Legislation

LEGISLATION

Your Actions Speak Loudly

In recent years, Delaware Action for Animals has become much more active in the legislative arena because we believe working within the political system is critical to helping animals everywhere. Corporate and institutional animal exploitation will take decades to change, but by simply having more people participating in the political process at all levels of government laws protecting animals can become stronger and government can evolve toward a more compassionate mind set.

Our experience shows that by informing people about issues in their community or beyond and helping them feel more at ease participating in the political process amazing things can happen. In 2000, a loosely formed coalition of citizens in New Castle County stopped an NRA supported small game hunting season in White Clay Creek State Park simply by making contacts with their state legislators and DNREC. Particularly in a small state like Delaware, making a contact with an elected official at any level of government can have a significant impact. It is widely recognized that politicians equate one letter received as representing the views of between 100 and 1,000 voters.

DAA understands that most people have little time for hands on animal advocacy work, however advances in communications technology have made it possible to truly make a difference for animals in just a few minutes. When the call goes out to help animals in need, will provide basic information on the issue/legislation, and a sample letter. The Legislative links below provide email addresses and 800 phone numbers for all federal, state and local legislators make it easy for you to make a regular or occasional contact on issues you feel strongly about. We pledge to only contact our networks when we feel the time spent will have a direct impact on the lives of animals. Please consider joining one of the electronic networks described below by contacting us at helpanimals@da4a.org. Working with one strong voice we can improve, and in many cases save the lives of domestic and wild animals in Delaware impacted by local, state, and federal laws.

How DAA works through the political process

DAA coordinates the Humane Society of the United States’ Humane Activist Network (HAN) in Delaware. In this role we coordinate actions by HAN members on behalf of federal legislation and periodically meet with federal legislative offices in Dover or Washington D.C. In 2002 we expanded our focus beyond federal legislation by creating the Delaware Animal-Activist Network (DAN). DAN works exactly like HAN but is concerned more with state, county or local issues/legislation and has a wider more community based membership. In 2005 DAA plans to enter partnerships with two national animal advocacy groups to build a team of like minded people and groups interested in advancing state and local legislation focused on non-companion animals while continuing participation on task forces and coalitions focused specifically on legislation impacting cats and dogs. We are today and will continue to be in need of people to coordinate or lead these network initiatives. The work tends to be administrative in nature and for the most part can be done from home.

DAA more actively participates in the political process in the following ways. Although it takes a bit of time to become effective in these areas, most of the people involved today had no prior experience when they started. If you have an interest in becoming involved in any of them please contact us for more information.

  • Building a unified voting blocks. By examining voting records we identify candidates who have or have not demonstrated a concern for animals.
  • Contacting and meeting face to face with federal, state and local legislators regarding specific legislation affecting animals,
  • Attending and making presentations at governmental meetings such as the Governors Council on Game and Fish, 
  • Participating on governmental task forces such as the Attorney Generals Task Force on the connection between domestic violence and animal cruelty and DNREC’s Deer Plan Task Force,
  • Attending and entering information into the record at USFW (federal) and DNREC (state) public hearings dealing with animals and related quality of life and public safety issues,
  • Participating in smaller meetings such as “legislative wrap ups” where groups of local legislators interact with their constituencies.
  • Discussing current animal legislation and voting records of legislators at numerous community events across the state,
  • Attending political activism training conducted by the Humane Society of the United States and the National Institute for Animal Advocacy

Legislative Links

Locate and contact federal, and state elected officials: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/

Contact New Castle, Kent and Sussex County Officials. http://www.ipa.udel.edu/directory/links/muni-sites.asp

Contact Mayors and City Managers across Delaware.
http://www.ipa.udel.edu/localgovt/dllg/mayors-managers.asp

Legislative Information 

Learn more about the legislative process. http://www.house.gov/house/Tying_it_all.shtml

Learn what the Humane Society of the United States weekly legislative action alert provides and how you can get it. http://www.hsus.org/ace/11930