In the passed week I have been doing some footwork for the Bill around these parts. Hopefully it’ll amount to something.
Good news is, the Bill passed committee in the Senate a long time ago and has been hotlined to pass unanimously. Bad news is, Sen. Tom Coburn decided that he didn’t want it to pass, despite the 61 co-sponsors in the Upper House marking the most widely supported Africa-related legislation in modern US history. In the House, I’m still trying to get a few co-sponsors in the East Valley.
Jeff Flake, strong fiscal conservative and lover of Africa, is my number one target. I met him personally in DC and have been to his district office twice. He supports our efforts, but has yet to support the bill. I’m trying to wrap my head around that one, but hopefully he’ll get passed the $30 million for recovery and c0-sponsor it already.
Harry Mitchell, Blue Dog Democrat, is my actual Representative in Congress. I have been to his offices twice and his staff is super-supportive, but he has yet to help us out. He’s not in a place of high power for this bill (He’s on the Veterans Affairs Committee, whereas Flake is on the Africa Subcommittee) but any support is good support. All of the other Democratic Representatives in Arizona have co-sponsored, so I’m hoping he will hop on the bandwagon and get to co-sponsoring.
In the mean time, I’m gearing up for a couple weeks of awareness work at ASU. I’m rounding up all of our shirts and Erin just sent me a fresh box of trendy hats. I’ll be putting an order for tote bags in soon, and hopefully we can decorate those in time for the big screenings. Regardless, we’re hoping for two big turn-outs before Spring Break. And, for those of you not in the area, you should track down a nearby event! One of my favorite invisible children, Jacob, the former child soldier from Rough Cut, is headed up to the Pacific Northwest. My good friend Seth is traveling with wise old Norman across the South. Boni, one of the boys living under Lacor hospital in 2003 is going across the Great Lakes region. And New England is home to Innocent, the night commuter from the white bracelet video. And that’s just a few of the great people on tour this spring! I am so, so stoked for this national tour. It promises to be super-exciting.