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AI-Driven Electric Motorcycle Shows Self-Driving Tech Is About More Than Autonomous Driving

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by John Koetsier from https://www.forbes.com/

Damon Motorcycles unveiled its new electric motorcycle today at CES in Las Vegas, calling it “the world’s smartest, safest and most powerful electric motorcycle.”

My first thought: it can’t be both the most powerful and the safest.

Then I kept reading.

And I started believing it might be possible.

First off: the power. The Damon Hypersport has “over 200” horsepower, which is a lot for a motorcycle. But even more impressively, it delivers 200nm of torque at zero RPMs … the classic electric vehicle advantage. (Although how RPM means something in an electric motor is a mystery to me.) Thanks to that power, the bike has a top speed of 200 miles/hour.

Which, by the way, doesn’t sound very safe.

But the safety features are impressive.

As you’d expect in a motorcycle, they’re not about crumple zones or air bags.

Instead, they’re about intelligence. Specifically, predictive intelligence: what’s around me, where is it going and what do I need to avoid? The Hypersport will track the speed, direction and acceleration of up to 64 moving objects around the bike, Damon says.

Damon calls it the “CoPilot 360º advanced warning system.” CoPilot 360 uses cameras, radar and “other sensors” to know what’s around and alert riders to threats, the company says.

“We spent the last three years developing an AI-powered, fully connected, e-motorcycle platform that incorporates CoPilot, our proprietary 360º warning system … Damon motorcycles will be the safest, most advanced electric motorcycles on the market.”
– Jay Giraud, co-founder and CEO, Damon Motorcycles

That’s not just about what’s ahead of you. The system “looks around corners,” although I’m sure it’s not bending any laws of physics, and keeps an “eye” on the rear to see what might be coming from behind.

And, it will learn your driving habits and adjust accordingly, using onboard artificial intelligence.

“We prioritized data-driven thinking at the epicenter of the company, employing radical innovations in sensor fusion, robotics and AI,” Dom Kwong, the co-founder and CTO of Damon Motorcycles, said in a statement. “This level of deep learning and connectivity are unprecedented, ensuring each rider a smarter, safer and connected ride; not only for individuals but for entire communities, with the goal to reduce incidents worldwide.”

To connect riders and power the bike’s AI and other advanced features, it includes 4G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Of course, there are two big questions:

One: will riders actually be safer with warnings about oncoming objects, or will they prioritize what they see on the screen versus watching the road? Will a flood of alerts distract them or make them safer?

And secondly: with software, the devil’s in the details. Few transportation companies that aren’t named Tesla do it well. Will this startup be able to ship these advanced technologies in a usable, friendly and safe way?

Damon says yes, citing the foundation of their software:

“By building it on BlackBerry’s best-in-class technology that is safety certified, Damon motorcycles will be the safest, most advanced electric motorcycles on the market,” says CEO Giraud.

That’s BlackBerry QNX, which is built by the former mobile giant, now re-focused on software solutions.

Ultimately, we’ll know when the bike ships.

The Hypersport is available for pre-order now on the Damon website. Pricing begins at $24,995 before any applicable EV tax credits.

And the range? 200 miles on the highway, 300 miles in the city, according to the company.

2020 National Motorcycle Profiling Survey

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The 2020 National Motorcycle Profiling Survey has only 6 questions that are designed to help define the profiling trends so we can focus our resources in the areas that need it the most. Your participation will have a long lasting, positive impact on the community.This survey on average will take 4 minutes to complete.

The information collected in these surveys has been an essential part in lobbying efforts at both state and national levels, and without a doubt provide critical data points for the grassroots activist to intelligently communicate issues impacting the motorcycle community and influence change.

