Recognizing the need to reach beyond Washington, DC, the Campaign to Fix the Debt began building state operations with the goal of mobilizing grasstops and grassroots supporters and engaging a diverse coalition of voices to push for a comprehensive plan to fix the long-term debt and deficits.
The effort has built bipartisan chapters in 33 states nationwide with diverse, influential leaders. This includes outreach to former and current elected officials, small businesses, academics, minority voices, and labor leaders to serve as co-chairs or steering committee members.
The state teams have recruited about 625 committee members, including influential voices such as Donna Shalala, University of Miami president and former US Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Kay Bailey Hutchison, a former Texas senator. We have supporters in all 50 states.
State chapters complement online efforts in getting Americans involved in the movement. The campaign has generated more than 2,000 earned media placements in top-tier state outlets through favorable editorials, radio and television interviews, blog posts, audio news releases, letters to the editor, and op-eds.
State chapters have leveraged high-profile and diverse membership to spread the campaign's message and gained strong media coverage through editorial board meetings with newspapers such as The Baltimore Sun, The Denver Post, Houston Chronicle, and The Tennessean.
In July 2013 more than 50 members from 19 state chapters of the Campaign to Fix the Debt traveled to Washington, DC, to speak with members of Congress about how mounting debt problems impact them. The diverse set of attendees represented local government officials, small-business owners, college students, nonprofit advocates, and concerned citizens.
More than 5,000 grassroots supporters participated virtually and called or wrote to their representatives to urge them to act. During the virtual fly-in, 139 calls were made to 36 senators, 5,232 letters were sent to 363 representatives, and 335,000 Facebook users were reached with 3,500 direct interactions.
Ultimately, it will be demand from the American people for action and support for a bipartisan solution that will be the deciding factor in putting the US on the right fiscal track. Fix the Debt is providing citizens with the information and resources to make a difference and make our future stronger.
Jon Romano is VP of communications for Fix the Debt.