November 24, 2003
Tough fights for fair public policies often require a combination of strategies, as the struggle for Rx equality from Medicare illustrates. And coordinated actions. "We can maximize our impact on public policy if we focus," said Susan Sanabria, the Society's vice president for Advocacy.
"We always need volunteers willing to develop ongoing relationships with their state or federal legislators by visiting in person once a year. But specific issues need specific actions. For example, we may need to enlist expert volunteers to be part of planning coalitions," Sanabria explained. "At other times we need people with MS who will tell their stories at public hearings. And when key federal bills are up for a vote, we may need to flood congressional offices with e-mails, faxes, and phone calls." Society advocates discuss stategy To make that happen at the critical moment, the Society's MS Action Network sends an e-mail to all network members. It takes just a click for members to send their lawmakers a pre-written or personal e-mail. Phone and fax numbers are provided too-but old-fashioned paper mail has been discouraged since the anthrax incidents of 2002. Network members also get updates and summaries of ongoing issues about once a month.
To be part of the MS Action Network, just go to www.nationalmssociety
.org/advocacy.asp and sign up! To do more, call your chapter at 1-800-FIGHT-MS
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