My First Equality Florida Lobby Days Experience

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Posted on February 7, 2018 - 2:34pm by Brittany.

My First Equality Florida Lobby Days Experience
By: Yordanos Molla, Public Policy Intern

My first Equality Florida Lobby Days experience was one that can be described with many emotions: exciting, wired, and fulfilling. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I came in with an open mind. As cliché as it sounds, Lobby Days was so much more than I thought it would be.

Actually participating in it is a very different experience than the behind-the-scenes role I was used to playing. Previously, my main role as a Public Policy Intern was recruiting for volunteer lobbyists and scheduling meetings with the legislators. Much of this time was spent on my computer and phone, going back and forth between making calls and keeping up with emails. Transitioning from the backstage position to a more active position by talking with the legislators was such an inspiring experience.

The opportunity to be able to speak in person to State Representatives and Senators was special because I was able to match a face to the name and create a more personal relationship with them. I mainly focused on our support for the Florida Competitive Workforce Act (HB 347/SB 66) and opposition to the License to Discriminate (HB 871/SB 1290) bills. I believe that having a diverse group of lobbyists (LGBTQ+ people, people of faith, etc.) showed the wide range of support we have from different communities. People who could share an experience of discrimination were able to reach the legislators on a personal level and demonstrate the need for a bill extending protections for the LGBTQ+ community.

It is so empowering to talk one-on-one with lawmakers because the people’s voice is the most important voice. Hearing our concerns is how lobbying influences legislators to promote equality. I would encourage everyone to become involved in any way with their political representatives, because it truly does make a difference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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