The 2018 International Conference: Advocacy Day highlights
The RESULTS group from Atlanta already had back-to-back meetings lined up on Capitol Hill, but during a short break they headed down the marble halls of the Cannon House Office Building to see if they could squeeze in just one more, unannounced.
That’s the spirit that permeated Advocacy Day at the 2018 RESULTS International Conference. Let’s be bold. Let’s be powerful. Let’s make our voices heard.
Micha Chishti co-leads the Atlanta group and participated in his first advocacy day in 2015. Back then he found the experience “daunting.” Not anymore.
“We get to remind our members of Congress that they work for us,” he said.
And that’s what RESULTS groups did as they buzzed from meeting to meeting, crisscrossing from the House side of Capitol Hill to the Senate side – and back again. Aides for one Congresswoman seemed to recognize just how hard the RESULTS volunteers from Miami were working. As the meeting got underway, a tray with tiny cups of Cuban espresso appeared on the table.
At the Advocacy Day send-off several hours earlier, RESULTS Executive Director Dr. Joanne Carter reminded the advocates of everything they had accomplished in the past year – including passing landmark global education legislation, preventing cuts to global anti-poverty programs, and successfully pushing back on major cuts to Medicaid – and how none of those accomplished had been guaranteed.
This year, she said, RESULTS advocates had a chance to hold members of Congress accountable to make sure millions of families can keep putting food on the table, that global health legislation called the Reach Act is passed, and that the U.S. government increases funding for tuberculosis research and treatment.
“I really believe we can do this,” Carter said.
Expert on Poverty and former REAL Change Fellow Tamara Bates gave tips on how to have a positive, productive meeting on Capitol Hill and reminded advocates to stay true to themselves. “No one can tell my story the way I tell my story,” she said.
Finally, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) took to the podium.
“When I saw all of you, it immediately lifted my spirits and gave me strength,” Collins said. “Your dedication is making a difference. Never feel like your voice isn’t heard.”
That’s a wrap for the 2018 RESULTS International Conference. We hope you’ve enjoyed our daily recaps – and that we’ll see you in person next summer!