Iolanthia “Lynn” Wilson
4042 Charleston Road #1E
Matteson, IL 60443-2638
“BE INFORMED, BE ENGAGED, BE AN ADVOCATE”
Welcome to a new year of LEGISLATIVE ACTIVISM for our Veterans and their families! I look forward to working with you, the District and Auxiliary chairmen, to make sure that our legislators are working for the benefit of our Veterans. It is important that you are informed about legislation that is in the pipeline and that you are working to promote the legislation our VFW has deemed necessary. If we all commit to this plan, we can effectively join with nearly 1.6 million other VFW and Auxiliary members to make our voices heard on behalf of our Veterans.
What can you do? Well, I can tell you!
- Be informed– Know the VFW Priority Goals and educate yourselves on legislative Begin online at vfw.org/advocacy/national-legislative-services or vfwauxiliary.org/what-we-do-legislative.
- Be engaged– Use the VFW and VFW Auxiliary Legislative Tools and Part of our success in understanding our mission, mentoring and training, and taking on a role to help each member be an effective part of the team. More knowledge and preparation make legislative efforts more successful.
- Be an advocate– Join in by subscribing to VFW Action Corps, visit org/advocacy/grassroots-efforts and click on the Action Corps image to sign up. Once subscribed you will receive the Action Corps Weekly in your inbox every Friday and this newsletter will keep you up to date on legislative initiative affecting Veterans.
The VFW has a huge responsibility in D.C. actively lobbying Congress on behalf of Veterans. Some of the main issues are veteran’s homelessness and suicide, traumatic brain injuries, reducing claims backlog, veteran unemployment and improving timely transition assistance after leaving military service. These are grouped into six areas:
- Health Care
- Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs
- Military Quality of Life
- National Security, Foreign Affairs and POW/MIA
All information about what’s happening on Capitol Hill regarding veteran issues and national security is on the national website at vfwauxiliary.org by selection “what we do” then clicking on “legislative”.
LOCAL LEGISLATIVE ACTION
Local government in the United States refers to governmental jurisdictions below the level of the state. Most states and territories have at least two tiers of local government: counties and municipalities. In some states, counties are divided into townships. There are several different types of jurisdictions at the municipal level, including the city, town, borough, and village. The types and nature of these municipal entities vary from state to state. In addition to these general-purpose local governments, states may also create special-purpose local governments.
Many rural areas and even some suburban areas of many states have no municipal government below the county level. In other places consolidated city-county jurisdictions exist, in which city and county functions are managed by a single municipal government.
Talk to your local government officials about Veterans issues in your area. Do they know the Veterans in their communities; do they have any special programs for those Veterans? Are they registered as Veterans within your City or Town? Does your City or Town have a Memorial area for Veterans? Does your City or Town know who to contact if a Veteran calls with an issue or needs help? Let them know that we as the VFW Auxiliary, working with the VFW, are always here to help a Veteran or point them in the direction that can get them the help they need. Become someone they know and recognize at City or Town functions. Be visible and approachable as an Advocate for our Veterans. The more they see you at functions, the more they will remember you when a Veteran reaches out.
RESOURCES AND WEBSITES:
Women Veterans Health Care Users: http.www.blog.va.gov/vantage/tag/women/
An award to the Auxiliary Member with the most contacts with their Legislator or other Legislators, in person, by letter, by fax, by phone, by email or through social media.
Please include which Legislator(s) were contacted.
An award to the Auxiliary with the best promotion of “Education and Training of the Legislative Process” to members and/or students. Reports must be submitted to the Legislative Department Chairman by March 31, 2022.
A Citation to each Auxiliary who is 100% reported by December 15, 2021.
An Award to the District Legislative Chairman with the best promotion of the Legislative Program. Promotion materials/reports are to be sent within 30 days after each District Meeting to the Legislative Department Chairman.
A Citation to each District who is 100% reported and participated by December 15, 2021.
Awards for Auxiliaries
- Most outstanding training of members on the legislative process
- Citation to every Auxiliary that trains members on the legislative process. Criteria and entry form (required) available at vfwauxiliary.org/resources. Auxiliaries must send the entry form to their Department Legislative Chairman by March 31, The Department Legislative Chairman must send a copy of all submitted entry forms to National Headquarters by April 30, 2022. Citations will be mailed directly to participating Auxiliaries from National Headquarters
- Citation and $25 to one Auxiliary in each of the four Conferences with the most outstanding training of members on the legislative process. The Department Legislative Chairman must sign and send a copy of the completed Department winning entry form to the National Legislative Ambassador by April 30, 2022 for
We have provided a place here for you to download all of the information that we distribute to you through our Program Book and Bi-Monthly Chairmen’s Bulletins. You will need Adobe Reader, it is a Free program and can be downloaded here Get Adobe
2020-2021 Department Legislative Report NEED (click here for online reporting)