Saturday, March 12, 2011
My husband Bob and I arrived in DC and got checked in to the Sheraton National Hotel where we spent the next 4 days with over 150 staff and volunteer advocates. The view from our room was absolutely breathtaking! We could see the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, the Airforce Memorial, Arlington Cemetery and everything else in between. We are so fortunate to live in the USA!
Because response to Government Day(s) had been so tremendous, there was not room for Bob to attend the sessions. We had breakfast with our daughter-in-law’s brother, who is attending George Mason University, and then they went off to explore DC and I met with my Grassroots leader, Glenn Weber. We talked about our goals and discussed strategies for our upcoming visits on the hill with our members of congress.
Our first presentation was Government Relations 101. First and foremost the number one goal of JDRF Government Relations is to advocate for research to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes and its complications. We celebrated Congress’ funding of $300 million for Type 1 Research along with other legislation that was passed that will impact Diabetes.
We then discussed what our Government Relations Goals are for the immediate future.
- Continue to garner support for the Special Diabetes Program
- Accelerate availability of an Artificial Pancreas
- Support efforts to secure additional funds for National Institute of Health (NIH)
- Expand embryonic stem cell research policy
We talked about Grassroots Activities and Goals
- Building relationships with Members of Congress through Children’s Congress (http://cc.jdrf.org) and Promise to Remember Me (http://promise.jdrf.org)
- Training Advocate Leaders through Government Day ( http://advocacy.jdrf.org/index.cfm?page_id=109184)
- Building relationships between advocates through programs like Type 1 Talk (http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=115535078476656)
- Continuing to Improve Online and Mobile Interactions (You tube, Twitter, Juvenation, Facebook)
- Learning more about the DOC (Diabetes Online Community)
- Growing our advocate base at home
Our first presentation was complete and we were off to freshen up before a reception and the Advocacy Awards Dinner!