JA urges its members to lobby for passage of “conflict diamonds” legislation

Jewelers of America (JA) is launching a grassroots effort to lobby House and Senate members to support the “conflict diamonds” legislation currently working its way through Congress.

Both the Senate and the House have introduced near-identical bills aimed at severing the funding link for African wars over conflict diamonds. These bills have the support of the diamond and jewelry industries and human rights organizations.

JA is urging its 10,000-plus members to lobby their local representatives. The organization is sending its members kits this week that contain three draft letters for JA members to send to their House and Senate representatives, a “tip sheet” explaining how to best place the call to their local representatives’ office, and an introduction from Matt Runci, JA president and CEO.

“We must now secure enactment in the relatively brief period between the time Congress reconvenes after Labor Day and adjournment in late autumn,” Runci says in his letter to JA members. “Given procedural obstacles and other factors, this task requires considerable effort. Your help is essential.”

JA is requesting that its members first call their representatives then follow-up with a letter.

“This second communication is vital,” Runci says in his letter. “It serves as a written record of your position.”