With over 23,000 survey participants from all walks of life, the National Motorcycle Profiling Surveys, with 99% accuracy, has proven that many motorcyclists are being targeted by law enforcement based on appearance. This information was the foundation of the argument that resulted in the Motorcycle Profiling Resolution (S. Res. 154) passing in the U.S. Senate with unanimous consent on December 11, 2018.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY

Notes:

**NO PERSONAL DATA IS REQUIRED. YOUR PRIVACY AND ANONYMITY ARE IMPORTANT AND RESPECTED. By asking for no more than your zip code, which is also voluntary, there is no personal information to maintain or protect.

**If you or your organization are interested in cosponsoring this survey, or would like to get survey results specific to your state, please contact David “Double D” Devereaux at:
doubled@motorcycleprofilingproject.com

Enfield to glam up, slim down bikes for women, GenX

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New bikes from Royal Enfield are likely to be the most affordable ones.

Royal Enfield is slimming down to conquer. It plans to make far lighter bikes, offering lower and more comfortable seating positions, to draw youngsters and women to a brand that has hitherto been associated with men who had truly arrived. And these will likely be the most affordable bikes as well from the maker of the iconic Bullet.

These bikes will weigh significantly less than the Bullet and be seated lower, styled after the roadster. Due for launch in the first quarter of 2020, these are internally codenamed J1C, and may sell under the Explorer brand.

The model has been developed after taking critical feedback from women and youngsters to offer them a bike with comfortable ingress/egress and steer away from the traditional perception of Royal Enfield ‘bulk’, said several industry executives aware of the plans.

“While we cannot comment about future product line-ups, we can confirm that at Royal Enfield, we assign huge focus on keeping our motorcycles accessible and approachable to all, in an endeavour to bring more people to experience pure leisure motorcycling,” a spokesperson told ET.

The company declined to discuss its product pipeline, features and pricing strategies.

Royal Enfield was losing a significant chunk of upgraders to competition as rivals launched several sports bikes. The Explorer is an attempt to wrest back the initiative, industry experts believe.

The launch of J1C is part of a new product onslaught, and the plan envisages launching at least one new product every quarter from 2020. After J1C, the company will be launching the new generation Thunderbird, which may be re-christened as Meteor, before the BS-VI versions of Classic and Bullet hit the road in 2020.

Royal Enfield has upgraded the existing UCE or Unit Construction Engine for BS VI emission norms to ensure adequate availability.

Struggling to arrest volume declines, Royal Enfield has undertaken a series of accessibility measures that include product enhancements, geographic expansions, and establishment of small-format retail stores.

To be sure, the total number of driving licences issued in India is 161.1 million, of which about a tenth is issued to women drivers. Women buyers account for about 7-8% of the existing Royal Enfield volumes. Although the numbers are still small, more women are buying bikes such as the Himalayan or Thunderbird X.

The new platform for women motorbike enthusiasts would open a vast opportunity for the company, which has seen untapped potential in Goa, Chandigarh, Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka.

Goa has the highest proportion of women drivers, with 23% of the total number of licences issued to women. For Chandigarh and Maharashtra, the comparable figures are 18.47% and 18.28%, according to the Road Transport Year book of 2016.

In the second quarter of FY20, sales volumes from Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka accounted for a quarter of the total at Royal Enfield.

The monthly run-rate of Royal Enfield dropped 15% to 60,334 in the first eight months of the current fiscal year. The Street expects sales volume of 7.25-7.30 lakh units in the current fiscal year, which implies a decline of about 12%, the first in at least a decade.

Harley-Davidson ridership course at UWM sees growth after second semester

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by Margaret Naczek from https://www.bizjournals.com/

Last spring, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee offered its first Harley-Davidson one-credit ridership class through the College of Health Sciences. Four students enrolled the first semester followed by an additional 16 students in the fall of 2019.

As students begin enrolling in classes for spring 2020, the director of the College of Health Sciences Ron Wiza said there are only four remaining slots available.

As the program grows, so do the amount of motorcycle riders, coinciding with Harley-Davidson’s “More Roads Lead to Harley-Davidson” strategic plan. Part of Harley-Davidson’s plan is the Broader Access goal to “create new pathways to Harley-Davidson, expanding access and appeal to more people around the world.”

The Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer detailed that it hopes to create high-engagement customer experiences across all retail channels. The company’s “Amplify Brand” goal also encourages “enhancing the Harley-Davidson experience to inspire interest in riding, fostering Moto-culture and build an even bigger, more passionate community of Harley-Davidson riders.”

The program began as a partnership between Harley-Davidson and UW-Milwaukee. The company connected Wiza with Milwaukee Harley-Davidson dealership at 11310 W. Silver Spring Road.

“The other reason that we chose the Milwaukee Harley-Davidson location is because even though UW-Milwaukee is a commuter college where a lot of people don’t live on campus, there are still several thousand students that live in the surrounding community around UWM,” Wiza said, noting that it was important to pick a dealership that was either close to the campus or accessible on the transit line.

“Here at UWM, we’re kind of an urban campus. One of our selling points is we are always encouraging students who attend our university to experience the vast array of things that Milwaukee has to offer,” Wiza said. “With that in mind, we strive to create partnerships and develop opportunities with local well-known businesses and attractions in the Milwaukee area.”

Twenty-year-old Grace Oddis, a sophomore studying mechanical engineering at UWM, took the course in its inaugural semester.

“I knew the class was really expensive. I saw that UWM offered it as a credit. I thought that would be a great opportunity to take it and also get a credit, just for the goal of being able to ride on the road and feel comfortable,” Oddis said.

As a one-credit class, the students are required to commit about 48 hours of learning to that course. For the Harley-Davidson ridership class, students complete a pre-course and post-course assignment along with two evening sessions. The rest of the time is dedicated to a weekend at the dealership doing the physical motorcycle driving lessons.

“We learned a lot about motorcycle safety. That was the biggest thing — how to prevent things from happening, being able to go around different obstacles and keeping the bike straight on the safety course,” Oddis said.

Now the sophomore has her motorcycle license and is looking at buying a bike, something that would have taken longer if she had not participated in the course.

“I thought it was a great experience. You felt comfortable. You felt safe. I think it’s great to get more women involved in motorcycles and teaching them. This was a great way for a college student to be able to do that no matter what you’re going to school for,” she said.

Harley-Davidson did not respond to a Milwaukee Business Journal request for comments on the UWM program.

Hayley Bell named American Motorcyclist Association 2019 Motorcyclist of the Year

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U.K. rider founded Women Riders World Relay, helped unite motorcyclists worldwide

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — For calling attention to the needs of women riders and for creating a worldwide connection among them, Hayley Bell of the United Kingdom has been named the American Motorcyclist Association 2019 Motorcyclist of the Year.

Bell is the founder and president of global business development for the Women Riders World Relay, a movement joined by thousands of motorcyclists from 84 countries to create a “global sisterhood of inspirational women” and to demonstrate to motorcycle manufacturers and makers of riding gear that female riders are a formidable and growing market that deserves their attention.

The AMA Motorcyclist of the Year designation, awarded annually by the AMA Board of Directors, recognizes the individual or group that had the most profound impact on the world of motorcycling in the previous 12 months.

“For her efforts to promote the motorcycle lifestyle around the world and bring together riders from all nations and backgrounds, conveying the positive aspects of motorcycling and drawing attention to the market potential of female riders, Hayley Bell is the 2019 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year,” said Maggie McNally-Bradshaw, chair of the AMA Board of Directors. “Women riders are an important segment of the motorcycling community and they are a critical building block for the future. Hayley’s efforts not only reaffirm that sentiment, but they help carry it forward at a time when motorcycling needs new riders in the fold.”

Women Riders World Relay participants carried the relay baton for a leg of the journey through their countries, then passed it along to the next group of riders. The relay brought together women from diverse cultures and bridged political differences, even across national borders.

