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Grassroots actions develop AUSA resolutions, platform for Congress

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

The lifecycle of AUSA’s grassroots work – from the creation of its annual legislative resolutions to the creation of the next set of resolutions – has a significant impact on the Association’s platform for the year.

The resolutions are produced annually and act as the basis for our annual legislative objectives.

Chapters or individual members may submit proposed resolutions until mid-December of each year.

The National Resolutions Committee membership, numbering five or more AUSA members, is nominated by chapters and approved by the Association’s Council of Trustees.

The committee members review the draft resolutions to ensure they promote the aims and objectives of the Association.

Following adoption, the resolutions are published and sent to every member of Congress, the media and opinion leaders – and they are posted on the AUSA website at www.ausa.org.

What is grassroots activity?

The dictionary definition is: "Involvement in the political process by an elected representative’s constituent through contact with the elected representative or a staff member."

Why is grassroots activity important to AUSA?

Much of the power of an organization comes from the number of members it has and what they are willing to do.

AUSA has a committed membership, but we don’t have the power and organization of a political party through which to funnel our legislative objectives.

Also, because AUSA is a non-profit, educational organization, it cannot have a political action committee that can make monetary contributions which increase access to politicians.

What AUSA does have is strong and involved members and the contact they can make with their members of Congress.

What are the keys to successful grassroots activity?

One key is individuals locally who are informed about the issues, involved in the community and influential with community and state officials including the local congressional office.

Also, members and chapters may send letters to members of Congress, using the Contact Congress button on the AUSA website (www.ausa.org) or snail mail.

Members can visit the local congressional office, make speeches at local events to get the AUSA point of view out to influencers in the community or invite influencers to speak at AUSA events.

Letters to the editor and op-ed pieces are additional ways to help foster the success in achieving AUSA legislative goals.

Activities like these also earn chapters a "Take the Hill" streamer.

AUSA national headquarters assists by producing a clear, coherent message through the resolutions and messages from the AUSA president, Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret., providing information on the website, sending out legislative alerts, and engaging with members of Congress and their staffs in Washington.

We use the electronic legislative newsletter, published each week in the electronic "Bulletin," AUSA NEWS columns – Capitol Focus, View from the Hill, and the Bill Box – and the Legislative Action Center where prepared letters are available for AUSA members to send to their representatives.