Thursday, May 24, 2012

I'm Back

Back home, safe and sound from Sacramento. The drive up wasn't too bad - only took me about 5 1/2 hours or so. The strangest part is that I don't think I've been by myself for that long without distractions since Naya died. I was surprised that I didn't break down crying at all, especially since I tend to that anytime I'm driving by myself. I was surprisingly stoic the whole time. Shocked myself, actually.

Anyway, I got to Sacramento at about 8pm, checked into my hotel and went to the restaurant next door for something to eat. The place was pretty empty with only a bartender working, so I sat at the bar to make her job a bit easier. Probably a mistake - when you sit at a bar, it's almost an open invitation for people to talk to you, which I did NOT feel like doing. This old man was sitting next to me who was pretty drunk and a mumbler. One of my pet peeves are mumblers. Non-eventful conversation until the mumbler turned racist on me. It was actually entertaining - he told me congrats on the pregnancy and that he was glad I was contributing to the white population of the state. I was a little taken aback but just said, "sorry to disappoint but my husband is Filipino, so this baby is one of those damn mixed breeds" and left. It was quite humorous.

But, back to the real reason I was there - to lobby for AB 1731. I have never done this before, so this was quite the experience for me. We spent the morning listening to speeches and preparing for our congressional visits. For those of you unfamiliar, this is how it works. AB1731 was brought up in the Health Committee and approved. Because there is a cost associated with the bill, it was put into a suspense file that the Assembly Appropriations Committee is voting on tomorrow. If they vote to remove it from the suspense file, then the Assembly will vote on it and send it to the senate for a vote. If they approve it, it will go to the Governor. So basically, we are still early on in the process but at a critical juncture. If it doesn't move out of appropriations tomorrow, the bill dies. And that's why we were there.

In the afternoon, we split into teams and went and visited various Assemblypeople and senators. My team consisted of three of us and we visited 4 officials, one of which I knew who was very receptive. I was basically the person who had the "real life" perspective and told Naya's story to all 4 of them. It was hard but I'm glad I did it. I love talking about her. It makes me feel better. All-in-all, it was a very successful time for us and we got 4 yeses, which was great! It was a wonderful experience and I would definitely do it again.

So cross your fingers that the vote goes okay tomorrow. I think either way, I am going to be lobbying my local hospitals to implement pulse ox screens (as well as following the AAP recommendations for release of a Newborn) with or without the law but it will definitely help make this next project easier. I am still working on my game plan but I will write more about it soon.

1 comment:

  1. That is awesome, your drive, your response to the drunken racist mumbler, and that you are fighting for better screening. I hope the bill keeps up the momentum.