We’re here! Yesterday was our first full day in DC and the big day on the hill. It was incredible! Lots of good news to report–
we met Senator Blanche Lincoln and Representatives Snyder and Boozman–3 out of 4! Not bad–and definitely better than last year’s status, especially given it was voterama on the health care bill (yes, apparently voterama has a definition).
Ya think it was an election year or something?
The best part was that they really seemed to get it about the danger the National Writing Project is in with Secretary Duncan’s plan to destroy consolidate national programs (the other 4 in the same boat with us, RIF-Reading is Fundamental, EvenStart, PBS’Ready to Learn and Teach for America!). Vic Snyder signed on to our House Dear Colleague letter (a shout out to Little Rock NWP site director Sally Crisp, who badgered his aide via email until he did). Senator Lincoln listened VERY intently and said, “I’m sure a compromise can be worked out to save these programs.” Mark Pryor’s aide was very attentive. And Representative Boozman, when learning it was too late to sign the House Dear Colleague letter (he couldn’t have signed anyway, apparently the Republicans have taken some sort of oath not to sign these things) promised to actually contact the sub-committee the program falls in under Appropriations and pledge his support for us.
Best of all, Wordamour’s son got a total insider’s tour of DC. In fact, we were late getting from Lincoln’s office to Bozeman’s, so an Intern (who had just graduated from UCA in December!) put us on one of those “Members Only,” underground trains. Then when we got to Bozeman’s, he had just left for a series of votes. So we actually got into the House while they were voting on the healthcare bill and Bozeman came out and met us in the hallway between votes.
We were traveling with the NW Arkansas writing project site (check out their awesome new website) who are a GREAT bunch of people. Wordamour’s son thought they were totally hilarious–I knew he would; they are very funny people who know how to have a good time and get the work done. They were very tolerant of having a 13 year old along for the ride but–proud Mama moment here–they were also very complimentary of how well he handled himself during the rounds of meetings. He really did!
Today–meetings all day and then the Spy Museum tonight. Check out some more pictures:
Wordamour’s son was intrigued by this
“Ridin that train. . .”
“Senator Lincoln and the Arkansas Delegation”