The action plan for today is to send emails, make phone calls, and visit legislators - somewhat the same, but more people to call.
You can make contact even if you already have. Just let them know it matters so much to you that you would contact them again.
You can make contact no matter where you live. We are all stakeholders in breastfeeding legislation.
You can make more than one form of contact. Yes - it's ok to email and then call, too.
There's a lot of info here, so there are different colors for the different actions. Just scroll from color to color - from EMAILS to PHONE CALLS to VISITS.
Copy and paste the following email addresses into the "To" section of your email:
Alma.Allen@house.state.tx.us, Roberto.Alonzo@house.state.tx.us, Carol.Alvarado@house.state.tx.us, Rafael.Anchia@house.state.tx.us, Charles.Anderson@house.state.tx.us, Trent.Ashby@house.state.tx.us, Jimmie.Aycock@house.state.tx.us, Cecil.Bell@house.state.tx.us, Dwayne.Bohac@house.state.tx.us, Dennis.Bonnen@house.state.tx.us, Greg.Bonnen@house.state.tx.us, Dan.Branch@house.state.tx.us, Cindy.Burkett@house.state.tx.us, Lon.Burnam@house.state.tx.us, Angie.Button@house.state.tx.us, firstname.lastname@example.org, Terry.Canales@house.state.tx.us, Giovanni.Capriglione@house.state.tx.us, Stefani.Carter@house.state.tx.us, Travis.Clardy@house.state.tx.us, Garnet.Coleman@house.state.tx.us, Nicole.Collier@house.state.tx.us, Byron.Cook@house.state.tx.us, Philip.Cortez@house.state.tx.us, Tom.Craddick@house.state.tx.us, Brandon.Creighton@house.state.tx.us, Myra.Crownover@house.state.tx.us, Tony.Dale@house.state.tx.us,
Drew.Darby@house.state.tx.us, John.Davis@house.state.tx.us, Sarah.Davis@house.state.tx.us, Yvonne.Davis@house.state.tx.us, email@example.com, Dawnna.Dukes@house.state.tx.us, Harold.Dutton@house.state.tx.us, firstname.lastname@example.org, Gary.Elkins@house.state.tx.us, Pat.Fallon@house.state.tx.us, Joe.Farias@house.state.tx.us, Marsha.Farney@house.state.tx.us, Jessica.Farrar@house.state.tx.us, Allen.Fletcher@house.state.tx.us, Dan.Flynn@house.state.tx.us, James.Frank@house.state.tx.us, John.Frullo@house.state.tx.us, Charlie.Geren@house.state.tx.us, Helen.Giddings@house.state.tx.us, Craig.Goldman@house.state.tx.us, Larry.Gonzales@house.state.tx.us, Mary.Gonzalez@house.state.tx.us, Naomi.Gonzalez@house.state.tx.us, Lance.Gooden@house.state.tx.us, email@example.com, Ryan.Guillen@house.state.tx.us, Roland.Gutierrez@house.state.tx.us, Patricia.Harless@house.state.tx.us, firstname.lastname@example.org, Ana.Hernandez@house.state.tx.us, Abel.Herrero@house.state.tx.us, Harvey.Hilderbran@house.state.tx.us, Donna.Howard@house.state.tx.us, Dan.Huberty@house.state.tx.us, Bryan.Hughes@house.state.tx.us, Todd.Hunter@house.state.tx.us, Jason.Isaac@house.state.tx.us, Eric.Johnson@house.state.tx.us, Kyle.Kacal@house.state.tx.us, James.Keffer@house.state.tx.us, Ken.King@house.state.tx.us, Phil.King@house.state.tx.us, Susan.King@house.state.tx.us, Tracy.King@house.state.tx.us, Tim.Kleinschmidt@house.state.tx.us, Stephanie.Klick@house.state.tx.us, Lois.Kolkhorst@house.state.tx.us, Matt.Krause@house.state.tx.us, John.Kuempel@house.state.tx.us, Lyle.Larson@house.state.tx.us, Jodie.Laubenberg@house.state.tx.us, George.Lavender@house.state.tx.us, Jeff.Leach@house.state.tx.us, Tryon.Lewis@house.state.tx.us, Oscar.Longoria@house.state.tx.us, email@example.com, Marisa.Marquez@house.state.tx.us, Armando.Martinez@house.state.tx.us, Trey.Martinez.Fischer@house.state.tx.us, Ruth.Jones.McClendon@house.state.tx.us, Jose.Menendez@house.state.tx.us, Borris.Miles@house.state.tx.us, Doug.Miller