Join the Safe Routes to School "Dear Congress" campaign and help spread the word

 

From the Safe Routes to School National Partnership

arrow Read more about the Safe Routes to School Program Reauthorization Act


September 3, 2009

 

Dear Safe Routes to School supporters:

Today, we are launching our "Dear Congress: Why Safe Routes to School is Important" campaign. We need your help.

We're striving to generate hundreds-if not thousands-of letters from children, parents, program staff and volunteers, and school and city leaders talking about why Safe Routes to School is important to individuals and communities and how it improves transportation, safety, health and the environment.

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership will bundle your letters and share them with members of the House and Senate so that they know how many people in their states and districts value Safe Routes to School. We will also share letters with the Congressional champions for the program, so they can be even more inspired.

While the timing of the federal transportation bill is still uncertain-it is absolutely the time to make sure that we have all the ammunition necessary to continue the fight to strengthen and expand the federal Safe Routes to School program in the next bill. With the many demands for transportation and limited financial resources, it's critical that we elevate the importance of Safe Routes to School in the eyes of Congressional members; we can do this through your stories.

Deadline: September 24, 2009. Here is how you can join the campaign:

1. Write a letter, and ask everyone you can think of to write their own "Dear Congress" letter on SRTS. These should include children (we'd love letters in crayon with drawings!); parents; crossing guards, school principals, nurses and teachers; mayors, city councilmen and county representatives; engineers; health professionals; and SRTS coordinators and volunteers. Basically-anyone you can think of that is involved with Safe Routes to School in some way. You could even do this as part of a class project in your local school to get children to participate.

The salutation of all letters should read "Dear Congress,". Scroll to the bottom of this message for some very broad bullet points for different audiences for the content of the letter. But, it's best if these are "from the heart" letters, in your own words.

2. Make sure that each of the letters includes a mailing address. If you are sending agroup of letters from a school, you can use the school's mailing address. Letters from individuals should have work or home mailing addresses with zip codes. We will match your letters with the Congressional district so we can share them with your Representative and Senators.

3. Send your letters to Margo Pedroso with the Safe Routes to School National Partnership by September 24, 2009. You can scan and email electronic versions to margo@saferoutespartnership.org. Or you can mail letters to: Margo Pedroso, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, P.O. Box 442328, Fort Washington, MD 20749.

Please do not send your letters directly to your Members of Congress. We want to bundle the letters so they have a greater impact, so it's important that you send them to the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.

4. Pass the word to other individuals and organizations you know. Please post this call to action on list-serves, e-newsletters, and bulletin boards. The more letters we get, the bigger impact we can have on Congress and the future of the Safe Routes to School program.

Here are some ideas for what you can include in your "Dear Congress" letter:

Students:
· Start your letter with "Dear Congress,"
· Thank Congress for Safe Routes to School
· Why you love walking and bicycling to school
· That you want to walk and bike every year you are in school
· Draw pictures that show how you feel about Safe Routes to School
· Share anything along your route to school that is scary that should be fixed

Parents:
· Start your letter with "Dear Congress,"
· Thank Congress for Safe Routes to School
· Why it's important to you, as a parent, that your children are able to walk and bicycle to school
· How it is important that your children walk and bicycle to school every year, up through high school, to build healthy habits
· How Safe Routes to School has helped make it safer or easier for your child to walk and bicycle to school
· If there is an infrastructure improvement that is still needed in your community, describe it

Safe Routes to School staff and volunteers:
· Start your letter with "Dear Congress,"
· Thank Congress for Safe Routes to School
· How Safe Routes to School has helped children, families and your community so far
· If you have received Safe Routes to School funding - how it helped, and what other needs you have to improve safety and health for children.
· What you could do if more federal funding was available-what improvements are still needed in your community to make it safer for children to walk and bicycle to school

School, city and county leaders:
· Start your letter with "Dear Congress,"
· Thank Congress for Safe Routes to School
· Why Safe Routes to School is important to your schools and community
· Why you need federal funding to finance improvements around schools to improve safety, and why local funds aren't enough

· Questions? Contact Margo Pedroso at margo@saferoutespartnership.org

arrow Read more about the Safe Routes to School Program Reauthorization Act

arrow Read more details and news on the reauthorization of federal transportation funding

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