For the past two summers I have had the opportunity to work as Vote Hemp's legislative intern in Washington, DC. Last summer I learned the ropes with Alexis Baden-Mayer. This summer I have had a lot of help from Tom Murphy. Both years I have received guidance on strategy from Eric Steenstra. I learned how to set up meetings, what are the most important things to bring with me and how to conduct them in an uncontroversial and non-abrasive way. I had the opportunity to talk with so many different types of people; advocates, business owners, farmers, and legislators.
This summer I have set up over three dozen meetings with staffers from various offices, and have received very positive feedback from nearly every office. I am currently working on a lobby day that will happen directly after the HIA Convention
here in DC, which I invite you to participate in. We are also in the early stages of planning an informational meeting for staffers on The Hill.
In my work scheduling and attending meetings, one thing has made itself very clear - the importance of you, the advocates. I can talk about the benefits of hemp for hours, but I still am only one voice. I cannot stress enough how much of an impact your emails, letters and calls to Congress have. They really do make a big difference! It is imperative in our democracy that you as a constituent express concerns to your representatives, and, more often than not, it is this very support that makes or breaks a piece of legislation. The bill is short and easy to understand, so short we have included the full text below my update. Check it out!
Thanks to all of the calls and emails that have already been sent, I can proudly say that we have gained three additional co-sponsors for H.R. 1866 since the beginning of June. These members need to be thanked
for their support and asked to help secure more co-sponsors and a hearing in committee for the bill. There are also many more members of Congress that are supportive of the issue, but really cannot justify a co-sponsorship without hearing from you first. The ball is in now your court; without your action, this bill simply cannot continue to move forward. Please, either by making a donation
or contacting your representative
, please do your part in making hemp farming a reality.
Ben Droz,Legislative Intern