@house.state.tx.us, Rick.Miller@house.state.tx.us, Joe.Moody@house.state.tx.us, Geanie.Morrison@house.state.tx.us, Sergio.Munoz@house.state.tx.us, Jim.Murphy@house.state.tx.us, Elliott.Naishtat@house.state.tx.us, Poncho.Nevarez@house.state.tx.us, Rene.Oliveira@house.state.tx.us, Rob.Orr@house.state.tx.us, John.Otto@house.state.tx.us, Chris.Paddie@house.state.tx.us, Tan.Parker@house.state.tx.us, Diane.Patrick@house.state.tx.us, MaryAnn.Perez@house.state.tx.us, Charles.Perry@house.state.tx.us, Larry.Phillips@house.state.tx.us, Joe.Pickett@house.state.tx.us, Jim.Pitts@house.state.tx.us, Four.Price@house.state.tx.us, John.Raney@house.state.tx.us, Bennett.Ratliff@house.state.tx.us, Richard.Raymond@house.state.tx.us, firstname.lastname@example.org, Ron.Reynolds@house.state.tx.us, Debbie.Riddle@house.state.tx.us, Allan.Ritter@house.state.tx.us, Eddie.Rodriguez@house.state.tx.us, Justin.Rodriguez@house.state.tx.us, Toni.Rose@house.state.tx.us, Scott.Sanford@house.state.tx.us, Matt.Schaefer@house.state.tx.us, Kenneth.Sheets@house.state.tx.us, email@example.com, Ralph.Sheffield@house.state.tx.us, Ron.Simmons@house.state.tx.us, David.Simpson@house.state.tx.us, Wayne.Smith@house.state.tx.us, John.Smithee@house.state.tx.us, Drew.Springer@house.state.tx.us, Phil.Stephenson@house.state.tx.us, Jonathan.Stickland@house.state.tx.us, Mark.Strama@house.state.tx.us, Joe.Straus@house.state.tx.us, Van.Taylor@house.state.tx.us, Ed.Thompson@house.state.tx.us, Senfronia.Thompson@house.state.tx.us, Steve.Toth@house.state.tx.us, Chris.Turner@house.state.tx.us, Scott.Turner@house.state.tx.us, Sylvester.Turner@house.state.tx.us, Jason.Villalba@house.state.tx.us, Michael.Villarreal@house.state.tx.us, Hubert.Vo@house.state.tx.us, Armando.Walle@house.state.tx.us, James.White@house.state.tx.us, Paul.Workman@house.state.tx.us, Gene.Wu@house.state.tx.us, Bill.Zedler@house.state.tx.us, John.Zerwas@house.state.tx.us, Brian.Birdwell@senate.state.tx.us, Donna.Campbell@senate.state.tx.us, John.Carona@senate.state.tx.us, Wendy.Davis@senate.state.tx.us, firstname.lastname@example.org, Robert.Duncan@senate.state.tx.us, Rodney.Ellis@senate.state.tx.us, Kevin.Eltife@senate.state.tx.us, Craig.Estes@senate.state.tx.us, Troy.Fraser@senate.state.tx.us, Sylvia.Garcia@senate.state.tx.us, Kelly.Hancock@senate.state.tx.us, Glenn.Hegar@senate.state.tx.us, Juan.Hinojosa@senate.state.tx.us, Joan.Huffman@senate.state.tx.us, Eddie.Lucio@senate.state.tx.us, Jane.Nelson@senate.state.tx.us, Robert.Nichols@senate.state.tx.us, Dan.Patrick@senate.state.tx.us, Ken.Paxton@senate.state.tx.us, Jose.Rodriguez@senate.state.tx.us, Charles.Schwertner@senate.state.tx.us, Kel.Seliger@senate.state.tx.us, Larry.Taylor@senate.state.tx.us, Carlos.Uresti@senate.state.tx.us, Leticia.VandePutte@senate.state.tx.us, Kirk.Watson@senate.state.tx.us, Royce.West@senate.state.tx.us, John.Whitmire@senate.state.tx.us, Tommy.Williams@senate.state.tx.us, Judith.Zaffirini@senate.state.tx.us, USBFLeg@gmail.com
Then choose one of the following five sample emails below (in black) and copy and paste it into the body of your email. Please personalize it as much as you can take the time to do (but better sent generic than not sent at all - just change anything in ALL CAPS). As you personalize your email, consider the following:
- Begin by introducing yourself as a constituent, IF you are a Texas resident. Find your district number here. If you are writing on behalf of a group, please identify yourself here ("Member of Texas Breastfeeding Coalition", "Secretary of IBCLCs of Dallas", etc)
- Keep it short (two paragraphs).
