Contact the Foreign Policy Staffer in Washington DC Office of Your U.S. Rep in Congress!
We need your help!  On Monday, April 28, 2014, Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) began circulating a sign-on "Dear Colleague" letter in the U.S. House of Representatives to Secretary of State John Kerry addressing Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Honduras.  Reps. Sam Farr (D-CA), Hank Johnson (D-GA), George Miller (D-CA) and Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) joined as initial co-signers. 
The letter states that "egregious violations of human rights continue" almost 5 years after the coup.  It raises concerns about militarization of the police, and the failure to investigate or prosecute human rights abuses, including in the Aguan Valley. The letter also raises concerns about freedom of speech and associations, and questions whether the November 2013 election was free and fair.
The letter asks State Department to:
  • Pay close attention to these issues and strictly evaluate U.S. support for Honduran security forces, in accordance with conditions placed on the aid in the 2014 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act.
  • Fully enforce the Leahy Law, which prohibits U.S. assistance to any individual or unit that has committed gross human rights abuses and is not being brought to justice.  
The deadline to sign is Friday, May 9, 2014 at 5:00 PM eastern time.  
We need your help in securing the signature of your Member of the U.S. House of Representatives on this letterOnly members of the House can sign the letter.
To sign on to the letter (or if the staffer wishes an official copy of the letter), your Rep’s staffer must contact Andrew Goczkowski Andrew.Goczkowski@mail.house.gov in Schakowsky’s office. (NOTE:please do not contact Schakowsky’s staff yourself, but ask the staffer to do so).   
Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, give them the name of your Rep, then ask to be connected:
(If you do not know the name of your Rep, please go to  http://www.house.gov/ and enter in your zip code at the upper right).
 When you call, ask to speak with the aide who handles Foreign Policy.  Use the script below.  If the aide does not recall seeing the letter, ask for the aide’s email address so that you can forward a copy of the letter.
 If the foreign policy aide is not is not available, ask to leave a message on his or her voice mail.  Be sure to get the name of the foreign policy staffer so you can follow up.
Script:  “My name is _____.  I am a constituent from (town / city) in (your state).  I am calling to ask Representative _____ to sign the Schakowsky letter on Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Honduras.  Has Representative­_____ seen this letter?  Can I count on him/her to sign on?   Please call me this week at (_your phone number_) to let me know if you have seen the letter, and if Representative _____ will sign it”      
In your phone conversation, highlight why this letter is important to you, especially if you have travelled to Honduras or heard a Honduran speak in your community.  
EMAIL FOLLOW-UP:  It’s useful to follow up with an email to the aide, asking them to sign the letter.  You can ask whoever answers the phone what their email is and/or use this formula if you know how to spell their name correctly (the person who first answer the phone can spell it for you):  Firstname.Lastname@mail.house.gov, e.g. Jane.Doe@mail.house.gov
If you learn that your Congressmember has agreed to sign, please let us know. 
NOTE: Please DO NOT send the letter to the media in either the US or Honduras until the letter is formally delivered to the State Department with all signers and a press release has been issued. Also once again, please do not contact Schakowsky’s staff yourself, but ask your rep’s staffer to do to become a signer.
Thank you for taking action in defense of human rights.
Jenny Atlee
Join Letter to the State Department Urging Action to Protect Human Rights in Honduras
Current Signers: George Miller, Sam Farr, Henry C "Hank" Johnson, Raul Grijalva,Marcy Kaptur, Jim McGovern, Barbara Lee
Dear Colleague,
Please join us in signing the attached letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging action on the ongoing human rights situation in Honduras. 
While a new Administration has recently been sworn in, grave concerns remain over the human rights situation.  Vulnerable groups continue to be targets of intimidation and violence, military forces continue to be utilized for policing, and human rights abusers continue to operate with impunity in the region. 
The 2013 elections in Honduras were preceded by the assassination of several opposition candidates, and questions remain about discrepancies in the vote. 
We hope you will join us in writing to Secretary Kerry to ensure that the State Department continues to urge the Honduran government to protect fundamental human rights in the region, end the use of military forces for law enforcement, investigate and prosecute abuses, and restore the rule of law.
If you have any questions, or would like to sign onto the letter, please contact Andrew Goczkowski in Rep. Schakowsky’s office at 202-225-2111, or by emailing Andrew.Goczkowski@mail.house.gov
Thank you for your consideration.
Jan Schakowsky            Henry C. "Hank" Johnson         Sam Farr
Member of Congress   Member of Congress               Member of Congress