It has been a long time in the making but FAN is ready to announce another national conference. This will be our fifth. We held three on the campus of St. Lawrence University and another in Missisaugua, Ontario in 2008. Since Ellen and I moved from Canton, NY this event has become more difficult to organize. However, with a lot of help from Cynthia Erville from Spring Valley, Maryland, we are ready to go ahead with a conference in the Washington, DC area. The dates planned for this would be the weekend of September 6 and 7, with the possibility of a lobby day on Monday, September 8.
This conference will allow you a) to meet in person campaigners from around the country (and possibly beyond); b) meet the members of the FAN team; c) be at the launch of an exciting new action orientated group (details to be announced soon); d) hear about the latest science on fluoridation’s health risks directly from the experts; e) learn the most effective campaign tactics and gain access to FAN’s latest advocacy resources and f) help plan some actions to pressure Federal agencies to do their job and protect us and our children from this toxic substance. The latter include:
1) The FDA, which has never regulated the chemicals used in fluoridation or fluoride for ingestion;
2) The EPA (Office of Water), which has the task of determining a new MCLG for fluoride. If they used the end point of lowered IQ it would force an end to fluoridation overnight!
3) The DHHS, which appears in all it is divisions to be more interested in protecting the fluoridation program than protecting the health of our citizens. In particular, we have to stop the CDC using huge amounts of taxpayers’ money on the biased promotion of fluoridation. If taxpayers money is involved it should be used to provide objective information on the health risks not just self-serving information on benefits. Propaganda should be left to well-heeled organizations like the ADA, Delta Dental and the Pew Charitable Trust. They are good at it!
This planning will continue into Monday during our lobby day, where we will actively lobby federal employees at these agencies as well as your Senators, Congressmen, and their staff. This will be FAN’s first Washington lobby day. You don’t want to miss this historic event.
Currently we are negotiating with hotels for the best deal and it would be very helpful for us to know how much interest there would be in such a conference. Your feedback on the following questions would give us an idea of numbers and help us shape the event in other ways.
Could you please answer the following questions:
1) Would you be interested in attending?
2) How many in your party?
3) Would you plan to arrive on Friday night or early Saturday morning?
4) Would you plan to leave on Sunday afternoon/evening or Monday morning?
5) Would you be interested in participating in the lobby day planned for Monday (and leave on Monday afternoon/evening)?
6) Would you prefer a hotel close to the Ronald Reagan National Airport (with a free shuttle) or a hotel in DC itself near a metro stop (the metro operates from the airport and is easy to use)?
7) The prices we are looking at the moment (including taxes) are in the region of $100 – $120 per night for double occupancy rooms. In order to halve your hotel costs would you be willing to share a room?
8) We are looking for a hotel with adequate meeting space so that once in the hotel there will be minimal need for travel, apart from food. Food is not included in the hotel price, but we will be looking for hotels, a) which have their own restaurant, b) and/or where there are number of restaurants in easy walking distance c) and/or the rooms come with microwave and fridge. Adding all this together (travel, hotel and food) is this within your budget? If not would you be able to get your local group to help with your expenses? Maybe the group could fundraise specifically to get you and others to this event.
10) Would you plan to fly in or are you close enough to drive in or take a train? For the latter Union Station has very good metro connections which will make getting to most hotels fairly easy.
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