And so it is, the first week just went by! It has only been a week but it feels like a lot longer. So far we have met the staff of the CCAO (and now we are part of it), we had the visit of Monica, a missionary that has been working near the border between US and Mexico and we had the most intimidating activity Friday afternoon; our first congressional visit as a team to the staff of Congressman Joe Baca from California, a Congressman that I personally admire.
What was the issue? “The National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act” (H.R. 1505) or the so called the Bishop act, named after the Congressman that introduced the bill into the House of Representatives and that was first referred to the Committee on Natural Resources. It was our first congressional meeting and everything had to be perfect. We did our research on the bill, analyzed some of its potential impacts and also researched on the stance of Congressman Baca. While doing so, all I could think of is that I was finally using what I learned in school.
As it was our first visit Amy was with us stating who we are as an organization and our stance on such bill. Roselle, another summer intern, did a great job explaining the generalities of the bill while highlighting the main points. Subsequently, I had to speak of the potential impacts while Sandra and Monica gave first hand information about what is happening at the border. On the other hand, the staff of Congressman Baca was very helpful and as expected from the previous research, it is a bill that he is not likely to support. After all the anxiety and nerves, the meeting resulted as planned thanks to the team work.
By the end of the day and of our first week we felt the relief that comes after having breaking down all our fears and worries about the congressional meeting, ready to face what the near future brings and ready to enjoy our first weekend in Washington, DC.