Saturday, January 31, 2009

Advocacy Day(s)

We have a new administration, of course, but we also have a new Congress, with much to consider.

The economic stimulus legislation is at the top of the list. Eventually, bills which didn't make it through the last Congress will be reintroduced and the process towards passage begins anew.

The Education Begins at Home Act (home visiting support), the MOTHERS Act (postpartum depression) and the SBS Prevention Act will again work their way towards passage.

And there's also legislation for a bi-annual Children's Conference to reconsider (the bill formerly known as S.2771)...

Thoughts of synergy float through my head.

For example, in the last Congress, 45 Senators supported one or more of those bills (S.667-32; S.1375-11; S.1204-9). Although several have left the Senate (not necessarily in a bad way: Senators Obama, Biden, Clinton, Salazar are among the departed), most remain.

First thought: if the legislative sponsors and the advocacy community coordinated a request for cosponsors, perhaps including a briefing for the staff of new members, there's no reason why all three bills shouldn't achieve the same level of support.

Second thought: the Association of Maternal Child Health Programs meets in DC February 21-24, and the CWLA's annual congressional advocacy day is February 24.

Lots of planned activities, to be sure, but perhaps opportunity to squeeze in a breakfast or late afternoon activity that also briefs these constituencies on three very relevant bills.

Third thought: put both together. Talk once to both groups: then instead of individual advocacy visits, staffers can learn more about relevant activities in their states, and children/health staffers from different Senate offices can meet, mingle and enhance working relationships.
S.667: A bill to expand programs of early childhood home visitation that increase school readiness, child abuse and neglect prevention, and early identification of developmental and health delays, including potential mental health concerns, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Bond, Christopher S. [MO] (introduced 2/16/2007) Cosponsors (32)

Sen Bayh, Evan [IN] - 3/28/2007
Sen Biden, Joseph R., Jr. [DE] - 7/18/2007
Sen Bingaman, Jeff [NM] - 3/20/2007
Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] - 10/1/2007
Sen Cantwell, Maria [WA] - 5/15/2007
Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] - 3/20/2007
Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA] - 5/8/2007
Sen Clinton, Hillary Rodham [NY] - 2/16/2007
Sen Coleman, Norm [MN] - 9/10/2007
Sen Collins, Susan M. [ME] - 3/15/2007
Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] - 4/10/2007
Sen Harkin, Tom [IA] - 4/23/2007
Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] - 3/7/2007
Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA] - 11/13/2007
Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] - 4/10/2007
Sen Levin, Carl [MI] - 4/21/2008
Sen Lieberman, Joseph I. [CT] - 9/20/2007
Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR] - 5/15/2007
Sen McCaskill, Claire [MO] - 3/14/2007
Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ] - 6/7/2007
Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. [MD] - 10/31/2007
Sen Murray, Patty [WA] - 9/17/2007
Sen Obama, Barack [IL] - 11/1/2007
Sen Reed, Jack [RI] - 10/2/2007
Sen Roberts, Pat [KS] - 3/6/2007
Sen Rockefeller, John D., IV [WV] - 3/14/2007
Sen Salazar, Ken [CO] - 7/19/2007
Sen Smith, Gordon H. [OR] - 3/29/2007
Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME] - 4/17/2007
Sen Stabenow, Debbie [MI] - 6/11/2007
Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [RI] - 6/7/2007
Sen Wyden, Ron [OR] - 6/23/2008

S.1375: A bill to ensure that new mothers and their families are educated about postpartum depression, screened for symptoms, and provided with essential services, and to increase research at the National Institutes of Health on postpartum depression.
Sponsor: Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ] (introduced 5/11/2007) Cosponsors (11)

Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] - 7/24/2007
Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] - 5/11/2007
Sen Clinton, Hillary Rodham [NY] - 2/25/2008
Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT] - 5/11/2007
Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] - 5/11/2007
Sen Inouye, Daniel K. [HI] - 9/10/2008
Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] - 5/11/2007
Sen Obama, Barack [IL] - 10/23/2007
Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] - 6/13/2007
Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME] - 5/11/2007
Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [RI] - 5/25/2007

S.1204: A bill to enhance Federal efforts focused on public awareness and education about the risks and dangers associated with Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Sponsor: Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT] (introduced 4/25/2007) Cosponsors (9)

Sen Bayh, Evan [IN] - 6/3/2008
Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] - 7/24/2007
Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] - 5/1/2007
Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA] - 12/7/2007
Sen Cochran, Thad [MS] - 5/11/2007
Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] - 1/22/2008
Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] - 9/10/2007
Sen Lugar, Richard G. [IN] - 7/29/2008
Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] - 6/27/2007
S.2771: A bill to require the president to call a White House Conference on Children and Youth in 2010.
Sponsor: Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA] (introduced 3/13/2008) Cosponsors (15)

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