- If you have been affected by discrimination for nursing in public or a lack of support for pumping at work, relate this very briefly.
- Ask that the legislator do whatever (s)he can to convince the Calendars Committee to set HB 1706 for a date on the House floor ASAP and to support both bills by voting for them.
- Ask for a written response on the Representative's position on the bill. That way a staffer has to do some research and the member has to sign a letter with a position on it.
- Make certain that letters are not antagonistic or accusatory.
- Please include with your signature (for Texans only - out of state supporters please just sign your name and phone number):
- Physical Address
- Zip Code
- Phone Number(s)
- Your organization if you are writing on behalf of a group ("Member of Texas Breastfeeding Coalition", "Secretary of IBCLCs of Dallas", etc)
Letters should begin with an introduction of your group. They should talk about health benefits of BF, how you support BF in your community, and HB 1706 and HB 741. Letters from a mom should be personalized from the mom's point of view, but these letters should be personalized from the organization's view. These letters can be more lengthy than the 2 paragraph max for letters from individuals (but still somewhat brief).
Please make clear that you represent constituents outside of just your zip code, if that is the case. Please give an idea of how many people are in your group, and/or how many people your group serves.
I hope this email finds you well. As a resident of (DISTRICT #, REGION, OR TEXAS AND MEMBER OF ORGANIZATION), I’m writing to ask for your support of House Bill 741, authored by Rep. Walle and coauthored by Rep. Hernandez Luna. This uncontroversial bill passed unanimously out of the Business and Industry Committee. HB 741 is on the schedule for vote on Wednesday, 5/8. For many breastfeeding moms that plan on returning to work, the worries of continuing to breastfeed while away from their baby lead to many sleepless nights. While Section 7(r) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provision) provides moms who are non-exempt employees protection to pump at work, it does not cover all working, breastfeeding moms. Texas House Bill 741 will extend current work-site pumping protections to salaried public employees so that they can contribute to the work force while still providing their babies with breastmilk. I would be grateful for a written response letting me know your position on HB 741.
HB 1706 will strengthen Health and Safety Code 165.002, a law that asserts a mother's right to nurse her baby in public. This law is regularly violated, and the fear of a confrontation serves as a barrier to breastfeeding for many women. If it is to see a vote, it must be set today for early on Thursday's calendar. Please do all you can to ensure that it is set and give it your vote on the House floor.
Thank you for your time.
ORGANIZATION (IF ANY)
I hope this email finds you well. I am a mother who resides in the State of Texas (OR BE SPECIFIC ABOUT DISTRICT/REGION IF IT IS THIS LEGISLATOR'S) and I’m writing to ask for your support of House Bill 741, authored by Rep. Walle and coauthored by Rep. Hernandez Luna. This uncontroversial bill passed unanimously out of the Business and Industry Committee. HB 741 is on the schedule for vote on Wednesday, 5/8. While hourly public employees have reasonable accommodations to express breastmilk at work, salaried public employees are currently exempt. Many moms stop breastfeeding after they return to work due to lack of employer support. Texas House Bill 741 will extend current work-site pumping protections to salaried public employees so that they can contribute to the work force while still providing their babies with breastmilk.
