I first met Senator Isakson while in DC for Parenting Magazine's Mom Congress two and a half years ago. I talked to him about education and my role as a teacher. It went well, but brief and not really focus driven. I still patted myself on the back and reclaimed my title of advocate extraordinaire.
|Things I think about this picture-I am tall. I look much younger for this to only have been about 2 1/2 years ago. I really want to wear that shirt again! Washington agrees with me! Whatever happened to that Flat Stanley?|
The next year, I met with various Senators and representatives as an advocate for children with my pals from Shot@Life. I smiled a lot, learned a ton, but said little.
In February of this year, I, along with my fellow (and fabulous) GA advocates met with Isakson's staffers in DC. I should also mention that we met with all of our GA reps. Impressive, right?
Our go to guy in Isaskon's office was Chris and we were very impressed with him! He was knowledgeable, receptive, and a seriously nice guy. I learned about Isakson's role in international affairs, and Chris learned of our passion for helping children around the world.
With encouragement from friends, I decided it was time for me to go this alone. I needed to meet with a staffer and represent ME. So I did just that. I set up my meeting with Jordan here in Atlanta. T asked why I was going to a meeting when school is out. :) I explained (way too lengthy description of our democratic system) and he asked if he could go. I said yes. Actually, I said YES!
We had our meeting yesterday and it was amazing! I expressed my thanks to their staff, my appreciation of Isakson's concern for issues outside the GA borders because things happening outside of GA very much impact....GA! I also talked about my favorite topic-children. I shared information about Shot@Life and the importance of vaccinating children in developing countries who simply do not have access. He too was saddened that every 20 seconds a child dies from something so preventable (diarrhea.)
I then shifted gears and talked education. I told Jordan that I would love to have Isakson visit my school-all schools in our area-and see firsthand the AMAZING things that are happening in classrooms. In retrospect, I think I should have invited Jordan, too. My kids would love him! I'll keep you posted on how that invitation goes.
T was very sweet during the meeting. He whispered in my ear (so nervous) and asked that I tell Jordan "we should donate money to help kids." I was so proud. T also very much loved the pack of GA peanuts and business card he received!
I left the office feeling so empowered. It is the craziest feeling. I felt like in some way, I had made a difference. I expressed my thoughts and feelings to a representative of my state-someone who will make decisions that impact my family, students, community. Ah! It is geeky-but powerful. I'll say it...I'm proud of myself.