#KeepYourPromise Alliance Battles Congress LIVE Town Hall Meeting January 7th, 2013
After successfully garnering 63 million timeline views on Twitter at their first Town Hall, fourteen military family media organizations have now rallied to host a second live Town Hall, this time on both Twitter and Facebook, to ensure that Congress keeps their promise to military retirees. Calling themselves the #KeepYourPromise Alliance, they include The American Military Partner Association, Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Family Readiness, Army Wife Network, Homefront United Network, Military Family Advisory Network, Military Officers Association of America, MilitaryOneClick, Military Spouse JD Network, Military Spouse Magazine, Military Spouse Advocacy Network, My Military Life, National Military Family Association, Nextgen Milspouse, SpouseBUZZ.com, and USMClife.
The #KeepYourPromise movement started on December 14th when these military organizations pulled together grass-roots style to say “enough is enough” to the continual military benefit cuts targeted by legislators seeking to balance the national budget. A live social media Town Hall took place on December 16th, generating worldwide awareness of the “broken promise” to our veterans and military when pensions were cut in the Murray-Ryan Bipartisan Budget Act. What started with less than 10 people on a conference call quickly generated over 44,327 tweets. Americans responded in droves to support military retirees. In a Fox News interview Babette Maxwell, a military spouse and Founder of Military Spouse Magazine explained, “We don’t have Union representation. All we have is the honor and word of our government. And now we need help from our fellow Americans to make sure the Government stays true to their promise.”
The first viral social media response prompted main stream media to highlight the issue via FOX news, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Associated Press, Military Times, Business Insider and more with headlines streaming the “promise” concept originally coined by the group. Although the Budget Act passed both the House and Senate quickly and was signed by The President on December 26, these military organizations are hoping for a similar online result this time around as Congress returns after their holiday break. Moving to Facebook, they garnered over 10,000 likes in 48 hours. Celebrities recently jumped into the effort too, with supporting tweets from singers Kristin Chenoweth and Travis Tritt, television personality Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty, CNN’s Jake Tapper, and active duty Airborne qualified Army Ranger and MMA fighter, Colton Smith.
Surprised by the overwhelming response to the pension cuts, legislators quickly called for sweeping reforms to the Bipartisan Budget Act, vowing to make the changes necessary to restore the pension cuts and find the money elsewhere.
“The landscape of voicing your concern to Congress has changed,” according to Jennifer Pilcher, Founder and CEO of MilitaryOneClick. “In the past, Americans had to call, write, or go to the Capitol to get attention from their Representative. That’s difficult for many military families and political involvement is discouraged for active duty servicemembers. #KeepYourPromise has provided a mechanism where national supporters can finally be heard.”
Join the LIVE Town Hall Meeting on Twitter by following the hashtag #KeepYourPromise or on the Facebook page “KeepYourPromise” (all one word) starting at 9PM EST on Tuesday, January 7th where a LIVE streaming of the Town Hall will take place via the Facebook Application Spreecast. The Town Hall will be moderated by Lori Volkman, US Navy spouse, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Co-Founder of Military Spouse CEOs, and Communications Director of the Military Spouse JD Network. Featured speakers and panelists include:
Tony Carr, US Air Force Veteran, combat pilot, national op-ed writer, and Harvard Law National Security Journal editor.
Reda Hicks, US Army spouse, partner at the law firm of Diamond McCarthy LLP, and Government Relations Manager for the Military Spouse JD Network.
Rebekah Sanderlin, US Army spouse, journalist and editor, founder of Operation Marriage and Advisor, Military Family Advisory Network.
Colonel Mike Barron, USA (Ret), Deputy Director of Government Relations for MOAA, the Military Officers Association of America.
Babette Maxwell, US Navy spouse, Executive Editor at Military Spouse Magazine and founder of the Military Spouse of the Year Program.
Donald Taylor, US Air Force Veteran, former Commander of 332 Expeditionary Medical Group (Trauma Center) in Iraq, owner of Bulldog Performance, and a National Board Director at the US Air Force Association.
For more information and reaction to military pension issues, please visit the Facebook page for the #KeepYourPromise Alliance at https://www.facebook.com/pages/KeepYourPromise.