Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Biggest day ever?

So, today was one of my biggest days ever.
Yesterday I had a meeting on the hill with the agricultural legislative assistant (LA) for Zack Space of Ohio. The meeting went as well as I could have expected. The staffer said that Zack Space would not be supporting HR 1866, mostly because the farmers had not already come to her to fight for hemp themselves.
Today, I talked on the phone with the director of the Ohio Farmers Union, and followed up with an email to see if we can change that.

So, after my meeting on the Hill, I started walking around. I made calls to certain offices while sitting at a bench outside the Rayburn building, telling them I would be in later that day. After a few calls, I went in for lunch in the Longworth Cafeteria.

I ran into my friend from college, Charlie Herron, who happened to place second in the national debate competition in Chicago that I attended with him. While I could have easily taken the people's choice award (which did not exist) I did not actually place. I said to him as we ate, "Who's the lobbyist now?!" in a sarcastically aggressive tone.

After lunch, I started going around to different offices. I stopped at many (but not all) of the offices I had just called. I would just go into an office that was particularly inviting (mostly based on State or if I knew the person's name), introduce myself, and give them my card to forward to the agriculture LA. I did this to about 20 different offices.

I came home, changed, took a nap, walked the dog, put on my 'party clothes', and went out. After participating in a psychological study (and walking away with $40 cash), I went out with some friends to the 'Froggy Bottom', a bar with great drink specials right by the 'Foggy Bottom' metro stop. I met a very nice girl from Arkansas who was enjoying the last few days of her four week 'out of Arkansas' internship. Today was actually her 22nd birthday. She is living it up right now, I can party imagine and partly say from experience.

Today I emailed a bunch of people, canceled two meetings on the Hill, and booked another meeting with a lobbyist to talk about strategy. I talked to my boss, the president of both Vote Hemp as well as the Hemp Industries Association, for a long time on the phone. I took a ceramics class for the first time in about four years. Best of all, I got to hang out with my pseudo-supervisor, Adam Eidinger. He DJed new age house music while I sent emails to lobbyists and staff members from the Tennessee Farmer Bureau. It was such a good time that I even made a video on my phone.

This week has been so much better than my last. I can only hope that my overall enjoyment of Washington DC follows that ubiquotous exponential graph that was popularized by Al Gore.

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