Breastmilk is the ideal food for newborns and infants. It gives infants all the nutrients they need for healthy development. It is safe and contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses - such as diarrhea and pneumonia, the two primary causes of child mortality worldwide. Breastmilk is readily available and affordable, which helps to ensure that infants get adequate sustenance (World Health Organization, 2012). HB 1706 will address another barrier to breastfeeding, a fear of nursing in public. We have a law that asserts a mother's right, but does not protect it, and it is frequently violated. Please contact the Calndars Committee and ask them to set HB 1706 for early Thursday to give you a chance to vote for it.
I would very much appreciate a written response explaining your position on House Bills 741 and 1706. I would welcome the chance to further discuss the importance of community support and breastfeeding!
Thank you for your time and support,
ORGANIZATION (IF ANY)
I'm a new mother in (CITY/DISTRICT/REGION, TX, AND ORGANIZATION IF ANY) and I breastfeed my baby and I’m writing to ask for your support of House Bill 741, authored by Rep. Walle and coauthored by Rep. Hernandez Luna. This uncontroversial bill passed unanimously out of the Business and Industry Committee. HB 741 is on the schedule for vote on Wednesday, 5/8. HB 741 will extend work site accommodations to salaried public employees, which are already afforded to hourly employees. Breastfeeding rates of initiation are around 80%, however, as women return to work and are unsupported in their efforts to express breastmilk for their babies, breastfeeding rates drop dramatically. This is a public health issue. Increased breastfeeding rates will save lives and a lot of money.
Another way in which mother's need support is to protect their right to breastfeed their babies in public. Health and Safety Code 165.002 is frequently violated. A law which is flouted with impunity weakens the rule of law. HB 1706 would strengthen existing law. Please contact the Calendars Chairman and ask that it be set early on Thursday's calendar to ensure that you can vote for it.
Please support these bills, and support Texas mothers and babies.
NAME and son/daughter NAME (NUMBER OF months)
ORGANIZATION (IF ANY)
I am a constituent of district (DISTRICT NUMBER AND ORGANIZATION IF ANY) and breastfed/am breastfeeding my child(ren). I’m writing to ask for your support of House Bill 741, authored by Rep. Walle and coauthored by Rep. Hernandez Luna. This uncontroversial bill passed unanimously out of the Business and Industry Committee. HB 741 is on the schedule for vote on Wednesday, 5/8. HB 741 will support mothers who return to work in their efforts to continue to provide breastmilk for their babies by providing reasonable accommodations to salaried public employees that are already afforded hourly employees. While the great State of Texas already recognizes breastfeeding as the best method of infant nutrition, there are no laws in place to support an exempt public employee that wishes to continue breastfeeding after returning to work.
HB 1706, if set early on Thursday's calendar, will go a long way to reducing discrimination regularly faced by women whose right to nurse their babies in public is violated frequently. Please contact the Calendars Committee chairman and ask that HB 1706 be set so that you may vote to support the health and rights of mothers and babies. I would very much appreciate a written response regarding your position on House Bills 741 and 1706.
ORGANIZATION (IF ANY)
I am a breastfeeding mother living in (DISTRICT #, REGION, OR TEXAS, AND ORGANIZATION IF ANY) and it has come to my attention that House Bill 741, authored by Rep. Walle and co-authored by Rep. Hernandez Luna, is to be voted on this Wednesday, 5/8. I’m writing to ask for your support of House Bill 741. While breastfeeding in Texas has a high initiation rate, there is a large drop around the time moms return to work. Many moms stop breastfeeding due to a lack of support from their employers. While federal law requires that working mothers paid on an hourly basis receive reasonable breaks for pumping and a space in which to pump, there is no such protection for salaried public employees, such as teachers. HB 741 would extend current pump at work laws to all state public employees, including salaried employees.
