Hello everybody, today the blog will be about Capitol Hill Day 2015.
On April 15th, Scott Camilleri, myself, Monica Wiggins, Paul Stengle and other representatives from The Arc Alliance went down to Washington, DC to lobby for resources for health care and other important issues. It was a lot of fun, but also very educational. I met with a representative of Senator Bob Casey and a rep for Congressman Joseph Pitts. My mom and I went down Tuesday and met Scott at the Russell Senate building at 8:30 AM. Our first meeting was at 9 o’clock a.m. with a staffer from Sen. Patrick Toomey’s office. For the first meeting with Senator Toomey’s representative, Scott and I did not say much. Maureen The Executive Director of The Arc of PA spearheaded the meeting with Senator Toomey’s representative. Maureen utilized this time to find out his position and see if we could possibly assist him in any way. There we a lot of people from various Arc’s and other partner organizations in attendance, so I said much. I used this time to take it all in and discover how meetings like this work. In fact that’s how the second meeting went, but I got to say a little bit more as my comfort level grew.
At our third meeting with a representative from Congressman Pitts’ office, I got to say my complete piece on healthcare and how it affects me. I explained how I was not able to get a wheelchair with a built in stander because the insurance company did not think it was medically necessary for me to get this wheelchair. I explained to the representative that it is medically necessary, because of my back pain. The first year at the ARC, I had a lot of trouble with my back, it used to hurt all of the time and I explained that with this wheelchair, I would be able to go into different positions, whether it be standing or lying flat. Before I left the meeting, I gave them one final phrase. I told them these exact words, “If you don’t remember me, I want you to remember what I’m about to say”, and I said and I quote, “It only takes one person to change the world and maybe you and the Congressman could be one of those people.” Then I shook their hands and left.
We then met with Congressman Ryan Costello, the actual congressman and not one of his representatives. We didn’t meet with only a staffer like we did for the other three meetings; we met with the representative himself. He was very nice. Instead of making a business connection, the congressman, because he grew up in Spring City like me, we made a more personal connection. We talked about Center City Pizza and how he grew up. It was nice to make a personal connection. I really enjoyed speaking with all of the important people. This final meeting was by far the most memorable and most engaging for obvious reasons. I trust that Congressman Costello will remember our time together and the important role he plays not only for me but for all those individuals in his district with special needs.
After we got done on Capitol Hill, I went to dinner with my uncle whose name is actually Scott. He lives in Washington D.C. I had chicken for dinner and for dessert, we had Cold Stone Creamery ice cream. It was really delicious. I have not had it before. I want to have it again. Yum Yum! For my meetings, I wore a blue shirt and some khaki pants. I looked very nice, just look at the picture on the site of the ARC page. It was a lot of fun and I hope to do it again next year.
Before I leave you, I want your thoughts; what do you think about Congress trying to cut funding for things like Medicare, Medicaid, etc.? If I didn’t take away anything else from this business trip, I am taking away the fact that the Congressmen are not all there for the money, but they really do want to help you.
Have a good day and remember it only takes one person to change the world. Thank you for reading this blog and make it a great day or not, the choice is yours.