Whatever it takes

Vivian Onano, ONE Congressional district leader from Kenosha, Wis., recounts her experience getting a letter to her congressman, Paul Ryan, signed by three influential leaders in her town.

When you are firm about what you want, then no door can be closed on you. I certainly learned that on Wednesday when I managed to schedule meetings for the following day with three influential people in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, within a span of an hour.

Photo caption: ONE CDL Vivian with Pastor Lawrence Kirby

Initially, when ONE Regional Director Tzviatko Chiderov requested me to schedule the meetings for the next day, I thought it was mission impossible but I sounded optimistic on the phone. I was able to get in touch with the office of the Mayor of Kenosha, Pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Kenosha, and the Director of A.W Clausen Center at Carthage College. This felt like the greatest achievement because we were working on such a short notice.

Photo caption: ONE CDL Vivian with Kenosha Mayor Keith Bosman, who put on his new ONE T-shirt right away!

On Thursday morning, Tzviatko was already on campus to pick me up for the meetings. We wanted to get these influential local leaders to sign on to a letter addressed to our Congressman Paul Ryan asking for his support in protecting funding for smart, life-saving development programs.

Our first stop was at the Second Baptist Church to meet with Pastor Kirby. In the course of introducing ourselves, we learned that Pastor Kirby has been doing some incredible work with Bread for the World, one of our partners at ONE. We had a great conversation and shared our main agenda, which was well-received, and he promised to get back to us within the shortest time possible. He also assured to help connect us with some local leaders in Kenosha.

Photo credit: ONE CDL and Carthage student Vivian with Dr. Arthur Cyr

Our next meeting was at 3 p.m. with the Mayor of Kenosha Mr. Keith Bosman. He had never heard of the ONE Campaign but was very eager to learn about our work and how he can be of help in our local efforts. After sharing with him what we do and some of the work that we have done in the past in the city of Kenosha he was impressed and promised to look at the letter that we had brought for him to sign on to and get back to us.

Our day ended with a meeting with the Director of A.W Clausen Centre for World Business at Carthage College, Dr. Arthur Cyr. He was running on a tight schedule that evening but he managed to squeeze us in. He was also thrilled to learn about our work and shared his interest on global issues. Our agenda was well received by all the leaders and the Regional Director will be following up.

This day was a huge success! I am thankful for the support of my Regional Director and I’m excited to continue working with these influential community, faith and political leaders!

-Vivian Onano, ONE Congressional District Leader from Kenosha, Wis.