I’m back from DC and wanted to do a quick post about it, though I’ll try to write more on it later. Working with the Eating Disorders Coalition has consistently been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done, and yesterday was no exception. I think we had some of the best weather in probably two years – we’ve lobbied in intense rain storms and in blistering heat! Yesterday, though, was perfect:
Clear skies over DC.
Fellow lobbyists crossing Capitol Hill to the House of Representatives.
Lobbying can be tiring, exhausting work, but it’s worth it! We dropped in to see Congressman Jim Moran to thank him for his support – he’s already signed on as a co-sponsor of the FREED Act:
Jim Moran takes time out of his busy schedule for a photo with EDC volunteers!
We always have a fair number of first-time lobbyists, and the combined sense of nervousness and excitement is pretty consistent. The idea of going into meetings with strangers to talk about your experience with eating disorders can be very daunting. It’s such a powerful thing, though, to be there with so many other people who understand the issue and are speaking up about it that I think it breeds a sense of confidence that many on arrival weren’t expecting to find in themselves.
That’s because when we all come together and share in our triumph and tragedy, it gets to the heart of the matter. Eating disorders are serious illnesses that make families go bankrupt, ruin lives, and sometimes take lives. We need to take all that raw emotion, hope, and pain contained in each of our stories to the people who are in a place of power to make a real difference – elected officials. Eventually, they’ll have a chance to vote on the FREED Act, and it’s up to us to inform them why it’s so important that they pass the Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders.
If you’re reading this and have a story, then I want YOU to join us for future lobby events! Even if you can’t make the trip to DC, there plenty of other ways to get involved. You can support the EDC by donating, or participating in the letter writing campaign.
Alright, one last picture! Two people who really inspire me, Kitty Westin and my dear friend, Kathleen MacDonald:
Kitty Westin, myself, and Kathleen MacDonald at the EDC reception, 10/3/11 (photo credit Jim Knapp)
Do you want to help improve treatment options, research initiatives, education, and preventative action for eating disorders? Then come lobby with us!
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