Another bill, HB 1706, would educate and enforce an existing law that has been on the books since 1995 and asserts a mother's right to nurse her baby in public. This is a vital right, as mothers must go to the grocery store and run errands, and babies must eat every couple of hours. Please contact the Calendars chair and urge him to set HB 1706 early Thursday. I ask that you help us to support these pieces of legislation so that we can give our children the best possible nutrition without fear of harassment; so mothers won't be forced to choose between their babies and their jobs. I would appreciate an opportunity to discuss this important public health issue, and I hope to receive a written reply with your position on the bills. Thank you for your consideration.
ORGANIZATION (IF ANY)
We MUST be courteous in all communications. Even if the staffer you talk to is cold - even out and out rude - no matter what, be respectful.
1. Please begin by calling Rep. Hunter, Chair of Calendars Committee. Ask him to set HB 1706 (strengthening of right-to-breastfeed) first thing on Thursday's calendar.
2. Rep. Button - she is on Calendars but has not said if she will support the bills. Ask her to.
3. Speaker of the House, Rep. Joe Strauss. Ask to speak to the Chief of Staff or to Jonathan. Ask them to set HB 1706 early Thursday, and to do anything they can to support HBs 1706 and 741.
4. Call more reps!
The list below does not include Business and Industry or Calendars Committee members, as they have shown the bills support.
If you are not a Texas resident, start by calling Republicans. While breastfeeding is bi-partisan, conservatives will be more hesitant about placing regulations on businesses, and they are in the majority.
Call your own rep if you reside in Texas, then any districts that are close to yours, particularly conservatives (use the district numbers as a guide - they're not necessarily logical but they are to a degree). Find your rep here: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/find-your-representative/
Please leave a comment listing who you called, so that we can be sure all reps are being called. If you are told that a rep does or does not support either bill, please note this in the comments.
Name (Party) District # Phone Number
Alma A. Allen (D) 131 463-0744
Rafael Anchia (D) 103 463-0746
Charles "Doc" Anderson (R) 56 463-0135
Trent Ashby (R) 57 463-0508
Jimmie Don Aycock (R) 54 463-0684
Cecil Bell (R) 3 463-0650
Dennis H. Bonnen (R) 25 463-0564
Greg Bonnen (R) 24 463-0729
Cindy Burkett (R) 113 463-0464
Lon Burnam (D) 90 463-0740
Angie Chen Button (R) 112 463-0486
William A. "Bill" Callegari (R) 132 463-0528
Terry Canales (D) 40 463-0426
Giovanni Capriglione (R) 98 463-0690
Stefani Carter (R) 102 463-0454
Travis Clardy (R) 11 463-0592
Garnet Coleman (D) 147 463-0524
Nicole Collier (D) 95 463-0716
Philip Cortez (D) 117 463-0269
Tom Craddick (R) 82 463-0500
Brandon Creighton (R) 16 463-0726
Tony Dale (R) 136 463-0696
Drew Darby (R) 72 463-0331
John E. Davis (R) 129 463-0734
Yvonne Davis (D) 111 463-0598
Joseph "Joe" Deshotel (D) 22 463-0662
Dawnna M. Dukes (D) 46 463-0506
Harold V. Dutton (D) 142 463-0510
Gary Elkins (R) 135 463-0722
Pat Fallon (R) 106 463-0694
Joe Farias (D) 118 463-0714
Marsha Farney (R) 20 463-0309
Jessica Farrar (D) 148 463-0620
