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Re: [owcp] Digest Number 141

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  • jeanne lese
    I have a few ideas about the letter. We know from experience that senators can be helpful allies. Because of one Lariam survivor s personal efforts, Senator
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 6, 2007
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      I have a few ideas about the letter. We know from experience that senators
      can be helpful allies. Because of one Lariam survivor's personal efforts,
      Senator Dianne Feinstein of CA became an ally. This man started with the
      aide at his local office. Eventually he met the senator in Washington a
      couple of times. She asked for and received more than 100 letters from
      Lariam victims in several states. She wrote 6 official letters about Lariam
      (to Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, the CDC, FDA, etc.). Unfortunately we
      only got letters since this happened before the Dems had a majority. (See
      the Press Room at www.lariaminfo.org/.)

      1. Start with pointed cover letter -- one page highly desirable.

      2. For details, stories, backup info use appendices, prefaced by a list of
      what's there.

      3. Use numbers (as you do) and bullets for quick comprehension. Cut extra
      words.

      4. When it's ready, plan before you send. Call to get the name of the aide
      in your senator's local office that handles PC or Workers Comp issues.
      Always call and write to this same aide. You want them to remember you.

      4. Rather than sending, ask for a meeting with that aide and hand deliver
      the letter. If there are two people from NH, go together. Have a plan. Take
      notes. Get names, ideas for next steps.

      5. I would highly recommend one more thing. At the end of the meeting, show
      the Peace Corps section of "Taken As Directed," a documentary about Lariam.
      (Arrange for this ahead of time.) Tell them exactly how long the clip is.
      This visual will reinforce most of the points in your letter. Leave the DVD
      and ask the aide to watch the whole thing. Maybe others in the office will
      watch it-- ultimately maybe even the senator.

      If you are interested in Taken As Directed, let me know off list before you
      buy it. See the website for a film clip and background.
      www.takenasdirected.com/ .

      Jeanne Lese
      Co-director, Lariam Action USA, www.lariaminfo.org
      Co-producer, Taken As Directed, www.takenasdirected.com
    • Kevin
      Jeanne, Thanks so much for sharing the tips and experiences. They are helpful. I ll try to use the ones that I can. Unfortunately I won t be able to
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 8, 2007
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        Jeanne,

        Thanks so much for sharing the tips and experiences. They are
        helpful. I'll try to use the ones that I can. Unfortunately I won't
        be able to schmooze with the aides who will be doing the bulk of the
        work. They are in Washington, DC and I am in NH. I do have a
        caseworker who is semi-local with whom I have a good working
        relationship. She's expecting the letter and will get it to the
        right people in Washington. I trust her to move things along.

        Our request is being made on behalf of all RPCVs with service-related
        injuries or illnesses. Since I don't want to emphasize certain
        conditions at the expense of others (or even appear to be doing so)
        I'm going to pass on your suggestion of using "Taken As Directed"--at
        least for now.

        Thanks again,

        Kevin

        --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, "jeanne lese" <jlese@...> wrote:
        >
        > I have a few ideas about the letter. We know from experience that
        senators
        > can be helpful allies. Because of one Lariam survivor's personal
        efforts,
        > Senator Dianne Feinstein of CA became an ally. This man started
        with the
        > aide at his local office. Eventually he met the senator in
        Washington a
        > couple of times. She asked for and received more than 100 letters
        from
        > Lariam victims in several states. She wrote 6 official letters
        about Lariam
        > (to Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, the CDC, FDA, etc.).
        Unfortunately we
        > only got letters since this happened before the Dems had a
        majority. (See
        > the Press Room at www.lariaminfo.org/.)
        >
        > 1. Start with pointed cover letter -- one page highly desirable.
        >
        > 2. For details, stories, backup info use appendices, prefaced by a
        list of
        > what's there.
        >
        > 3. Use numbers (as you do) and bullets for quick comprehension. Cut
        extra
        > words.
        >
        > 4. When it's ready, plan before you send. Call to get the name of
        the aide
        > in your senator's local office that handles PC or Workers Comp
        issues.
        > Always call and write to this same aide. You want them to remember
        you.
        >
        > 4. Rather than sending, ask for a meeting with that aide and hand
        deliver
        > the letter. If there are two people from NH, go together. Have a
        plan. Take
        > notes. Get names, ideas for next steps.
        >
        > 5. I would highly recommend one more thing. At the end of the
        meeting, show
        > the Peace Corps section of "Taken As Directed," a documentary about
        Lariam.
        > (Arrange for this ahead of time.) Tell them exactly how long the
        clip is.
        > This visual will reinforce most of the points in your letter. Leave
        the DVD
        > and ask the aide to watch the whole thing. Maybe others in the
        office will
        > watch it-- ultimately maybe even the senator.
        >
        > If you are interested in Taken As Directed, let me know off list
        before you
        > buy it. See the website for a film clip and background.
        > www.takenasdirected.com/ .
        >
        > Jeanne Lese
        > Co-director, Lariam Action USA, www.lariaminfo.org
        > Co-producer, Taken As Directed, www.takenasdirected.com
        >
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