Make your voice count
How can we make sure issues that impact Estonian security get the attention they need in Washington? EANC and the Joint Baltic American National Committee (JBANC) are stepping up our work on the Hill in 2021, and our efforts would get a big boost from parallel grassroots support. There are many ways to get started!
There are a number of ways you can contact your Members of Congress (MoC). Letters, e-mails and phone calls are the most common. Several articles have been published recently indicating that phone calls to Congressional offices have more impact than written correspondence. Voicing your issues in person – by visiting your MoC’s local office or attending any town hall meetings they host – can also get their attention, especially if you can get a group together. You can look up your representatives and find links to their websites with local office information at whoismyrepresentative.com.
If you’re unsure of what to say, EANC and JBANC have drafted sample letters for you to use as a guide. You may use the text in letters, e-mails or as talking points. Some suggest that personal stories stand out more than scripted statements, but it’s up to you to do what works best for your situation and comfort level.
One top EANC goal is to increase membership of the Senate Baltic Freedom Caucus (SBFC) and the House Baltic Caucus (HBC). While neither caucus meets formally, by joining, MoCs pledge to support Baltic security and NATO unity. The purpose of the caucuses is to maintain strong relationships with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania; promote democratic principles and human rights; assist in strengthening free market economies in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania; and work to support legislation bolstering the defense of the Baltic countries. Look for templates on Karin Shuey's blog "What's Happening in DC" for your use in asking your MoCs to join.
EANC welcomes your local efforts to further causes that support Estonian security and European unity. We are working in a dynamic environment and action on multiple levels is certainly more effective. If you have any questions about what you can do, please contact our Washington, DC Director, Karin Shuey, at [email protected].