Friday, February 18, 2005

Lobby Day report

To my knowledge, Lobby Day went off without a hitch. About 60-70 people came from Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, East Texas and here in Austin. We met in the Robert E. Johnson conference center at 9:00 for a breakfast of fruit and pastries. The morning was dedicated to briefing the participants on the bill and suggestions on how to talk to the staff in the legislators' offices.

At 11:30 there was a press conference on the Capitol steps. Rep. Naishtat spoke, as well as the director of TMM, a doctor, and 3 patients. The three patients were all in wheel chairs. They were Clay from Houston, Marcia from Sugarland, and Chris from Corpus Christi. The local Fox and NBC affiliates sent cameras and there were reporters from a number of newspapers.

After the press conference we ate lunch on the Capitol lawn. The weatherman had predicted rain, but Jah smiled on us and the weather was perfect. Then the groups visited the legislative offices. My group went to the offices of Reps. Strama, Rodriguez, and Cook and Senators Barrientos and Wentworth. All accepted our material and thanked us for coming by. These were the "easy" ones, tho. I haven't heard how others fared with the more difficult ones.

Afterwards, two of participants from out of town stopped by my place to medicate before they started the trip back, and we had a nice chat. I wanted to go to the benefit, but by 9:00 I was pretty worn out, so I regretfully decided to miss it.

More after I've debriefed with the others.


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