From the editor
By Vicki Leeper
I witnessed some amazing advocacy at the recent IL Conference at the Coeur d’Alene Casino. A dear friend of mine agreed to be our keynote speaker to talk about what she has been doing for people with traumatic brain injury in Washington state. But I didn’t really know any of the details until she started speaking.
Daniella Clark gave her powerful testimony at the hearings for the bills she worked on and it had a profound effect on our lawmakers. But that is only part of the story. By persevering she got two bills about TBI supports passed in 2019.
She broke the process down for us:
First of all find out who your local legislators are. Reach out to them. It may take more than one try to actually reach them and tell them your story. And that’s the powerful part – keep it personal.
If that doesn’t get results, go to the other representatives in your state. You may find the one whose own personal story matches yours, and then you have the support you need.
Second, back it up with research. Take your time to find out all the statistics you may need. The internet is full of information, dig through it to find what is pertinent. Remember our representatives are busy, do the homework for them.
Third, remember your appearance. You need to pay attention to grooming, personal hygiene, appropriate clothing. You don’t have to be rich, but clean and neat go a long way to help get your message across.
Four, keep at it. Nothing with lawmakers happens overnight. Be prepared for setbacks, and remember to keep moving forward. My favorite part was how she summed it up: “I did what I could, and it was enough.”