Morning Zen

Contact Congress to join Dear Colleague in support of NDD

October 23, 2015

Hey Network faithful, listen up. If you believe, as I do, that sequestration relief to nondefense discretionary programs is essential to our nation’s public health, please consider letting your congressional representatives know today! Let’s not let politics hijack what we know is necessary to promote a mentally and physically healthy approach to meeting the needs of children and families across America. This is not a “Democrat” vs. “Republican” issue for us. Rather it is a “Health” vs. No Health” issue. Should be a no-brainer.

Representatives Rosa DeLauro, Chris Van Hollen, and Adam Smith are circulating the attached letter throughout the House of Representatives asking their colleagues to sign on in support of a budget deal that (1) provides sequestration relief to nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs such as education, public health, research, housing, natural resources, etc. and (2) provides equal relief to defense and NDD programs in such a deal.

We need your help NOW to generate support for this letter!

Please contact members of the House of Representatives TODAY and ask them to sign on to the letter no later than COB TODAY, OCTOBER 23.

Our colleagues at NDD United have provided a sample message for you to use in making this request, below. Use as is, or tailor to address your specific priorities.


  • Dear Senator/Representative,

    I am writing you today to urge you to join Representatives Rosa DeLauro, Chris Van Hollen, and Adam Smith on a Dear Colleague letter calling for a deal that provides sequestration relief to both defense and nondefense to ensure that Americans are healthy, safe and secure both at home and abroad. Specifically, the letter calls for a balanced deal that acknowledges the deep cuts nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs that have occurred since 2010 and that relief is provided equally for both defense and nondefense.

    Since 2010, deep cuts to NDD programs have hurt Americans across the nation. In Athens, Georgia, 14 out of the 52 seniors participating in a community Meals on Wheels program lost their access to hot meals because of sequestration cuts. Across the country, waiting lists have grown as Head Start slots are eliminated. More than 50,000 public health officials have been laid off despite myriad threats such as influenza, CRE, and Chikungunya. Our nation’s young scientists are forced to seek more stable careers amid uncertainties about the viability of their chosen career path. All the while, our infrastructure and natural resources forgo necessary maintenance and public safety improvements, and workforce training programs leave job seekers ill-equipped to meet employers’ needs.

    Our health, safety, and security rely on investments both at home and abroad. Thus, it is critical that any deal continue the precedent set by the Ryan-Murray budget deal and include equal relief for both defense and NDD programs. Doing such will not only ensure that programs are more adequately equipped to respond to need, but analysis done by the Congressional Budget Office has also found that it would grow the economy and add as many as 1.4 million jobs over the next two years.

    Again, I urge you to join Representatives Rosa DeLauro, Chris Van Hollen, and Adam Smith in calling for a deal to replace sequestration with a balance approach that provides equal relief to defense and nondefense prorgrams.

    To add your name to the Dear Colleague letter, please contact Eric Anthony in Representative Rosa DeLauro’s office at

Okay Network faithful, time is of the essence. Take a few moments today to encourage your congressional representatives to sign on!

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Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO
Children’s Mental Health Network

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