AAS Action Alerts Have a New Look
By Ashlee Wilkins
The AAS has issued two Action Alerts so far in 2018, and our members may have noticed a new look to the emails. Didn't receive one or either of them? Check your spam filter, and make sure that firstname.lastname@example.org is in your address book and/or on your approved sender list.
Action Alerts prompt rapid, grassroots-level actions on the part of the AAS membership to create a truly positive result in Congress or in other areas of government. We issue Action Alerts to notify you of timely opportunities to contact policymakers.
In March we asked members to contact their representatives and senators to amplify the impact of our annual Congressional Visits Day (CVD) by delivering the same messages — support for astronomy, planetary science, and heliophysics in fiscal year (FY) 2019 — via phone or email that our CVD participants were delivering in person.
In April we encouraged members to contact their members of Congress on the NASA astrophysics budget in particular — proposed to be cut by 12% in FY 2019 — and the proposed termination of the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST). We again timed the Action Alert such that our members' phone calls and emails would amplify messages being brought to Capitol Hill in person, this time by a coalition of companies and universities that headed to Congress on Thursday, 12 April, to advocate for WFIRST.
The new look to our Action Alerts comes as a result of our use of CQIgnite, advocacy software from CQ Roll Call. The software allows the AAS policy team to more easily and efficiently send Action Alerts and assess their impact. We can use the software to send messages to the full membership or to target members who live in certain districts or are represented by members of key congressional committees. We can easily track both participation by AAS members and congressional recipients.
When you click on a "Take Action" link through the email, you go directly to an action page that guides you through the process, even providing the phone numbers or addresses of your representatives. You can also click through of our Action Alert blog posts and fill out your contact information as you go through the website to be provided with your representative's and senators' contact information; depending on your browser settings, your information should be saved for the next time you decide to take action through our page. Hit the button below to try it now!
At any time, you can go straight to the AAS advocacy site to see current actions and even register to vote. We hope to continue to improve upon and expand the utility of the new website and software, and we welcome your feedback!