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SPSSI Policy News RSS Feed - April 2, 2009

Advocacy Alert!

House Members Circulate ‘Dear Colleague’ Supporting Administration Request for NSF Funds, SPSSI Members Can Help

A dear colleague letter requesting approval of the Obama Administration's request of $7 billion for the National Science Foundation in FY2010 is currently being circulated to members serving on the House Appropriations Committee by Representatives Vernon J. Ehlers (R-MI-3), Rush Holt (D-NJ-12), Dan Lipinski (D-IL-3), Bill Foster (D-IL-14), and Bob Inglis (R-SC-4).

Interested SPSSI members can contact their members of Congress to encourage them to sign on to the letter in support of the recommended NSF funding allocation by visiting, entering their zip code and locating e-mail and phone number information for their respective representatives.  If you have further questions about FY2010 budget information, please contact SPSSI Policy Coordinator Chris Woodside at  

*‘Dear Colleague’ letters are internal communication devices utilized by members of Congress to share information and solicit support for new pieces of legislation central to their agendas, positions on particular hot button issues, funding matters, and various other political footballs.  Constituents can directly impact the overall attention that members pay to particular Dear Colleague letters by contacting their representatives to express support or disapproval for issues of the day.

Advocacy Alert!

New York Campaign Against Torture Launches Grassroots Outreach Effort

The New York Campaign Against Torture (NYCAT) is seeking grassroots and organizational support for a bill recently introduced by Assembly Member Richard Gottfried in the New York State Assembly.  The coalition is soliciting assistance from individuals as well as from prison reform groups, progressive health professional groups, civil liberties and human rights groups, and others interested in protecting detainees and prisoners rights.

The New York Campaign Against Torture is a coalition of health professionals, attorneys, human rights advocates, students, and other groups or individuals committed to abolishing the torture and abuse of persons in custody at home and abroad, and to guaranteeing their humane treatment in accordance with domestic and international human rights standards. 

Assembly Member Richard Gottfried’s bill is part of a larger state level effort by the NYCAT to stop health professionals from participating in detainee abuse, and in New York, has grown to apply to the treatment of any prisoner.  This particular legislation prohibits any licensed New York health professional from participating in interrogations or any "improper treatment" (as defined by international as well as domestic law and standards) with any prisoner, whether detainees in the 'war on terror' or prisoners held in domestic prisons.  The bill was recently introduced and now has an official number:  A6665. 

View the official text of the bill:

SPSSI members interested in supporting or joining this NYCAT initiative should contact Steven Reisner directly at  If you live outside of New York and would be interested in participating in a similar effort in your own state, NYCAT can assist.  Again, please contact Steven Reisner with all questions or suggestions.

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Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.
                                                                                                                    - Kurt Lewin