Phone-Banking

Below you’ll find three different ways to use your phone to build support for the 2019 Adoptee Citizenship Act!

  1. Calling Your Federal Reps: Phone-Banking Script
  2. How to Organize a Phone-Banking Session: In Person
  3. How to Organize a Phone-Banking Session: Remotely

Calling Your Federal Reps: Phone-Banking Script

Calling your representatives can be intimidating. This is why we made a short script you can follow if you’re not sure what to say. It’s important to speak concisely and make sure you say the bill name and numbers (used for tracking purposes). The Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2019 is “House Resolution 2731” and “Senate Resolution 1554.” They may ask for your city of residence, or your address, in order to confirm if you are a constituent of the representative. We also have guides to help you contact your reps through a physical letter via the postal service, email via Democracy.io, or through ResistBot.

Dialing Your Representative:

Unsure who your representative is? Enter your zip code and find out here.

Know who your representative is? You can find the office telephone numbers of your representatives on their website or look them up using this directory.

Unsure who your senators are? Select your state and find their telephone number here.

Script:

“Hi, my name is [YOUR FIRST/LAST NAME] from [CITY/STATE] and I’m calling to express my support for the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2019, HR2731 and S1554. This act will provide all legally adopted individuals with the citizenship they were promised during their adoption. Currently, thousands of adoptees still do not have their citizenship and this bill would demonstrate a commitment to the adoptee and adoption community. As someone who is gravely concerned about this issue, I urge your office to support the Adoptee Citizenship Act by co-sponsoring the bill now.

Thank you.”

How to Organize a Phone-Banking Session: In Person

Goal:

Since every call made by a constituent is logged by the Rep’s office, phone-banking is a great way to put an issue on a Representative’s radar. Remember that it is more effective to have more people targeting the same office than gathering several people to call different representatives.

Logistics:

  • Seek out volunteers (e.g., adoptee, adoptive parent, immigrant rights, college student organizations, family, friends, neighbors).
  • Gather materials (volunteers, phones, quiet-ish space, and multiple printed copies of Calling Your Federal Reps: Phone-Banking Script) beforehand
  • Choose a time & location that is convenient for your partners.
  • Offer food–consider options that are easy to eat and clean up (pizza, sandwiches, etc)
  • Consider making a Facebook Event for the Phone-Banking session to communicate information about the event and distribute call scripts. This enables people to participate if they can’t or don’t want to physically join the event. Or scroll down to find our guide on building a remote phone-banking session.
  • Think about the number of people who may show up and the session length.

Sample Agenda

Welcome & Intro A4J (5 min)

  • Welcome and thank you for coming.
  •  Pass out handouts with overview and sample script.
  • Brief introduction to Adoptees for Justice.
    • Mission: Educate, empower and organize transracial and transnational adoptee communities to achieve just and humane adoption, immigration, and restorative justice systems.
    • Vision: A world where every person can develop and thrive in a safe and supportive environment in which communities of color, immigrants, and adoptees, are liberated from all forces of injustice, with full citizenship for all

Intros (10 min)

  • If 20-25 people – go around the room and state your name, pronouns (if comfortable), and organization if you are representing one
  • If more than 25 people – tables can introduce themselves to each other

The Issue (10 min)

Today, we are here with the goal of getting Congress members to support the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2019. As many of you might know, thousands of international adoptees legally adopted by U.S. citizen parents now face serious obstacles as adults living in the U.S. without citizenship, including threat of deportation.

Under current law, U.S. citizenship is not guaranteed for international adoptees born before 1983, or for those who entered the U.S. on a visa that did not provide automatic citizenship. More than 30 adoptees have already been deported to 21 different countries where they struggle with language and cultural barriers, employment opportunities, and separation from loved ones.

The Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2019 will grant automatic citizenship to all qualifying international adoptees adopted by a U.S. citizen parent, regardless of the date the adoption was finalized. This legislation will also offer adult adoptees who have been deported the opportunity to return to the United States.

Overview of proposal (15 min)

One of the best ways that we can urge our congress members to support this bill is by calling and asking them to become a co-sponsor. I will demonstrate a call using the script, Then you  can choose a partner to practice using the script. Feel free to use the talking points if you feel comfortable. Some calls may be very short while others may be a short discussion.

Any Questions? ( 5 min)

Begin Phone Banking! (the duration of the event depends on how many Reps you target to call)

How to Organize a Phone-Banking Session: Remotely

Goals:

Sometimes folks cannot get together for a physical in-person event so remote phone banking is great.

Create a Facebook Event

  • In the description, share information about Adoptees for Justice and the issue (see “In-Person” guide on the previous page.
  • Be clear WHEN the phone-banking should occur.
  • Share the event with your family, friends, networks, and any organizations willing to help.
  • Publish any materials–scripts, phone numbers of specific Congressmen, relevant information–in the Facebook Event for people to use.