Make a Difference – Come Meet Your Legislator!
How do we improve life with T1D and move toward a cure? Via research and lobbying. If you want to have long-lasting impact on T1D but don’t live in a lab, sign up to meet your legislator this fall and ask them to “Promise to Remember Me!” JDRF started these annual meetings between constituents and Congressional members in 2000, and they’ve helped renew Special Diabetes Funding ($36 million for WA state alone), protect stem cell research, and now move us closer to getting a V1 artificial pancreas.
You do not need to be involved in JDRF to attend. I was not involved when I showed up at a “Promise to Remember Me” meeting with my legislator, Rep. McDermott, last year. I couldn’t believe that all I had to do was grab my (cute) son, waltz into my legislator’s office, and tell him about life with a toddler with T1D – JDRF provided that direct channel.
When I went to DC in the spring with JDRF, I saw Luke’s picture on McDermott’s desk. Sure, maybe his staff pulled it out and dusted it off for our visit – but it was there. I saw other WA legislators ask by name after kids and adults they’d met in fall Promise meetings – it really does make an impact. Politicians like to say “yes” and like to help people (even if they like to help themselves as well), and the Promise meeting is an easy “yes” for them and puts a face to the issue of T1D. Don’t underestimate the impact that can have. Politics is about competing narratives: if you give them a good story about life with T1D, they will listen, remember, and even use your story on the floor.
If you live in Seattle (district 7), come meet Rep. McDermott with me and make a difference! Our Promise meeting is August 31, 10:00am. It’s a 15 minute meeting but can have lasting impact. Email me if you’re interested: krisfitz (at) live (dot) com. Find your legislative district here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx