Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2011

By: Heather Arkwright
November 22, 2011

Heather Arkwright

On November 18, 2011, I had the opportunity to meet with Congressional staffers for Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard of California and David Cicilline of Rhode Island and speak to them about co-sponsoring the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2011.  This bill is extremely important in helping to protect vulnerable people all over the world from being exploited and victimized.  As I was wandering around the Capitol buildings, lost inside the dozens of seemingly endless hallways, I was struck by two thoughts.  The first was that it is so incredibly important to speak up for bills that promote human dignity and protecting vulnerable people, advocating for those whose voices often get lost in the midst of budget talks and national security. The second was that even being able to speak up for this stuff, and actually meet with staffers of government officials to let our voices be heard is extremely unique to the political system that we have in America.  I think this is something to be very grateful for.  It is often all too easy to only look at the ways in which our system seems to be failing us in times like these.  As a young person hoping to be employed in the very near future the daily headlines are all too discouraging and some days it is extremely hard to have faith.  When our system and elected officials seem to fail us, it is easy to lose hope.  But having the experience like I did, I was struck by just how lucky we are.  Our system isn’t perfect.  Very far from it.  But just the fact that we are free to speak our minds and let our voices be heard and have that protected under law absolutely astounds me.  There is so much opportunity for us to the hands and feet of Christ.  We must never lose faith, hope.  We must never stop being thankful that we live in a place where we are heard.  However faintly, we are heard.  This is powerful, and I am extremely thankful that I was reminded of that.