Big news for my friends in Oklahoma and across the country, as well as for us here in Arizona.
On March 9th, 41 days after he put a hold on the bill and 262 hours after activists began camping outside of his district office, Senator Tom Coburn from Oklahoma released his hold on the bill. Just a few hours later, it passed the Senate with unanimous consent. The compromise they reached was pretty simple – changed some language to make it more direct that the $40M would be offset and not add to the deficit. Coburn sticks to his principle, we stick to ours. So, so excited to see this go through the upper house. Now we just need to turn to the House of Representatives, where we only have 162 co-sponsors so far.
Speaking of which, here’s the personal victory. In June my friends met with Representative Harry Mitchell’s staff in DC. I’ve met with his staff twice here in Tempe. After all of this, my friend Kristi met him at a fundraiser and mentioned the bill – he said he had never heard of it. Demoralized, I sent a few follow-up e-mails to his staff and voila! He co-sponsored yesterday! I’m such a happy camper right now. Nationally, we passed the bill in the Senate and my friends in Oklahoma managed to do the unthinkable. Locally, a few good friends and myself put this obscure African bill on the desk of our representative and convinced him to put his name on it. It’s a good day for activism.
I want to leave you with a little evidence of how commited people are. The circles are the homes of people who ended up in Oklahoma City for 262 hours in the rain.