Your reaction and response to the Children in Families First Act (CHIFF) over the last few days has been amazing. Thank you for your many phone calls and e-mails. The wave of enthusiasm offers us a good time for a reality check.
Reality Check: the 5 Percent
Since 1999, Congress has only passed about 5% of the bills it introduces. In simple statistical terms, CHIFF has an uphill battle.
There is more to consider about the challenges connected to Senate Bill 1530 (CHIFF):
- In 2008, a similar bill was introduced called Families for Orphans Act. It failed to received a mass of public support, and never made it to the floor for a vote. A chance to serve the welfare of children went by the wayside.
- CHIFF has opposition from some well-funded organizations. We are beginning to see their PR campaign with negative themes and information.
- The base of organic support for CHIFF is not big enough to get this bill passed into law. We must find ways to expand public support to pass Senate Bill 1530.
CHIFF will most certainly become law if we secure 60 co-sponsors in the Senate and 150 co-sponsors in the House. The bill was introduced in the Senate with 10 co-sponsors: 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans.
This will not happen by itself —
It is up to us to make it happen
Generating co-sponsors is purely a function of social force. We can all make a difference if we focus on getting the country to rally behind this bill, and leverage the power in numbers to secure these critical co-sponsors. Contact your representatives to tell them that you support
CHIFF and want them to co-sponsor the bill. Research shows that twenty calls to a Congressional office is enough to convince a member of Congress that an issue is salient. (Find your members of Congress here: House Representative | Senators.)
Spreading the word is our first mission-critical objective. Visit the the official CHIFF website and share the link in your social media circles.
One great asset we already have to rally the country is STUCK. We have created a STUCK House Party program, a tool to grow grassroots support for CHIFF. We are testing the model this week. We will roll out the program as soon as the STUCK House Party model is sound.
The message is clear. We have a lot of work to do to defy the odds and get Senate Bill 1530 passed. As lives hang in the balance it is time to stop talking. It is time to roll up our sleeves and get to work!
Founder, Both Ends Burning