I was invited to join Moms Demand Action members from all over the state of Ohio to participate in their annual Advocacy Day on March 22, 2023. We all gathered together in a packed church. There were stations set up to help partner us with MDA members that had previous experience with speaking to legislators.
This was my first opportunity to join Moms Demand Action for their Annual Advocacy Day. Once I found parking and made my way inside our meeting place, I was surprised to find the pews packed with other likeminded parents. Once I was checked in I was paired with other volunteers with a bit more experience. As I looked around, I could see Moms greeting and introducing themselves, as well as those who were familiar throw their arms around one another. We headed across the street to begin our full day of breakout sessions to learn what makes our testimony more powerful, how to make the best of social media, and then to meet with legislators to discuss the current House Bill 51, just to name a few.
I attended the session on effective testimony and was guided through some of the very same steps that WIN was provided during our Writing Testimony Workshop with Rachel Coyle from Innovation Ohio. They answered questions and provided us with helpful tips. We were reminded how important it is to simply respond to these bills even if our written testimony is not much more than we oppose this.
Many of us met with lawmakers early in the afternoon; I met with our Ohio Senator, Bob Hackett. We were pleased that he took time from his busy schedule to sit down with us as we tried to voice our concerns should House Bill 51 make it way into the Senate for a vote. We also expressed the dangers that domestic violence victims would face should this bill make its way to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
I am someone that relies heavily on visual learning and watching my fellow Moms in that meeting, I am reminded why they have become such a powerful force in the fight against gun violence. I saw how prepared they were to discuss the bill, and they were knowledgeable about the legislators they met. I was terribly disappointed that I could not stay the entire day however I will be sure to clear my calendar next year and you should do the same.