The Johnson Amendment is a federal law that prohibits tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing candidates. This provision protects the integrity of houses of worship and non-profit organizations and prevents them from being used as tools of political candidates and those seeking political power. Even so, President Trump has vowed to “get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment,” and some Members of Congress have introduced legislation to do just that.

There is a tremendous need to educate Members of Congress and their staffs about what the Johnson Amendment is and why it is important to keep it. Therefore, communities across the United States are visiting the offices of their elected Representatives and Senators to drop-off literature that will educate the office staff and to send the message to elected members of Congress that their constituents care about this issue and do not want to see any repeal or weakening of the current law.


Here is how it works:

 

1. Select a day during the July 4 recess (July 3-7) that works with your schedule.

2. Invite a friend or two to go with you. Groups of two or more always convey a greater sense of strength.

3. Look up the office locations of your Representative and both of your Senators. It is important to visit all three if at all possible.

4. Download the educational literature for each office you visit that will help educate your elected officials.

5. Call the office before you arrive to make sure staff members are there.

6. When you arrive be sure to let staff members know that you are a constituent and why you’re there. Here is a sample script you can use:

“Hi my name is __________, and I am a member of __________ (list group or faith community you are with, and then allow your friends to introduce yourself and share what groups or house of worship they are affiliated with).

As constituents we wanted to drop off some important educational materials on the Johnson Amendment for Representative/Senator
__________ and his/her staff. The Johnson Amendment is a federal law that prohibits tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing candidates. This provision protects the integrity of houses of worship and non-profit organizations and prevents them from being used as tools of political candidates and those seeking political power. If Representative/Senator __________ or his/her staff have any questions they can contact me at  __________ (give all your pertinent information or simply leave a card).

Thank you.

7. Tell us about each of your visits! Email Bill Mefford at mefford@au.org to let us know how it went and if there was any conversation, or, better yet, take a selfie outside the office and send it to Bill – we would love to share it with others!

You can share your photo on social media using #CommunityNotCandidates.