Friday, October 21, 2011

"Write for Flight!" | Letter Writing Campaign

Calling All Science Warriors & SaveWebbers!

All hands on deck, folks!
It is time for our final coup de grâce. Congress has decided to speed up the process of passing the FY 2012 bill, which includes funding for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). This does not give us a lot of time to act, but act WE MUST.

Here's the Scoop:
Technicians hard at work on the James Webb Space Telescope
As it stands right now, the US Senate Subcommittee voted to fully fund JWST in this bill. However, this stands in stark contrast to the funding figure proposed by the US House Subcommittee in July 2011: $0.00. The process that is happening right now is a deliberation between the House and Senate Subcommittees in which they will negotiate a final figure. In short, it is still possible for the JWST to be underfunded or zeroed out.

saveJWST volunteers have worked tirelessly to get the word out and your efforts have been rewarded. We created an online petition to raise awareness. You stepped up, signing an amazing 5,039 signatures in favor of the JWST. The petition is, as you read this, on the way to the US House Subcommittee. We created a Facebook page. You gave us millions of page views. You have emailed your friends, messaged your coworkers, and tweeted the effort to the entire world. All of this hard work and relentless energy has led to this moment. It has given all of us the ability to fight this battle. Now we must act.

Infrared Composite of the Center of Our Galaxy.
We Need Your Help!
We need you to help all of us save this telescope.
The 13 members of the House Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, and Science control the purse strings for the James Webb Space Telescope. If you want the JWST to fly, you will need to contact them personally. Our sources on Capitol Hill say a handwritten letter will go the furthest as far as getting your Congressperson’s attention. Phone calls fall in second and emails come in third. So please take a few minutes to write and send this massively important letter. Our target representatives need to know you feel that JWST should fly. If you don't tell them, they won’t know how you feel. Now, we’re not asking you to write him an entire book; any length—a few sentences or paragraphs—would be wonderful. And if you don’t have the time to write a letter and mail it, give your Congressperson's office a call or send him or her an email. If you are feeling especially geared for battle, DO ALL THREE!

Everyone will like to know if you've written, called or emailed. So, when you have contacted your Congressperson, swing by the Facebook page and leave comment. Say "I'm a 1" if you used one method of contact, "I'm a 2" if you contacted them using two methods (next level: unlocked), or "I'm a 3" if you are an elite science warrior.

Who to Contact:
This part is easy. There are 13 members of the US House Subcommittee. We want to open a line of communication with all 13 members, plus House leadership, John Boehner and Eric Cantor. See below a list of Congressional Representatives who we need you to contact.

Write for Flight | Contact Congress Handouts

It will be most effective if you contact John Boehner or Eric Cantor, as most of us don't live in the 13 districts that the US House Subcommittee serves. However, if you do live in these 13 districts, then GREAT. You can certainly contact them. If you have friends or family in these districts, then get them to contact these 13 representatives instead. Or, if you are feeling especially ambitious, write them all. You may not live in their district, but they will be making decisions about the JWST that effects all of humanity.

No matter who you contact, its important that you make your voice heard. And its important that you spread the word. Seek out conversation on the Facebook page and on Twitter, using the following hastags: #savejwst #savethistelescope #writeforflight #jwst #jameswebb #jameswebbspacetelescope

Here is a tweet we encourage you to use and adapt:
RT! Final Push to #saveJWST from Congressional Shortsightedness. This is it folks. Help us #writeforflight

It's time to save the Hubble of the Next Generation. It's time to save the James Webb Space Telescope. Write for Flight, Science Warriors!



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