With April around the corner, now is the time to request Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month (SAAM) resolutions or proclamations from school boards, city councils, and state governments.
Sangats across the country have been able to use SAAM to raise awareness about the Sikh community at the local level. Since many state, county, and local governments have embraced virtual meetings, requesting and obtaining a Sikh awareness resolution or proclamation is easier than ever before. The following step-by-step guide can help sangat members to reach their local governments to help proclaim April as SAAM:
Step 1: Decide which government official you want to request a resolution from and look up their contact information at https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials. You can request a proclamation from your governor, state legislature, city or county council, and/or school board. Please note that some government websites have a proclamation or resolution request form where you can ask for a SAAM proclamation or resolution using the draft language in this toolkit. If you are unsure of how to submit a request, it is best to contact that office directly via phone or email.
Step 2: Introduce yourself and share a little more information about the local Sikh community with the government official’s office (e.g. when the first gurdwara was established in the area, notable news or seva in the sangat, etc.). Ask them to introduce a SAAM resolution or proclamation to ensure that the broader community is aware of who Sikhs are and our positive contributions to the United States. Click here for an additional easy-to-use messaging resource on how to talk to an elected official about SAAM, and share the included draft language with them.
Step 3: Regularly follow-up with the office and keep the Sikh Coalition updated about the status of your resolution request. You can email Sikh Coalition staff at [email protected] with questions or concerns.
Even if your city, state or school district has recognized SAAM before, it does not necessarily mean that it will automatically happen again. In most cases, proclamations and resolutions must be renewed every year, which means that government offices have to hear from the sangat. Many offices require that requests be submitted well in advance, so we recommend submitting as soon as possible.