7387Re: November - Legislative Alert
- Nov 21, 2013
URGENT ---- Legislative Update
November 21, 2013
The NARC&DC is working to insert new language into the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee bill. This new language will afford RC&D the opportunity to be “preferred vendors” in the delivery of USDA programs and services. HOWEVER, to make this happen we need your help!!!
We need you to help us write letters and FAX or E-MAIL those letter to your Members of Congress. We need you to ask YOUR Member of Congress to contact either the Chair (Robert Aderholt – R-AL) or Ranking Member (Sam Farr – D-CA) of the House Agriculture Appropriations Committee and tell them how important this language is to them and their constituents. This e-mail and a sample letter is attached to this e-mail.
Then we please ask you to follow-up with a phone call to ensure the issue is on the staff’s radar screen and the necessary follow-up has taken place!
The key message to tell your Member of Congress is that the language:
1) Encourages the Federal Government to utilize a program they helped to establish, nurture and care for;
2) Does not offer “bonus” points or force USDA to work with RC&D, if an RC&D Council is not qualified. The language does ask that if all factors are equal between candidates than an RC&D Council be given preferred status; and
3) Does not cost the Federal Government one dime!
The language is as follows:
The following provision is to establish an integrated strategy towards sustainability in the Federal Government and to make use of the existing RC&D Areas through the RC&D Councils. The RC&D Councils have decades of experience in working with and across USDA agencies and a proven track record in delivery of programs, outreach and education endeavors. The RC&D Councils are local, non-partisan, economic development-oriented community based organizations that focus on the conservation, development, and utilization of natural resources to improve the standard of living for all individuals, including the Historically Underserved. Since 1964, the Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Councils have worked at the grassroots level with local leaders to plan, develop, and carry out programs for land and water conservation and management.
This provision will assist the Federal Government, through the USDA, acquire services to facilitate and strengthen community-based conservation and delivery through the comprehensive outreach and education already established through the RC&D Program.
This provision requires that USDA utilize local RC&D Councils within designated RC&D Areas. This provision is designed to ensure that USDA takes a cross-agency effort to accelerate assistance and leverage partnerships in rural areas experiencing hardships to ensure that every community has equal access to USDA programs.
Therefore, within 90 days of enactment of this law; the USDA is instructed to consider the maximum practical use and give preference to RC&D Councils, as preferred vendors, where such RC&D Councils meet agency performance requirements, in the delivery of USDA programs and services.
Andrew Gordon, Executive Director/Counsel
National Association of RC&D Councils
444 North Capitol Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001