Allen Fletcher (R) 130 463-0661
Dan Flynn (R) 2 463-0880
James Frank (R) 69 463-0534
Charlie L. Geren (R) 99 463-0610
Craig Goldman (R) 97 463-0608
Larry Gonzales (R) 52 463-0670
Mary E. Gonzalez (D) 75 463-0613
Naomi Gonzalez (D) 76 463-0622
Lance Gooden (R) 4 463-0458
Robert Guerra (D) 41 463-0578
Ryan Guillen (D) 31 463-0416
Roland Gutierrez (D) 119 463-0452
Patricia F. Harless (R) 126 463-0496
Linda Harper-Brown (R) 105 463-0641
Ana Hernandez Luna (D) 143 463-0614
Abel Herrero (D) 34 463-0462
Harvey Hilderbran (R) 53 463-0536
Donna Howard (D) 48 463-0631
Dan Huberty (R) 127 463-0520
Bryan Hughes (R) 5 463-0271
Jason A. Isaac (R) 45 463-0647
Eric Johnson (D) 100 463-0586
Kyle J. Kacal (R) 12 463-0412
James L. "Jim" Keffer (R) 60 463-0656
Ken King (R) 88 463-0736
Phil S. King (R) 61 463-0738
Susan King (R) 71 463-0718
Tracy O. King (D) 80 463-0194
Tim Kleinschmidt (R) 17 463-0682
Stephanie Klick (R) 91 463-0599
Lois W. Kolkhorst (R) 13 463-0600
Matt Krause (R) 93 463-0562
Lyle Larson (R) 122 463-0646
Jodie Laubenberg (R) 89 463-0186
George Lavender (R) 1 463-0692
Jeff Leach (R) 67 463-0544
Tryon D. Lewis (R) 81 463-0546
Oscar Longoria (D) 35 463-0645
J.M. Lozano (R) 43 463-0463
Marisa Marquez (D) 77 463-0638
Armando A. "Mando" Martinez (D) 39 463-0530
Trey Martinez Fischer (D) 116 463-0616
Ruth Jones McClendon (D) 120 463-0708
Jose Menendez (D) 124 463-0634
Borris L. Miles (D) 146 463-0518
Doug Miller (R) 73 463-0325
Rick Miller (R) 26 463-0710
Joe Moody (D) 78 463-0728
Geanie W. Morrison (R) 30 463-0456
Sergio Muñoz (D) 36 463-0704
Jim Murphy (R) 133 463-0514
Elliott Naishtat (D) 49 463-0668
Poncho Nevarez (D) 74 463-0566
Rob D. Orr (R) 58 463-0538
John C. Otto (R) 18 463-0570
Chris Paddie (R) 9 463-0556
Tan Parker (R) 63 463-0688
Diane Patrick (R) 94 463-0624
Mary Ann Perez (D) 144 463-0460
Charles Perry (R) 83 463-0542
Larry Phillips (R) 62 463-0297
Joseph C. "Joe" Pickett (D) 79 463-0596
Jim Pitts (R) 10 463-0516
Four Price (R) 87 463-0470
John Raney (R) 14 463-0698
Bennett Ratliff (R) 115 463-0468
Richard Peña Raymond (D) 42 463-0558
Ron Reynolds (D) 27 463-0494
Debbie Riddle (R) 150 463-0572
Allan B. Ritter (R) 21 463-0706
Justin Rodriguez (D) 125 463-0669
Toni Rose (D) 110 463-0664
Scott Sanford (R) 70 463-0356
Matt Schaefer (R) 6 463-0584
Kenneth Sheets (R) 107 463-0244
J.D. Sheffield (R) 59 463-0628
Ralph Sheffield (R) 55 463-0630
Ron Simmons (R) 65 463-0478
David Simpson (R) 7 463-0750
Wayne Smith (R) 128 463-0733
John T. Smithee (R) 86 463-0702
Drew Springer (R) 68 463-0526
Phil Stephenson (R) 85 463-0604
Jonathan Stickland (R) 92 463-0522
Mark Strama (D) 50 463-0821
Van Taylor (R) 66 463-0594
Ed Thompson (R) 29 463-0707
Senfronia Thompson (D) 463-0720
Steve Toth (R) 15 463-0797
Chris Turner (D) 101 463-0574
Scott Turner (R) 33 463-0484
Sylvester Turner (D) 139 463-0554
Michael "Mike" Villarreal (D) 463-0532
Hubert Vo (D) 149 463-0568
James White (R) 19 463-0490
Gene Wu (D) 137 463-0492
William "Bill" Zedler (R) 96 463-0374
John Zerwas (R) 28 463-0657
If you can visit the Capitol, that will make a great impact. Call 512.655.9647 to coordinate efforts. A good place to park is at 1201 San Jacinto. Dress business casual if you can. It's fine to bring children. And of course, be respectful and courteous. The Capitol is at 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX.