Ah, the Congressional August recess… a time for Washington to regroup and rest up for the fall. All the members of Congress return to their home districts and the politicos, lobbyists and government aides let out a big sigh of relief – that is unless you’re a field organizer.
This year at ONE, the August recess has been especially active with a new bill in Congress to Electrify Africa and the anticipation of a similar bill in the US Senate this fall. And in true ONE fashion, we are keeping it bipartisan.
Down in the Southeast, ONE members from Arkansas to Florida asked their members of Congress to help 50 million people in Africa gain access to reliable and affordable electricity. In addition to meeting with members, our volunteers are out educating their communities on the campaign’s major messaging points.
Here are just a few of happenings going on below the Mason-Dixon Line:
(Photo above) Team Nashville met with Congressman Jim Cooper, who just returned from a recent trip to Ethiopia. They were joined by Cole Barfield from Lwala Community Alliance who was able to share with the Congressman what it’s like to deliver babies in the dark. Earlier in the month, TN ONE leaders were joined by Food for the Hungry to meet with Congresswoman Blackburn’s office in Franklin.
We heard Senator Bob Corker speak in Nashville at USGLC’s luncheon on Smart Power. After the event we had a chance to shake the Senator’s hand and thank him for his interest in energy access as the Senior Ranking Member on the Foreign Relations Committee.
Florida ONE members kept themselves particularly busy this August. Not only did they meet with Representative Kathy Castor, D-Fla., (pictured above), they also had meetings in the offices of Senator Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, and Representatives Ted Yoho, R-Fla., Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla.
And three days after his first ONE event, our newest Florida ONE volunteer Steve Dutton lead a meeting with Representative Frederica Wilson’s, D-Fla., office, where we were told she would co-sponsor the Electrify Africa Act!
Not to be outdone, ONE Georgia members also made the rounds with meetings in Senator Johnny Isakson’s, R-Ga., office as well as Representatives Jack Kingston, R-Ga., John Barrow, D-Ga., and Doug Collins, R-Ga., with more planned later this month!
Congressional District Leaders (CDLs) all over the Southeast have been busy leading Advocacy in Action meetings to educate fellow ONE members on energy poverty and ask them to write letters to their members of Congress in support of co-sponsoring the Electrify Africa Act. Here’s CDL John Allard leading his in Ft. Myers, Fla.
And Arkansas ONE members making calls at their meet up in Fayetteville. Team Little Rock joined with Heifer International to do a lunchtime letter writing party. Then both ends of the state represented by holding face-to-face meetings with both Representatives Steve Womack, R-Ark., and Tim Griffin, R-Ark.
But we’re not ALL business here at ONE – we know how to have fun and advocate at the same time! Just check out ONE’s Party with a Purpose at PAX Miami.
Longtime Florida CDL Alix Gordon and her fellow volunteer leaders were able to get more than 50 handwritten postcards to members of Congress at the event asking they support smart effective programs for the world’s poor.
The Xperimento! band members got in on the action too!
And of course, even The Most Interesting Man in the World can’t resist representing on behalf of the world’s poorest people.
We also had events and meetings take place in Kentucky and Mississippi… but this post is already getting too long as it is. Way to go, Team Southeast! A great start to ONE’s fall campaigns!