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To:

Mental Health Liaison Group Members, Parity Supporters

From:

Peter Newbould, MHLG Health Policy Committee Cochair
c/o American Psychological Assn. Practice Organization,
202-336-5889

Chris Koyanagi, MHLG Health Policy Committee Cochair
c/o Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, 202-467-5730 x118

Re:

RALLY ON JUNE 10 (Parity Alert #28)

Date:

April 30, 2004

All organizations that support the Paul Wellstone Mental Health Equitable Treatment Act (MHETA) are urged to bring constituents of key Members of Congress, DC-area organization members and Washington staffers to the PARITY NOW RALLY: Thursday, June 10.

Objectives:

  • Have a strong grassroots expression of support for MHETA.
  • Increase the enthusiasm and involvement by people in the 365 groups that support MHETA (S. 486 <http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d108:s.00486:> /H.R. 953 <http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d108:hr.00953:> ).
  • Hold a visible event that will send clear message to the press and to our opponents that parity is alive with growing support.

Location: The rally will be held from Noon to 1:00 p.m. at the "Upper Senate Park" at Constitution Avenue and Delaware Avenue, NE, just west of the Russell Senate Office Building.

Speakers: The rally will be addressed by sponsors of the legislation: Senator Pete Domenici and Representatives Patrick Kennedy and Jim Ramstad. David Wellstone, son of the late Senator, will speak. As in our June 2002 rally, additional speakers will include consumers as "Faces of Hope."

Turnout: 500 NMHA conference attendees are lobbying on the Hill that day. DC-based associations will encourage their staffs to attend the rally, and many are flying in members from key districts. Attendees are encouraged to bring homemade posters and signs that are not mounted on sticks. For example, appropriate signs would say "Pennsylvania for Parity," "Stop Insurance Discrimination," "Parity for All," "Mental Health is Good Health," etc.

Transportation: Those driving should park in the pay parking lot in Union Station, three blocks to the north. On the Metro system, the Upper Senate Park is closest to the Union Station stop on the Red Line. It will be a 10 minute walk to the rally site. Taxis can drop people off on Constitution Avenue, Northeast. We are seeking a room in the Senate Office Buildings as a backup rain location.

For More Information: Contact Peter Newbould, 202-336-5889 pnewbould@apa.org.

It is extremely important to get a good turnout -- Congress must act now in the little time left - therefore please bring all your staff along!

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