anti-environment members of Congress are hard at work on a spending bill — backed by the Trump administration — to slash funding for the EPA and other critical agencies that safeguard clean air and water, stop toxic chemicals from poisoning our food and threatening our children’s health, and defend bedrock laws that protect our climate and our environment from destruction.
Help fight back! Get friends, family, and neighbors together to call your senators and representatives, urging them to oppose any federal budget cuts that destroy our environment to give handouts to big polluters.
No matter their voting record, your elected officials need to hear from YOU. By hosting a meetup, you’ll be raising awareness and empowering people to stand up to these reckless assaults on our environment and climate by President Trump and Congress.
Follow these steps to keep your lawmakers’ phones ringing off the hook:
Decide where to host your meetup. Hold it at your home, or choose another location like a café, bar, park, student center, library with a public meeting room, or other community space. Make sure you choose a spot with good cell service!
Choose a day and time. Find a time that works with your schedule and will likely work for others, e.g. a weekday evening or a few hours during the weekend. If you know who you want to invite, you can send out a Doodle poll to determine the date and time that works best for the most people.
Decide what else you want to provide.
- Urge guests to bring their cell phones and chargers. Laptops are also useful to have on hand.
- Provide paper and pens for people to jot down ideas before making calls.
- If you’re not hosting the event at a café, restaurant, or bar, it’s a good idea to offer snacks or drinks to guests.
- Make it fun with a movie screening (we recommend PBS’s great Frontline documentary on the threats facing the EPA).
- Or, keep it simple and invite your friends and neighbors to stop by and make phone calls for as long as they can stay.
- Write up a short summary of your event along with the date and time, and include an email address or phone number for guests to RSVP. Then, spread the word via email, text, WhatsApp, or the platform of your choice.
- If you use Facebook and want to make your event open to the public, set up a Facebook event page to share and invite your friends, family, and others in your area.
- Ask friends to share the event with their networks, reach out to local groups and ask them to share your event with their members, and even consider putting up fliers around town.
- If you’re holding a meetup in a child-friendly location, let your invitees know that kids are welcome.
- Or, keep it simple and just text your five closest friends.
Follow up with RSVPs. Send an email or a text to everyone who RSVPs “Yes” letting them know you’re looking forward to seeing them, asking them to add the event to their calendar, and reminding them to bring cell phones, chargers, and laptops.
Send a reminder. Send out a reminder to attendees the day before. Remind them again to bring their cell phones, chargers, and laptops with them.
Before you get started, get personal. Once you’ve gathered, encourage fellow activists to sign up for NRDC ALL IN to receive more ways to take action in the community. Have them text ALL IN to 21333 to join. Then, go around the room have everyone share their names and something unexpected and fun, e.g. favorite cereal, guilty pleasure, best celebrity sighting, or another creative idea.
Take action! Here are simple instructions for the two actions you and your friends should take at your event. Be sure to have these instructions handy — print them out or share the link to this page via email or text.
Action 1: Call Congress. This is one of the highest-impact actions you can take in the next critical days as lawmakers continue to debate the budget — a chance for you to tell your senators and representative directly that they should oppose any efforts to cut funding for key agencies and programs that protect our environment, our climate, our families' health, and our public lands and waters. Elected officials feel the pressure most when they receive a lot of calls from constituents about the same issue, so if you have ‘em, call ‘em, no matter their voting record!
Find your senators’ numbers here. If you or your attendees live in Washington, D.C., call Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at (202) 224-2541.
Find your representative’s number here.
When you call, whether you get a voicemail OR a live person, here’s what to say:
“My name is [YOUR NAME] and I live in [YOUR CITY AND STATE]. I’m calling to express my strong opposition to any federal budget that would slash funding for the EPA and other key agencies and threaten our environment, climate, and health. I urge [NAME OF SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE] to vote NO on any spending bill that puts polluters before the American people.”
Feel free to personalize your comment however you like — add details about why you care about this issue or how you and your family will be affected by the lawmaker’s vote.
Action 2: Start a text tree. Text trees are a great way to multiply your impact with a single text message to friends. Your friends are more likely to do something if YOU ask them to do it, so like an old-school phone tree, this can be a powerfully simple tool. Here’s how:
Reach out to 10 friends by texting the sample message below. This will create a “text tree” so you all can call Congress at the drop of a hat when there are key moments to take action for clean air, clean water, food safety, and public lands. It’s best to send your message as a group text, but you can also send it by email, Facebook, WhatsApp, or the social media platform of your choice. Feel free to use our sample message below, or write your own.
If you text the word “TREE” to 21333, we’ll send this sample message right to your phone so you can easily copy and paste it!
Hey! Congress is voting on a disastrous spending bill that threatens our environment, our climate, and our health. Can you help fight back by calling your representatives TODAY? Quick instructions are here (via NRDC ALL IN): http://lil.ms/2fd9 Before you call, copy this entire message and text it to 5 more people right now!
Encourage others to take the next step. Finally, last of all, ask one person to consider hosting their own meetup. Be sure to share our instructions with them to help them get started.