Toolkit

Government improves our daily lives, whether we realize it or not. The teachers in our children's classrooms. The roads and bridges on which we drive. The scientists seeking cures for debilitating disease. The safe medications we take and the safe food we eat. The police who patrol our neighborhoods. The air traffic controllers who ensure we arrive at our destinations, safely. These core government services and more are under attack in the name of deficit reduction. If Congress can't work together to stop deep cuts--aka "sequester" or "sequestration"--millions of jobs will be lost, and core services upon which we all rely will be eliminated.



We've prepared these tools to help you engage in this historic debate and make your voice heard.

The Message


NDD United’s message to Congress and the President is clear and simple:

You must solve the budget crisis now, with a real and balanced solution and protects vital programs and services all Americans rely on.​


Click here for Talking Points and here for a FAQ. We also think Senator Mikulski's May op-ed on the sequester does a great job of framing the issues. Also check out our latest flyer – useful for handing out in meetings as a PDF and posting on your website as a jpeg. For more background on NDD United, including our stance on a number of budget issues, see the Letters and Statements page.


If you have facts and figures about your programs, please be sure to share them with us.

 

Spreading the Word

 

1. Share the Video.

 

A big problem we face in talking about sequestration and budget cuts is that the issue is complicated, and with so many fingers pointing the blame, it’s hard to distill down exactly what happened and who needs to fix it. This video breaks down the sequester into understandable language – and clearly explains what will happen if Congress fails to act. Share far and wide with your constituents and members. Post to your own websites and blogs, put it on Facebook and tweet out the link.

2. Use social media effectively. 


Use Facebook to invite your members and friends to share stories and photos of how sequestration is affecting them. Everything from a picture of a pothole to a story of a furloughed public safety worker can have a big impact.

You can also use Facebook and other Social Media, like Tumblr, to draw attention to sequestration in an unexpected way. NDD United has superimposed quotations over a teary Speaker Boehner’s face and posted political cartoons about the FAA “fix.” Your organization may have a creative take on sequestration as well – use social media to get it out.

Twitter is a fast way to spread the news about budget cuts in real time. But we want every tweet to be true to our underlying message.

Just tweeting about furloughs or losses in research dollars doesn’t connect the dots for readers. So whenever you tweet something about sequestration or budget cuts generally, be sure to use the hashtag #nomorecuts.

Our latest Twitter Storm was May 30, 2013.  You can also see examples from a previous Twitter Storm here

New to Twitter? Click here for a good roundup of suggestions for using Twitter effectively.

3. Make sure the right people hear you.

Congress, the press, and the public need to understand what’s happening on the ground because of budget cuts. Write an op-ed or letter to the editor to explain how sequestration is impacting you, your programs and/or your geographic area.


Use our talking points, plus information from your program or area, to create an op-ed or letter to the editor. See these tips for writing an effective op-ed or LTE.  You can also check out NDD United's latest op-ed here


Or, hold a press event, bringing together people who have been impacted by sequestration and clearly stating that the time to end these harmful cuts is now.

4. Share and share alike. 

We’re all in this together. To make our voice loud – to get it heard – we need to be sure that our message is coming across as what it is – a unified voice to stop the cuts to core government programs. When you have a blogpost, op-ed, or LTE that gets published, or when you post something funny or sharp on Facebook and Twitter, be sure to share with NDD United’s communications team so we can help amplify your message. And of course, "like" NDDUnited on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.