Young advocates get their message through to Congress
“I never thought I’d actually be able to see my representative in person,” said Mercedeh Tavacoli as she sat on a stone bench on Capitol Hill and took a breath.
Mercedeh is a Kansan attending the 2020 RESULTS Fellowship Policy Summit. Every year, the Summit is an opportunity for young people in the year-long RESULTS Organizing and Advocacy Fellowship to come together in Washington, DC to develop their voices and grow in their advocacy skills. This year, current Fellows and alumni from across the country participated in three days of mentorship, community, and intensive training.
On the last day of the Summit, Mercedeh and other young advocates from Kansas zigzagged their way across Capitol Hill meeting with congressional offices. They spoke powerfully on a range of issues, including housing for low-income families and child survival around the world. By the end of the day, Mercedeh and the Kansans had met with every single House and Senate office representing their state on Capitol Hill. All told, the Fellows participated in almost 60 meetings with members of Congress and their staff on both sides of the aisle.
“I didn’t just vote,” said Mercedeh. “I voted and now I have a voice that I can share with my member of Congress. And they actually work for us. They need to listen to their constituents because they’re working to represent their constituents.”
RESULTS Fellows, program alumni, and staff at the 2020 Policy Summit. Twenty states were represented, including Georgia, Kansas, California, Iowa, Idaho, North Dakota, Connecticut, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington State, Pennsylvania, Florida, Nevada, Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and Delaware.
Attendees gear up for a powerful day on Capitol Hill
Mercedeh Tavacoli (center) shares with the group
RESULTS staff member Ken Patterson leads an interactive session
Fellows swap advocacy tips and work on their laser talk presentations
Rain didn’t stop the Fellows from holding a total of 57 meetings with members of Congress and their offices