Bell was determined that the Women Riders World Relay demonstrate that female riders “are exactly equal to other riders.” Along the way, the relay drew support and participation from male riders, as well.

The full story about Bell and her accomplishments can be found in the January issue of American Motorcyclist magazine.

Senate Hearing – Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology

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November 20, 2019 – Senate Hearing – Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology

Today the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing entitled Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology. This hearing comes on the heels of a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) board meeting yesterday regarding the investigation of a March 2018 crash of an Uber Autonomous Vehicle (AV) that resulted in the death of a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.

The NTSB released some startling revelations in their investigation of the 2018 deadly crash. Among those that the software did not properly identify the victim as a pedestrian, it did not adequately assess safety risks and the operator of the vehicle was watching a TV show on her phone and was not watching the road. Additionally, the NTSB cited an “inadequate safety culture” at Uber.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) applauds the NTSB and the U.S. Senate for holding public hearings on AV technology and safety concerns. The MRF is committed to fighting for the safety of motorcyclists as this new technology is deployed on our nation’s roadways. While we are hopeful that this technology can reduce accidents on our nation’s roads, we agree with the statement of Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) when he said of AV technology “I think a healthy degree of skepticism is a good thing.”

During today’s Senate hearing, it was especially important that two U.S. Senators specifically addressed the concerns of motorcyclists during the hearing. In a question directed to Joel Szabat, Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation Senator John Thune (R-SD) asked, “In developing a regulatory framework for AVs can you speak to how other roadways users such as motorcycles are considered?” The Assistant Secretary responded by saying “Motorcyclists are well incorporated in the development of policy in the department.”

Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) echoed Senator Thune’s interest in motorcycles when he said, “I am avid motorcyclist. The number one reason for accidents is a car hitting a motorcyclist or a car pulling out in front of a motorcyclist.”

Other Senators include Sen. Cantwell (D-WA) raised concerns about the current deployment of AVs without minimum standards from the federal government, “We need some standards.” In response, Robert Sumwalt, Chairman of the NTSB agreed by saying that “Whatever is working now is not working as well as it should.” We at the MRF agree that minimum standards should be in place as this new technology becomes more and more prevalent on the roads we all share.

Chairman Sumwalt of the NTSB closed the hearing with this statement, “I think that AV technology holds great promise to improve safety, but it has to be done properly.” We at the MRF could not agree more.

MRF President Kirk “Hardtail” Willard stated, “As a motorcyclist it offends me when bureaucrats are discussing various inevitable, emerging vehicle and advanced roadway technologies they default to classifying us as vulnerable and in need some sort of protection. I would rather and especially in the specific case of Autonomous Vehicles we be thoroughly considered and fully recognizable and therefore not needing extra protection. As with anything affecting motorcyclists this is another example where the Motorcycle Riders Foundation will demand we remain a significant part of the strategy for roadway users.”

You can read the opening statements or watch the hearing by clicking the link below:
Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders. The MRF is chiefly concerned with issues at the national and international levels that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. The MRF is committed to being a national advocate for the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle and works in conjunction with its partners to help educate elected officials and policymakers in Washington and beyond.

SA Police launch first solo road safety campaign with a focus on the safety of motorcyclists

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by Steve Rice from https://www.perthnow.com.au

Motorcycles – there’s a lot riding on it. SA Police’s first solo road safety campaign intermingles the process of starting a bike with candid moments of a father’s life. You’ll ride slower after this.

The campaign – the first since the Motor Accident Commission was wound up in June – focuses on motorcycle riders and specifically men, who are most at risk while on the road.

It emphasises the need for them to return home safely and shows a variety of invaluable life elements – partners, children and pets – that would be lost if they died.

Police say riding motorcycles is a dangerous form of transport because of low visibility and minimal protection on the roads and that men are over represented in casualty crashes.

Motorcyclists comprise 15 of the state’s 89 road fatalities so far this year, compared with 10 for the whole of 2018.

The greatest representation of motorcycle-related serious injuries last year were men aged 50-59 followed by men aged 30-39.

