Congressman Jim McDermott of Seattle is known in Africa, Washington, D.C., and at home for his longstanding leadership in efforts to help the world’s poorest people improve their lives. Local support for these priorities came through loud and clear during ONE’s petition drive calling on Congress to make the beginning of the end of AIDS a reality. More residents of Washington’s 7th Congressional District signed their support than in any other district in the region, with our district nearly doubling the national average.
Earlier this month, we had the chance to drop off our District’s 709 signers with Congressman McDermott’s District Director, Sara Crumb. Those petitions were then sent to Congressman McDermott in Washington, D.C. It’s always a welcome opportunity for any activist to meet with an elected official or staff member who already knows about your issue. There’s a limit to how much educating you need to do when you’re sitting in the office of the founder and chair of the Congressional Task Force on International HIV/AIDS. We had the luxury of not worrying about lobbying so much as just saying, “bravo!” and “encore!”
In addition to thanking the Congressman for his continued leadership in the fight against the global AIDS pandemic, we also applauded him for his continued work to forge economic growth in Africa. Congressman McDermott authored the original African Growth and Opportunities Act and is the mastermind of this groundbreaking effort to essentially create a US-Africa trading relationship that goes beyond extraction of minerals.
Thank you, Congressman McDermott for taking the time to meet with and listen to ONE members! Keep up the great work, and we’ll be sure to see you again soon.
-Jessica Beckwith, ONE member, Washington