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You Spoke, Congress Listened
This spring, advocates across the nation rallied together to speak up for the 40 million people trapped in slavery (Global Slavery Index, 2018). As a movement, thousands of you leveraged the power of digital tools to raise your voices to your members of Congress through tweets, emails and online petitions. Together, we urged Congress to ensure that the State Department’s Program to End Modern Slavery and the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Office are fully funded in the 2020 appropriations bill. Here is a breakdown of the momentum you’ve built:
- In February, student leaders on college campuses across the country mobilized 2,873 students to advocate and generated 8,995 messages to Congress. As a result of these efforts to mobilize university students, 1,806 tweets and 7,189 emails were sent to Congressional offices in a powerful display of support for anti-slavery funding.
- Through IJM’s “Speak Up” petition, almost 5,000 people wrote a personalized message to their members of Congress. Nearly 15,000 thousand messages were sent to hundreds of House and Senate offices.
According to the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF), it takes as few as ten tweets to get an issue on the radar of a member of Congress. Taking stock of these amazing numbers of messages sent to Capitol Hill, we are greatly encouraged to know that because of your faithful advocacy, your elected leaders know that the issue of modern-day slavery is important to their constituents. In fact, they are listening and responding! Here is just one example from the 6th Congressional district of Texas, from a Representative who used Twitter to directly respond to a student at Texas Tech University.
Your Senators and Representatives hold an enormous amount of power, but as a voter and an engaged constituent, so do you! We’re so grateful for your partnership in standing with those who are still trapped in slavery. We won’t know the results of this advocacy on the 2020 appropriations bill until later this year, but we will let you know as soon as we do!