Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Suggestion for the Letter-Writing Campaign

by Chris Barnett

Hello, All--

You know, my perspective on the O4I letter writing campaign is different than it was when I was not responsible for getting it posted. I just want to encourage all of you to take the link and try to get a handful of people to join us in signing on--even though I rarely did so myself, back when Amos, or Gina, or Tom were manning this effort. Clearly, many people we talk to see that we have the raw end of the deal here, but we need them as allies too! This article (which just happens to come from is about bullying but the same sentiment applies to binationals:

And when you think about it, we ARE bullied. We really need to get our community members, families, friend, colleagues, neighbors, anyone we know well, to help us with this. Lawmakers will pay more attention the greater the numbers we have, but we still somehow have a hard time mustering more than a couple of hundred signatures, at best, per petition.

Inspired by Tim Kempf, I put together a mail group, currently of 87 people, and now mail to them every time I come up with a new petition. I'll post the text from the one I sent yesterday below. If some of you are like me, with an inclination to feel powerless in the face of our challenges, doing something like this can really help empower you. So please, if you are not already, post the petition page to your social networking sites; share the link with friends and family and encourage them to sign on. Just by posting on my wall twice yesterday about week 81, I have had several new signers join in.

All it takes is creating a username and password on to sign in and make a difference, and the more people we have the stronger our voices will be and the more we may affect change. If each person on this list just got four or five people to participate, that could go a long way. This is an under-appreciated community issue and we have to find a way to give voice to the issue!

Thanks again, and I hope everyone reading this is having a good weekend!



Greetings family and friends:

The last link I sent you for Out4Immigration's letter-writing campaign was before the election, and out intention was to pick this up shortly after. Due to a variety of circumstances, especially the rapid decline and now passing of the father of Amos Lim, one of the founders of O4I who has always weighed in on strategy, it has taken us longer to proceed than we had originally planned or hoped. Here is the newest link:

Word is that there is a slim chance that Congress will tackle Comprehensive Immigration Reform during the lame duck session. Senator Menendez' bill would be the starting point for that, and currently the language of the Uniting American Families Act is in it. Still, that effort is not guaranteed, and the chances of effectively passing CIR is slim, though I encourage all of you to call your senators and tell them you support inclusive CIR. As noted in the cover letter to the petition, posted at, we are using the lame duck to both thank all of those who have shown leadership by cosponsoring the UAFA, and to encourage those who will be returning in the 112th Congress to stand with us again, in the very real chance that this bill will be reintroduced, and we will start over in asking members of Congress to cosponsor it.

I note that of the losses in the election, there were relatively few of our supporters. Many Congresspeople still fear embracing equality issues because they see support for LGBT as potentially toxic to them, politically speaking. We need to change that narrative. Your signing, and even better, getting someone else to sign, will help us in our efforts to do that.

I do want to mention that the tragedy and loss experienced by Amos Lim and his family clearly demonstrates the need for this bill. Amos is lucky to have a green card and can travel outside of the country. But for many of us or our partners, these kind of family emergencies are met with the reality that if someone goes to a family in need, they may lose all they have with their family in the US. This reality is underscored for Amos in his recent family loss, and while he has largely been out of email contact while in Singapore, what comes from him is renewed dedication to reversing the discrimination against our families. Making one choose between love or country is a cruel stance, unworthy of a country which claims to be a bastion for justice and liberty.

I hope you are all well, and thanks again for your help!


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