To: ASTC Members
As I am sure you are aware, the recently released FY18 budget blueprint by the Trump Administration has raised concerns and anxiety levels in the science world, here and abroad. I am issuing a public statement today, guided by the ASTC Public Policy Committee, expressing our grave concerns for the future of the U.S. scientific endeavor and our ability to translate our nation’s scientific and engineering advances to America’s students, teachers, parents, and the public at large. ASTC is prepared to fight for federal funding programs that benefit our members. However, I will need your help.
First, in order to best portray our benefits to society and, in particular, to the U.S. Congress, I need relevant stories and great examples of how federal agency funds (typically competitive grants from IMLS, NSF, NIH, NOAA, NASA, EPA, etc.) have served your communities. These only need to be a paragraph long and may touch on subject, audience, and meaningful impacts. They can be about one grant or cumulative grants. Clearly, we want to demonstrate how budget actions will impact institutions and people directly. Please send your input to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 1.
Second, I urge you to call your Senators and Members of Congress ASAP and ask for their Member Request Forms and deadlines for submission. This process, going on right now, allows your elected officials to receive constituent input on funding priorities. The more requests for particular programs the better. Below are three samples of what these requests might look like. I will follow up with detailed funding for various programs of interest early next week to help you complete these forms. Once you receive your Member Request guidelines, and you have specific questions, please feel free to contact me.
Third, please understand that this budget/appropriations process takes months to complete. In fact, Congress hasn’t even completed the FY17 appropriations process yet. The government is still operating under a Continuing Resolution meaning status quo for now. But, given the threats of major cuts and elimination of programs and whole agencies, please know that we are gearing up for an aggressive outreach campaign AND we will need every member organization’s help. In addition, we are partnering with like-minded organizations and coalitions to maximize our messaging and impact.
So stay tuned, send us your impactful stories, and obtain those Member Request forms!
ASTC President and CEO