After having served as a lobbyist for a number of groups I learned one important thing: the larger the number of people contacting Congress on a specific topic, the bigger the chance of success. The key here is that everybody also needs to support the same plan. It needs more than folks saying they want to go back to work.
Regarding border security, most experts agree that there are a few additional places a fence, wall, or some other kind of barricade would be useful. It’s also important to include in the proposal monies to pay for added personnel and high-tech equipment which are needed. The amount of money for the wall would be determined by the amount experts say is needed for the construction, which is not as much as the president wants, but enough for him to say he won. The “wall” would then become a part of a larger appropriation for general border security, but should give the President cover.
The key to getting this done is for about a million or more people affected by the government closure to have a specific proposal to support. Here’s how this could work.
First, have one senator or representative (either party) put together a short plan based upon this proposal, or something similar, and take it to a friend on the other side of the aisle. Then the two of them bring 2 others to the table, continuing on this path until they have 50 or more members signed up. Then, take the plan and send it to all federal workers and as many contractors (or just interested citizens) you can find affected by the shutdown and ask each to write the President and all remaining Senators and Representatives not yet involved and ask them to support the proposal which you send them and to write, call, or email their representatives ASAP.
This takes a 3-pronged approach. Something for Trump, but less than he is asking. Something for those who do not want a massive, lengthy wall, but do want additional border security. Finally, it provides a wide lobbying effort focused on a single proposal.
The first two are close to getting there, but you need the 3rd piece to get it done.
That is American democracy at work.
by Dick Goodson
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