Dear Family and Friends,
Thank you for your support and helping us pass the The Chai Suthammanont Remembrance Act in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.B. 7430). Now, Senators Warner (D-VA) and Van Hollen (D-MD) have introduced the Senate version of the bill (S. 4766).
Our strategy for getting REPUBLICAN support in the Senate is to emphasize four key points:
- Federal workers and contract workers are in every single state, making them constituents of every single Senator – not only Democrats, not only Republicans.
- The bill is about transparency and commonsense rules that will help us get back into the workplace, a central goal of lawmakers, especially as espoused by Republicans, while providing reassurance for workers’ safety and well-being (physically and mentally), especially as espoused by Democrats.
- The OMB, under the Trump administration, has no objections to the bill.
- The bill passed the House on a bi-partisan basis – unopposed by a single Republican.
1. Find out how many federal workers are in your state
- Go to Governing.com
- Scroll down to “Select”
- Select your state from the list
- Cite the Labor Department’s total federal jobs estimate. For example, Colorado has an estimated 53,158 federal workers.
2. Find your Senator
- Visit Find Your Senators
- Select your state from the “Choose a State” dropdown
3. Use this script as a guide
You: Hello, my name is [Full Name]. I’m a voter here in [name of state.] I’m calling to ask Senator [last name] to support an important piece of legislation that was just passed on a bipartisan basis in the House and was introduced in the Senate as S. 4766.
Staff: May I get your street address and spelling of your name?
You: Provide answer to question or information.
Staff: Something to effect of, “You’re calling about a bill ?
You: I’m calling to urge Senator [last name] to support The Chai Suthammanont Remembrance Act (S. 4766). In fact, I would like Senator [last name] to co-sponsor the bill, which simply requires Federal agencies to provide, at least 30 days in advance of bringing workers back into Federal workplaces, a plan for keeping federal workers safe while doing their work.
In [your state], alone, we have [number of federal workers] and [number of federal contract workers], totaling [total number] federal workers that this bill would provide for.
The bill is named in honor of [state your relationship to Chai: “my dear friend,” “my uncle,” “my brother,” “my friend and colleague,” etc], Chai Suthammanont [soo-tam-man-aunt], who contracted COVID from a co-worker while working in the Child Development Center on the Marine Corp base at Quantico. As Representative Connolly said during the floor vote in the House, Chai’s death was preventable. The lack of protocols, the lack of PPE, and the lack of enforcement of CDC guidelines all lead to Chai’s tragic infection and, ultimately, his death on May 26, 2020, after being on a ventilator for 13 days. He left behind a workplace forever changed, a community forever denied a great citizen, four sons and their families – including four grandchildren — forever deprived of a father’s love and guidance, and a wife denied sharing their golden years together.
I am asking Senator [last name] to support this bill so that other workers and their families, friends, and communities do not suffer the same, unnecessary death as my [friend / son-in-law / father / brother / brother-in-law].
Staff: May ask additional questions or may say something along the lines of “I’m sorry for your loss. Thank you for calling. I’ll be sure to let the Senator know.”
You: Thank you. I will follow the bill’s progress on congress.gov and hope to see the Senator’s support for the bill there. In the meantime, if you would like to see who this extraordinary person was, to learn just how senseless his death really was, please visit www.RememberingChai.com. You’ll know why the bill is named after this special person.
- Sept. 30: Rep. Connolly on the passage of H.R. 7430
- June 25: House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing
- June 15: Rep. Connolly requests that the Department of Defense IG investigate Chai’s death.
- Christina Suthammanont’s Statement for the Record