Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sara on Kicking It Up a Notch

“I work for a non-profit that advocates on behalf of older Americans. I used to do advocacy at the state level, but I wanted to kick it up a notch. For me, it was either move to Albany or to DC. In the end, I am glad that I picked DC.

“I am still figuring out the nuts and bolts of lobbying, but I am learning quickly as I am very much exposed to the process now, especially given what is going on with
Health Care Reform. It is very intriguing for me to see how what happens out at the grassroots level around the country translates into policy in DC. Sometimes it is an effective means of getting this done, using the message from people on the street, but sometimes it is not as effective as it could be. I’ve also found that what is discussed in DC does not always resonate to what is playing out with regular people out in the country. I am still trying to figure out how best to bridge this gap and advocate for our members in a way that politically makes sense and will get their goals accomplished.

“Even if I wasn’t lobbying, I’d find another thing to do here because I love DC. People are very receptive to meeting new people and introducing you to their networks, at least that’s been my experience. I’ve always enjoyed politics and, for me, I love that in any conversation you have, regardless of what position the person holds, be it schoolteacher, janitor, lawyer, everyone is aware of what is going on politically. That is a thing that was missing when I was a securities lawyer in Manhattan. There it was all about the work...very insular.

“DC is a great city for those who love politics…and even for those who don’t like politics. When I came down here from New York, I was introduced to folks who were both Democrats and Republicans and regardless of their political affiliation, they were helpful in introducing me to people in their professional networks. As for politics, I like to get all sides of the spectrum. You can certainly disagree and I’m comfortable with you disagreeing, but it should be a constructive disagreement.”

To learn more about issues related to the elderly in DC, including organizations in need of volunteers, click here.


Unknown said...

Sarah rocks! I dare you to constructively disagree with that statement.

Route One Fun! said...

Ha! Yes - getting a fair amount of flack for that "constructive disagreement" comment, and it's not constructive flack!!! You rock too, my dear! I can feel you rockin' all the way from San Fran!

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.

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