Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Research, Research, Research: Getting the Ducks in Line

I can't believe that I'm almost through my second week already.
Oh wait. I meant to say, I can't believe I'm almost through with my third week.
I can't believe that I didn't know the difference.

I can say that next week, I already have two meetings for Tuesday.

For the past 2 and a half weeks now, I have been preparing for meetings. I have been building lists of congresspeople, and doing research to add to the lists. Using a spreadsheet, in an unfortunately yet unavoidable confusing manner that even I can barely understand, are the following thing:
-Lists of congress people by State, by committee, and by voting record
- Choose Relevant States- Maine, Montana, Oregon, North Dakota, Vermont, New Mexico, Kentucky, Missouri,
-Congress person's political leaning, State (I usually just guess the two letter abbreviation), and phone number
- Appropriate committees and subcommittees. Notables include:
-Judiciary committee
-Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security (HR 1866 referred)
-Committee on Energy and Commerce (HR 1866 referred)
-Subcommittee on Energy and Environment
- Agriculture
-Horticulture and Organic Agriculture
-Conservation, Credit, Energy, and Research
- Small Business: Rural Development, Entrepreneurship, and Trade
- Science and Technology: Energy and the Environment
- Nutrition & Forestry
- Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming
- Natural Resources
-Finally, important notes. This include if I've met with them, what they did for a living, what they support, etc. This includes any laws the congressperson's state; as well as business and amount of constituency.

Wow. That's a lot. See, that's why it's been taking me so long. It's also why I don't really know what day it is.
Now, I just need to make sure I have it all memorized.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Back In Washington

I thought that it was time to revisit my blog after about a year of latency.
I'm back in DC and working again for Vote Hemp. The goal is to get federal recognition of industrial hemp. This is no easy task and has never been done before.

Grassroots support for hemp is notable and significant. To date, 14 states allow hemp farming, and Oregon will be the 15th state within two weeks. (SB 676 has already passed committee and is on the senate floor today). While individual states show enormous support with both constituencies and legislature, this hardly translates to the federal level.

My job is to get support for HR 1866, the third reintroduction of Ron Paul's "Industrial Hemp Farming Act". I have nothing against Ron Paul, but apparently, this is not the case for most politicians. Most politicians would support hemp if it were politically viable; unfortunately, at the moment, it is not.

I'll try to keep you updated this summer. If you read this far, shoot me an email so that I know to keep writing....