Thursday, January 10, 2008

First Day Back In the Halls

Mary Ueland (left) and Debbie Smithey (right) leaving the Capitol after the first day of the 2008 legislative session. Can you tell - it's dark and cold?!

Debbie and I along with Keith and Elizabeth headed to the Capitol early on the first day of session (Wed, Jan 9). We had an important meeting to attend with a couple of key legislators. The meeting didn't turn out quite like we expected, but we left the meeting with all parties agreeing to work out some things to allow the midwifery bill to move forward.

Afterwards, Keith and Elizabeth had to head back to their jobs. Debbie and I spent the rest of the day visiting with anyone and everyone we ran into. We met old friends all day long.

Our day mostly consisted of sitting in various legislator's offices chatting about what had happened since we saw each other last May, explaining our position on the "tocology repeal" to everyone who stopped us in the halls and asked, "What is going on with your midwifery stuff?!?" We also passed out quite a few copies of the letter from Friends of Missouri Midwives, explaining our position on repealing the tocology language.

One of the first Legislative Assistants to befriend us years ago came up to us in the hall and said, "Guess what?! I'm a lobbyist now!" Of course, she wanted to tell us what she knew and ask us what was going on. She proudly said, "I've been working on everybody in the ___ (organization she works for) office and trying to get them on board with midwifery! They don't all get it, but I still tell them about it all the time!" We spent about an hour discussing birth, breastfeeding, midwives, politics, and everything related with her in the hall... and lowering our voices when someone walked by, looking at us strangely! : )

Overheard; one lobbyist to another:
Lobbyist 1: "Good morning!" (pleasantly to someone who isn't friendly to the lobbyist's cause...)
Lobbyist 2: (whispering) "Did you really mean that?!"
Lobbyist 1: "Uh, don't believe anything I say in this building. You can ask me about anything you hear me say in this building when we leave and I'll tell you if I really meant it! Okay?"

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