During our advocacy conference call on Thursday night, Gavin Lindberg (CCFA legislative consultant) stressed the importance of one-on-one meetings with legislators.
Up until that point, I had pretty much stayed consistent with letters and emails. I thought it was a great jumping off point and it gave me something to focus on until my advocacy call.
On Friday, Gavin emailed me an effective document to help secure meetings with my Senators and Congressmen/women.
Eager to garner more support for "The IBD Research and Awareness Act," I called my local Congressman and both state Senators requesting meetings to discuss the bill in detail. I also faxed formal written requests to all three as well.
In hindsight, Friday probably wasn't the best day to make a request for a meeting...especially this past Friday because of the important health care vote over the weekend.
However, to my great surprise, I received an email from the office of Senator Alexander at 9:00 this morning asking where I'd like to meet (Washington D.C. office or one of his TN offices). I responded back indicating that a Tennessee meeting at his convenience would be great. Moments later, another email arrived with details that my request would be submitted to his Nashville office and I would hear back shortly.
I had a work-related meeting mid-morning, so I was out of the office for about an hour. Upon my return, I had a voice mail from the office of Senator Corker in regards to my request. I quickly dialed the number left by his staff member. Unfortunately, I was unable to speak with anyone during that time, but left a message and thanked them for their quick response.
While no dates are set up just yet, this is a great illustration of taking that first step in being a part of the political process. Our legislators represent us, so it is our obligation to let them know our thoughts and views.
I am now working on submitting a formal request to meet with Marsha Blackburn (R-TN 7th District), who previously co-sponsored a similar *bill before the House.
*This bill (H.R. 1113) was proposed in a previous session of Congress. Sessions of Congress last two years, and at the end of each session all proposed bills and resolutions that haven't passed are cleared from the books*
Again, this goes to show that time is of the essence to secure c0-sponsors, pass this bill through the House and Senate and have President Obama sign it into law!
Thumbs up to everyone who continues to work hard!