ALERT: Visit Capitol Hill and Extol the
Virtues of the Geosciences!
This update was originally sent out as an e-mail message to AGI's
Although the economy is showing signs of a rebound, we are still
fighting a war on terrorism at home and abroad. With rising deficits,
spending cuts will be made in the upcoming budget year. Federal geoscience
agencies will be feeling the pressure, and it is important that these
seed-corn investments in the future be maintained. More than ever,
the geoscience community needs to make a strong case to Congress on
the value of these programs.
Each spring, the Science-Engineering-Technology Congressional Visits
Day (CVD) brings over 200 scientists and engineers to Capitol Hill
to visit Members of Congress and their staff right at the start of
the congressional budget cycle. This year, CVD will take place March
3-4, 2004. It will consist of an opening day of briefings by key administration
and congressional leaders (including a morning pre-briefing at AGU
for geoscience participants) followed by a day of constituent meetings
with senators, representatives, and their staff that we can help arrange.
Participants in CVD are asked to carry forward a core message that
federally funded research is the Nation's foundation for the future.
In addition, participants can advance their own messages about programs
that they see as valuable examples of the federal science and technology
enterprise emphasizing, for example, the value of the geosciences
It is vital for geoscientists to be represented in science-community
efforts if our discipline is to be a recognizable (and valued) element
in the congressional view of "science." For anyone interested
in science policy, this is an opportunity to meet your elected official
and experience Washington, DC at the height of political activity
-- the beginning of the budget cycle is always an action-packed, fast-paced
time. We especially encourage the leadership of AGI's Member Societies
If you have participated in CVD previously, this is a chance to continue
building a relationship with your Members of Congress and their staff.
If not, there is no better time than now to sit down and talk about
funding priorities that are important to you and the larger science,
engineering and technology community. Because Congressional offices
are notoriously small, your meeting may be in the Member's office,
before or after a committee hearing or while walking down the hall
to vote. Whatever the situation, the experience is sure to be memorable
for you both. You may also want to consider attending this meeting
as a group with your colleagues.
More information about CVD and the core message is available on the
CVD website at http://www.setcvd.org. The site will contain a downloadable
packet of briefing materials to update you on the need for sustained
federal investment in science research, help orchestrate your visit
and familiarize you with the legislative process. In addition, AGI
has a number of articles and updates on its Government Affairs website
(http://www.agiweb.org/gap) that can provide background and context
for some of the issues you may want to discuss.
If you would like to participate or have any questions or would like
our assistance in setting up a visit, call Emily M. Lehr in AGI's
Government Affairs Program at (703) 379-2480 x. 212 or e-mail her
CVD is organized by the Science-Engineering-Technology Work Group
(of which AGI is a member).
Alert prepared by Emily M. Lehr, AGI Government Affairs Program
Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI
Government Affairs Program.
Posted January 28, 2004