Here is how you can help Amtrak survive and grow!
I recently received this e-mail that I would like to share with you:
Dear Rail Supporter--
Member and sometimes TRAC Board member Doras Briggs has been working tirelessly for years to get the
American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) to actively support Amtrak. Doras recently returned from
Washington DC and reports:
"My meeting with key AARP people while I was in Washington was so heartening that I'm convinced we can
finally win their open support. As you know, they are the biggest lobby in the country -- well over 33,000,000 members --
and these members vote, so their views are respected by legislators. If AARP supports Amtrak,
I have no doubt our national passenger system will survive, be strengthened, and some day expanded.
To acheive that goal, however, the AARP people told me twice, very firmly,
'WE NEED LOTS OF LETTERS' -- from AARP members, of course.
To understand why these letters are so important, you should know that AARP staff go through a set process each year
culminating in its annual Policy Manual. Once approved and published, the issues in that Manual are the ONLY ones
their lobbyists are permitted to work on. The process is RIGHT NOW underway for the 2003 Policy Manual, so we need
to be sure Amtrak is included."
Our strength is in our numbers! A large number of [rail supporters] are over 50 (the age required for AARP membership),
and those that aren't probably have relatives that are. By using our numbers to influence the lobbying of that
33-million-strong organization, we may get some significant lobbying strength in favor of a stronger,
more financially-secure Amtrak.
WON'T YOU TAKE A MOMENT RIGHT NOW AND
PUT THIS ADDRESS ON AN ENVELOPE:
AARP National Legislative Council
601 E Street NW
Washington, DC 20049
Then in the next couple of days put a quick note in the envelope saying you want AARP to include Amtrak in its
legislative Policy Manual. Just a sentence or two is all you need! (Include your signature and AARP member number.)
If you AREN'T an AARP member and can join, PLEDGE TO JOIN (it's only $12.50/year) IF they add support of Amtrak
to their Policy Manual. With all the seniors who use Amtrak, especially after September 11, 2001, it only makes
sense that they do!
This may be one of the simplest and most effective ways that we can help influence national policy on
rail passenger service.
I thank you for helping (grab that envelope!),
--Alan C. Miller
Train Riders Association of California
Feedback from AARP:
Thank you for your input to The Policy Book. AARP Public Policies 2003,
the Association's compendium of legislative and regulatory policies. I
want to assure you that your voice has been heard. AARP understands that
rail transportation is an important issue for many older Americans, and
your recommendations and comments regarding government subsidy of Amtrak
will be distributed to the 25 National Legislative Council (NLC)
volunteers as well as policy staff. Contributions such as yours are a
critical part of AARP's legislative process, and we appreciate hearing
The NLC is currently exploring public policy issues, culminating in
recommendations to AARP's Board of Directors early next year. The Board
will then review and approve the Association's policy for 2003 at its
February meeting. Shortly thereafter, in the spring, the 2003 edition of
The Policy Book will be available via the AARP Webplace at
NLC members very much appreciate your input, as they work to recommend
policies that benefit older Americans.
It is very important that you keep writing to AARP to make sure that
passenger rail transportation gets added to the legislative agenda of AARP!
See above for the address to contact AARP.