Yet again, grad school at UNC has presented me with another great opportunity. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) had their lobby day today in Raleigh at the Legislative Building. It was a fantastic experience to be able to go with other students and talk to legislators about specific issues.
Lobby day kicks off with an information session. This session provides information about how and what to talk about with representatives. Afterwards, those who made appointments with their representatives were able to sit down with them and talk about a topic of their choice. Representatives are also used to being stopped in hallways in order for people to share information or ask questions about different bills. Additionally, there were committee and subcommittee meetings to attend. It was a unique way to learn about how bills get presented and passed.
Advocacy on all levels is important and it can be intimidating to go to Raleigh and put yourself “out there” to representatives. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to do this while I am a student because now, I feel I could do it again, this time representing the clients of whatever agency employs me after graduation.