Growing up in my neighborhood, everyone loved a good block party--meeting friends and neighbors, gathering together for a common purpose. Now, with just five weeks until one of the most critical elections in our lifetime, we have a new purpose, and a new type of "bloc" party.
On Sunday, October 19, animal advocates across the country will gather at Party Animals house parties to learn how they can effectively come together to form a "Humane Voting Bloc" to give animals a voice on Election Day. I hope you will join me on October 19 as we party to spread the message about electing humane candidates and passing important animal protection ballot measures.
So much is at stake for animals, and your actions can have a lasting impact on whether these creatures are protected or persecuted for years to come. As a voting bloc, we can help determine who holds the nation's top post in the White House, whether lawmakers elected to Congress demonstrate compassion and mercy for animals or utter fealty to the industries that harm them, and whether states will phase out abusive factory farming practices and inhumane dog racing.
One of our guiding principles at the Humane Society Legislative Fund is community engagement. We know we can't accomplish legislative or electoral reforms just by having a professional staff in Washington, D.C.--we need the active participation of thousands of people who care about animals all over the country. That's why we created our Party Animals program. You can host or attend a party in your community. I'll be joining you on a nationwide conference call that brings all of us together at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. You'll be hearing from some special guests, too.
Political candidates have used simple yet effective house parties to raise awareness and mobilize armies of volunteers and donors for their campaigns, and we aim to apply that same strategy to advance the cause of animal protection. Recruit as many of your friends and neighbors as possible to attend your party and become a part of the HSLF community to help make change for animals at the ballot box in 2008. And as a special incentive, HSLF will recognize the host who is most successful in his or her fundraising efforts by sponsoring him or her to attend the 2009 Taking Action for Animals Conference, which will be held July 24-27 in the nation's capital.
Party Animals brings people together on one night at the same time for a party with a purpose. In the past, we've held successful Party Animals events to advance legislation on farm animal welfare, animal fighting, horse slaughter, protecting pets in disasters, and ending Canada's seal hunt. Using tools provided by HSLF, party hosts create their own website, establish a fundraising goal, send invitations to friends and family, and collect donations through a secure online server. Campaign, lobbying, and video materials are provided. It's fun and easy and it brings people together to stand up for animals.
To join the fun, sign up to host your own event or find an event near you at the Party Animals website. I hope you will be there with me and thousands of other animal advocates from coast to coast, as we rally toward Election Day with our "Humane Voting Bloc Party."