While flying home tonight, I had time to reflect on Lobby Day 2009. My initial plan was to be “in the game”, lobbying myself and reporting via Twitter. My hernia prevented from happening – and that proved to be a good thing.
By blogging from the Capitol Hill Club, I could talk to our lobbying teams as they came in and completed their “visit sheets”. The details were still fresh in their minds, and I was able to give you an overview of our efforts.
Still, I didn’t speak to every team about every Congressional visit. So you did get an overview, but in a way it was like viewing The Last Supper in extreme closeup: You could see bits and pieces, but not the entire picture.
Seven different CHD support groups pooled their resources to make Lobby Day happen. Yes, we were all advocating for Congenital Heart Defect issues before, but each group had its niche and pressed its own issue. But when all all of the groups united to pull together, to press one issue… well, we may have just moved the U.S. Capitol an inch or two.
But the job is not over. At this moment, the Congenital Heart Futures Act is a good idea… and nothing else. It hasn’t even been “dropped” yet. (A “dropped” bill has been filed in the correct manner, given an identification number, and assigned to a Congressional Committee).
“If you build it, he will come” the voice in the cornfield said. We’re off to a good start with our building project. But don’t forget what was said later:
“If all these people are going to come, we got a lot of work to do.”