Using the successful formula established by groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, mothers groups are revving up messaging, lobbying and events to keep the issue of gun control in the national spotlight.
And they’ve got a secret weapon — bringing their cute kids along to lobby members of Congress.
“When you go to Capitol Hill and walk the marble halls, there are very few children around,” said Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director and CEO of MomsRising, which boasts more than 1.2 million members. “When we do come through with children, people do stop and listen and I think that’s important because kids are seldom there.”
Next week, members of MomsRising will go to Capitol Hill with their children dressed in cow costumes to deliver small cow toys to Senators with the message that they should not be “cowed” by the gun lobby and to get “moo-ving” on gun policy. Last February, they roamed the halls of the Hill with a children’s choir. For the July 4th holiday, another group called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is marching in parades across the country.
“We have found that most politicians do listen when moms and children speak, and that they do take time out to hear the stories and to look at the messages,” Rowe-Finkbeiner said.
But it’s not just cute kids in cow costumes. These mothers groups are planning to have some serious political influence on the 2014 midterm elections, creating PACs, registering themselves as 501(c)4 organizations and running ads on the local level.
“We’re going to be a force to be reckoned with in the 2014 midterms, moms are so engaged in this they’re just not going away,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, a group formed after December’s Newtown, Conn. shootings that killed 20 first graders and six adults.
Moms Demand Action has teamed up with Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund, placing an ad on the homepage of Thursday’s USA Today website, calling for signatures to a petition to “declare your independence from gun violence.” More than 85,000 people have signed the petition as of Thursday.
Post Continues: Moms ‘moo-ving’ on gun control push – Hadas Gold – POLITICO.com.