Since Sunday I’ve been posting some cryptic messages like, “I’m busy.” And that’s all true: I was busy. But I wasn’t really allowed to talk about why I was busy. Why is that?
Maybe you remember a trip I took to Oklahoma City in late 2017?
June 2 through 4 I was working with Planned Parenthood again, attending their Volunteer Summit, which brought together about 120 volunteers from all over the state of Pennsylvania. Because we don’t like to advertise where we are or what we’ve doing, the most I could do is post a quick selfie and let you know I was rocking the Pink once more.
The summit was in Harrisburg at–let’s just say an undisclosed location. You know we were in the capital city, so I didn’t have to stay overnight in a hotel. So I showed up Saturday, registered, listened to some speakers, at, and attended some evening entertainment.
And that would be the last rest I’d get for the next day and a half.
I don’t have pictures from Sunday, which was all workshops until about 7:30 PM. It was mentally exhausting learning all the ins and out of volunteer work and how to keep your cool and knock down stigma when you’re associated with a group that more than a few people see as a living evil. But we learned a lot of good things and chances are good I’ll get a chance to carry out all of that in the months to come.
But yesterday… you know, there’s a reason why we held the summit in Harrisburg and it has to do with this big building that sits atop a hill in this city. Yeah, we took our day of action to the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex, where the idea was to see some political folk and run the 411 on some bills we support and one in particular we don’t.
I’ve lobbied at the Capitol before, but this was going to be different as I was going to get one sit down with Rep. Patty Kim, who is the house representative for my district here in The Burg. I was going to be the tag along for the visit, but about mid-way through Sunday I was told they couldn’t make it–they had other pressing business they couldn’t avoid–so I was on my own. Also, I was walking around the building wearing a pink Planned Parenthood tee shirt, so there was no mistaking my reason for being there and who I represented.
I got there a little early and ended up on the right floor, but the wrong part of the floor. (The capitol building has two parts to the fourth floor: a public and private. I was in the public part.) But I managed to get a few pictures before finding where I was supposed to be.
My actual destination was the House Minority Caucus Room, which is where all the House Dems meet to go over things. It was ours until about 2:30 PM and we made the best of it, getting our material together and even making a few phone calls.
I was supposed to meet with Rep. Kim at 11:00 AM, but about 10:25 Leslie–who is my local grassroots organizer–slid up next to me and said she was gonna be lobby led on the meet and greet. I told her that was cool, I’d already went over the material and since I was told the day before I’d be on my own to speak with Rep. Kim I was good with it, so with that Leslie was like, “Okay, cool, then you’re lead–and we need to go now, ’cause they moved the meeting to 10:45.” I knew where to go, so with Leslie and Samantha, another PP member, in tow, we headed off to the Rep. Kim’s office.
We when in and met with Rep. Kim for about ten minutes or so. Believe me, I caught myself starting to trip over my tongue a few times, so I’d stop, reset, and move on. I did about ninety-five percent of the talking, with Leslie jumping in and adding a few nuggets that I either forgot or didn’t know. I left our information packet with the representative, thanked her for her time–oh, and we got a photo before we left.
Then it was back to the caucus room to make a few phone calls and right as lunch came I took an information packet over to the Senate side of the building and left it with Sen. DiSanto. Then it was back, get food, rest–
And get ready for our next meeting. I think this photo will give you a clue with whom:
All the people present were having a thirty minutes meet and greet with Governor Wolf, who has always been a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood. We had to wait a few minutes for him to come out of his actual working office–the place we were in was the meeting chambers for press conferences and the such–so I got a few pictures.
The governor came out and spoke for a few minutes, we took a group photo, then we had our chance to meet him one-on-one, chat for a few, and get a picture.
First a group. I’m a couple of people over on his left:
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We have had a *fabulous* weekend of learning, lobbying, and making friends. Every single day our PP family gets stronger—and we are so ready for the fights ahead! Thank you to all of our volunteers and elected officials who helped make this weekend so great! #IStandWithPP #ProtectPANow #RESIST
And then I got to speak a little with Gov. Wolf. He remembered me from when I was working Sec. Clinton’s campaign and we chatted on that a bit. After the photo I invited his wife and him to our derby bout in July, but somehow I don’t think he’ll show. I won’t hold it against him, though. 😉
Anyway, here we are.
So that was it. After meeting with the governor I walked home, rested up, then went to practice where my thighs and groin got one hell of a workout. But yeah: I did my thing and chances are good I’ll do more things this year because–well, it’s an election year and once you get in those waters you wanna keep fighting the good fight.
And I’m doing my best.