IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED! Contact the Foreign Policy Staffer in Washington DC Office of Your U.S. Representative!
On Monday, June 11, 2012, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) began circulating a House sign-on “Dear Colleague” letter (found below) addressing the murders of 70 gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) Hondurans since the June 2009 coup. It highlights the recent murder of GLBTI leader and candidate of the resistance LIBRE party Erick Martinez, seeks specific information on the 2009 murder of LGBT coup resistance leader Walter Trochez, and requests the outcomes of the 10 cases that have been “closed” through the U.S. assisted Special Victims Unit in Honduras.
Initial signers of the letter include Equality Caucus co-chairs Reps. Polis (D-CO), Cicilline (D-RI), Frank (D-MA), and Baldwin (D-WI) – and also Reps. Berman (D-CA), and Schakowsky (D-IL). The deadline to sign on to this letter is Wednesday, June 20.
We need your help in securing the signature on this letter of your rep and reps from your state. If your rep is a member of the Equality Caucus in the House of Representatives (see attachment) – even if they have never signed a letter on Honduras – your rep will likely want to join in to sign on to this letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Congressional Switchboard number is (202) 224-3121
If you do NOT know you rep, type in your zip code this website: http://www.house.gov/representatives
Ask to speak with the aide who handles foreign policy. Use the script below in speaking with the aide. If the aide does not recall seeing the letter, ask for his or her email address so that you can send a copy of the letter (below).
If the foreign policy aide is not is not available, ask to leave a message on his or her answering machine. Be sure to ask for the name foreign policy staffer so you can follow up.
Script:“My name is _____. I am a constituent in (town / city neighborhood). I am calling to ask Rep. _____ to join in signing the Polis letter in seeking information from the State Department about the 70 murders of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Honduran since the 2009 military coup in Honduras. Has Rep. ____ seen this letter? Can I count on him/her to sign on? The deadline to sign on is March 20. Please call me this week at (your phone number) to let me know if you have seen the letter, and if Rep_____ will sign it.”
To sign on to the letter, your reps’ foreign policy staffer must email Rafael Reyneri in Rep. Polis office to inform him.
Gary L. Cozette
Honduras Solidarity Network – Congressional Action Team
Program Director, Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN)