Congress is in recess from April 10th to the 21st, but this is a great time for you to make an impact on your legislators by putting a face on childhood cancer and showing how all children can benefit from the RACE for Children Act that will lead to development of more effective drugs to fight cancer.
Every Representative and Senator has one or more offices back home in their district to serve the people they represent in Washington. These local offices are often great places to meet your legislators and their staffs in person. Most Representatives are very eager to talk to as many of their constituents as possible about their concerns.
Here’s some quick and easy tips on how to schedule a visit and make a successful presentation of why the RACE for Children Act is so important to our children in the fight against childhood cancer.
Schedule an appointment. You can write and request a district meeting or you can simply call. Since the recess is only in effect from April 10th to the 21st, it may be best to call now. To contact your legislator’s office, click below and enter your zip code. Click here for House Representative information. Click here for Senator information. Tell the staff person you want to schedule a district meeting and which office would be best for your location.
Explain the purpose of your meeting. Tell the scheduler that you would like to discuss the Research to Accelerate Cures and Equity (RACE) for Children Act, House Bill HR.1231 (Senate Bill S.456 if you are meeting with a Senator or their staff).
Tell your child’s story. When you go to the district meeting, tell your personal story and demonstrate why improved drug development would have helped your child. There have only been three drugs developed specifically for childhood cancers while adults have hundreds..
Print out materials to leave behind. The one page Executive Summary is a concise and clear explanation of PREA regulations and why it needs to be updated to catch up to today’s science. The one pager should be used as the outline of you presentation. As additional supporting evidence of why the RACE for Children Act is important, print out and show the editorial from Nature, an industry respected bio research journal, supporting passage of the RACE for Children Act. Show a list of over 100 Supporting Childhood Cancer Advocacy Organizations.
Ask for their commitment. Ask them to be a cosponsor to the bill to improve drug development for children with cancer without using taxpayer money.
Remember that you may not be able to speak with the Senator or Congressman/woman and you should treat their staff person with the same respect you would if you were meeting the official directly.