SA Police acting Assistant Commissioner Dean Miller said the campaign aimed to address attitudes towards motorcycle riding.

“Police are committed to improving road safety to reduce road deaths and serious injury crashes on South Australian roads,” he said.

“We believe this is a very balanced approach to changing road user behaviour, particularly for motorcyclists. It contributes to our overall goal to make our roads safer for every road user.”

Police Minister Corey Wingard said the campaign was hard-hitting and would make an impression on motorcycle riders.

“We as a Government needed to look at better ways of tackling road safety,” he said.

“SAPOL is in a unique position when it comes to road safety issues as they see first-hand the trauma that can occur on our roads.

“I applaud SAPOL for this powerful campaign and I’m hopeful it will resonate with all those who see it.”

The campaign production also generated 47 locals jobs and injected money back into the South Australian economy.

Riders visit House of Harley-Davidson, bring non-perishable food for Hunger Task Force

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from https://fox6now.com/

GREENFIELD — The House of Harley-Davidson held a customer appreciation event on Saturday, Oct. 26 — and all for a great cause.

Riders of all ages were invited to the motorcycle dealership to listen to live music, carve up some pumpkins and enjoy some great food.

Those who visited were encouraged to help the House to “Stuff the Truck” — by bringing a non-perishable food item. If they did, they got free food from the Milwaukee H.O.G. Chapter. All donations were headed for the Hunger Task Force.

We the Riders: One Movement for Everyone

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Limitless. Global. Unified. WTR is a community for ALL riders.

The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) today announced its branding re-release for the We, The Riders (WTR) campaign. Both on and off the roads, all riders are equal, and there is strength in their beautiful diversity; this is the core vision of the rebranded We, The Riders campaign that is being launched today through the release of their promotional video. WTR stands ready to deliver an unmatched community experience and aims to unify the global population of motorcycling enthusiasts, providing them with a central social media hub.

Anyone can be passionate about motorcycling, anyone can learn to ride, and anyone can be a rider. Diversity is one of the fundamental, underpinning features of riding, and this historic movement will bring an unprecedented sense of closeness and community into the motorcycling world.

“Motorcycling is a global sport, pastime and passion, and it deserves an authentic, global movement that brings everyone together. Across all levels of performance, from all nations and across all differences, motorcycling has the capacity to unify people, and that is exactly what We, The Riders, is going to facilitate.” explained Jorge Viegas, FIM President.

The aim of the WTR campaign is to create a global movement for a safer, more sustainable, more exciting and more unified riding experience, free from discrimination and full of diversity. The movement was founded on four pillars, all given equal weight:

● Safety: education drives change, and the WTR movement will provide both online education and downloadable guides, as well as develop the reach of influential safety Ambassadors who are to be tasked with promoting rider safety across all aspects of motorcycling.

● Sustainability: diffusing news and information on eco-friendly motorcycling research, reporting on all concrete FIM actions for sustainability, and showcasing members’ innovative sustainability solutions are a vital part of the movement in today’s world.

● Leisure: riding is a way of life which goes beyond the passion of motorsports, and WTR brings attention to the underrepresented aspect of riding for leisure. Motorcycling also represents a large part of personal transportation in every day life. All riders are unified by the WTR campaign.

● Equality: showcasing the diversity of the WTR community and ensuring all riders are represented in our campaign materials. From gender, origin and (dis)ability to the more niche areas of motorcycling, WTR is for everyone.

About the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM):
The FIM is the official world Governing Body for motorcycle sport and the global advocate for motorcycling. Bringing together 111 National Federations, it is recognised as the sole competent authority in motorcycle sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Dedicated to sustainability, FIM was the first International sporting Federation to enforce an environmental code, doing so in 1994.

By launching this re-branded initiative, both the FIM and the WTR campaign are working towards a more unified motorcycling community, providing opportunities for growing the motorcycling fanbase and providing a platform for authentic, meaningful and innovative interactions and collaborations.

