Legislative Advocacy

 

DJPC members and staff stay in touch with our legislators through letter-writing and visits to the offices of our Colorado Congressional delegation. We make sure they hear from people who support the rights of the poor in Latin America!

Update from the Advocacy Committee

DJPC’s Advocacy Committee educates DJPC members, the local community and Colorado’s U.S. Congressional delegation on the impact of U.S. foreign policy on human rights and issues of economic justice in Latin America and acts to ensure that these issues are considered in the relevant legislation. The Advocacy Committee partners with many national campaigns in order to augment its impact.

At the beginning of 2013, the committee decided to concentrate its efforts on human rights issues in Honduras and upcoming trade legislation, i.e. Fast Track (aka Trade Promotion Authority/TPA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.

Actions Taken in 2013

JanuaryBegan participation in monthly conference calls with Citizens Trade regarding Fast Track/TPA and the TPP.

Wrote all members of the Colorado House delegation asking them to sign a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder re: human rights concerns for Afro-indigenous communities in Honduras and the need for a complete and credible investigation of the Ahuas massacre against on May 11, 2012.

February – Organized a targeted action of calls to Colorado Senators and Representatives re: Fast Track/TPA.

March- In December, DJPC had signed an organizational letter, North American Unity Statement Opposing NAFTA Expansion Through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),” sent to Congress in March.

April – Members met with legislative aides in Rep. DeGette and Sen. Udall’s offices regarding the human rights situation in Honduras. A number of DJPC members participated in a delegation to Honduras in March organized by Rights Action.

Promoted a Witness for Peace (WfP) action alert to Congress re: cessation of funding to Honduras security forces.

Supported an international Colombia Peace Action by making paper doves and posting a photo on Facebook.

May – Circulated two petitions at the May salon on Honduras: 1) to Secretary Kerry requesting the elimination of funding to Honduran security forces (based on the WfP action alert; copies sent to all members of the Colorado delegation) and 2) to the World Bank requesting the recision of loans to Dinant Corporation for their palm oil operations (in conjunction with Rainforest Rescue).

JuneVisited with staffers in Rep. Polis and Sens. Bennet and Udall’s local offices to present our analysis of and concerns with Fast Track/TPA and the TPP.

Asked DJPC members to call and/or write Sens. Bennet and Udall requesting they sign on to the letter to Secretary Kerry re: the human rights situation in Honduras, the U.S.’ role in it and its potential role in Honduras’ November elections. Through our collective and concerted efforts, both Senators signed the letter! Staffers in both senators’ D.C. offices were impressed by everyone’s passion and commitment. Thanks to all!

July – Conducted a similar meeting regarding Fast Track/TPA and the TPP with staffers in Rep. DeGette’s office.

Sponsored a presentation by Lacey Kohlmoos with Public Citizen re: Fast Track/TPA and the TPP. It is available on YouTube at http://bit.ly/17eioGt. Thanks to Jason Bosch of ArgusFest for filming it.

September – Called trade staffers in Rep. DeGette and Sens. Bennet and Udall’s D.C. offices re: DJPC’s concerns with Fast Track/TPA and the TPP. No firm positions have been taken on these issues. They all said they were still studying them.

Co-sponsored an action alert from SOA Watch seeking justice for Berta Cáceres, the general coordinator of COPINH (Civic Council of Popular Indigenous Organizations) in Honduras, who has been tried on trumped up charges for resisting a mega dam project in the Lenca community of Rio Blanco. You can still sign the petition at http://org.salsalabs.com/o/727/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=14367

October – Disseminated information about Fast Track/TPA and the TPP in advance of an action alert directed at Colorado members of the House requesting a “no” vote on Fast Track for the TPP.

Wrote Secretary Kerry to direct Ambassador Kubiske to demand a safe, free and fair election environment through which the Honduran people can select their leaders in November.

Position Papers – DJPC has developed eight papers on issues concerning human rights and economic justice relative to Latin America. They are available at http://denjustpeace.org/51/djpc-position-papers/

Join our work! If you are interested in getting more involved in DJPC’s advocacy work, please call the office at 303-623-1463. Thank you for your support in our actions.

 

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The Advocacy Committee appreciates the support of all DJPC members in taking action on the issues of concern to the people of Latin America.  Please contact the office if you would like to become more involved in this work.

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