Riding Free from DC: Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway

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Meeting of the Minds

Last week the 35th Annual Meeting of the Minds was held in Bloomington, Minnesota. The gathering of so many dedicated and selfless motorcycle advocates in one place was powerful. We in D.C. are continually talking with lawmakers about our membership and the riding community but being in the same room with the people we represent further fueled our passion for advocating on your behalf.

Two full days of meetings and panels covered a wide range of issues including collaboration between SMRO’s and clubs, lobbying tips and tricks, our health, being a better brother and sister, the MRF PAC and the establishment of the 2020 MRF legislative priorities.

On Saturday night, we heard from two guest speakers. First Rep. Peter Stauber from the 8th Congressional district of Minnesota spent 20 minutes discussing many of the issues we face at the federal level in D.C. Congressman Stauber is a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and pledged to work with the MRF to fight for our priorities in the upcoming transportation bill. Additionally, as a former law enforcement officer, he understood our concerns regarding motorcyclist profiling and was proud to be a cosponsor of H.Res. 255 since June. He offered to meet with the D.C. team in the coming weeks to follow up on our priorities.

Second, State Senator John Hoffman from the Minnesota State Senate addressed the group. He spoke about working with local motorcycle rights groups and the battles and victories that have been fought at the State Capitol in St. Paul.  

Having both a federal and a state elected officials speak to us demonstrates that motorcycle rights are a battle fought on different fronts.  State legislators and federal lawmakers each play a different but useful role in the fight for motorcycle rights. We want to thank ABATE of Minnesota for arranging the guest speakers.

We want to recognize representatives from the American Motorcyclist Association and Harley Davidson for making the trip from D.C. to be a part of Meeting of the Minds. Collaboration between our organizations has been improving for the last few years, and we appreciate their willingness to visit with our members and continue working together on areas of common interest. 

As always, the MRF board came to Minnesota a day early for a board meeting and overall review of the MRF as an organization. It goes without saying that these board members sacrifice their time, energy and money to sustain the MRF and the continued the fight for motorcyclist rights. Thank you to all the board members for their selfless efforts.  A special thanks to Fred Harrell, Director of Conferences & Events, for his work organizing the 35th Meeting of the Minds. 

Finally, none of this would have been possible without ABATE of Minnesota.  Our friends in Minnesota spent countless hours of their own time volunteering to ensure this edition of Meeting of the Minds went off without a hitch. We are grateful for their efforts and for setting a high standard for the 36th edition of Meeting of the Minds in Indiana in 2020.  Be sure to mark your calendars to join us next year on September 24-27th.

Do Your Homework:

As an advocate for motorcyclist rights, every member of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation should know one simple number, the number of motorcycles registered in your state. Whether you are meeting with a lawmaker, legislative staff or just having a dialogue with a non-rider, the ability to drop that number into a conversation is a powerful tool.

Being able to quantify how many riders are in a given state demonstrates that motorcyclists are not some minor part of the transportation world but rather a substantial part of the fabric that makes up our state and local communities.

Some states provide even more in-depth statistics including total driver licenses with motorcycle endorsements and motorcycle registrations by county. We encourage you to do your homework and gather as much data as possible. You never know when having motorcycle statistics at your fingertips will come in handy!

Do you know how many motorcyclists are registered in your state? If not, click here to see the most recent statistics from the Federal Highway Administration 2016 report.

Standing Update:

We are currently at 91 cosponsors from 36 states and one territory for H. Res 255, the motorcycle profiling resolution. An additional 6 new cosponsors since our last update. The map below shows which states have at least one lawmaker signed on as a cosponsor.  Is your state not filled in yet?  Check with the D.C.  team about how we can work together to secure cosponsors from your state.

As we continue to move the needle here on Capitol Hill,  we ask that you stand by for any future Calls to Action to help ensure that we can secure the passage of this resolution.