My day on Capitol Hill

Yesterday, I was among hundreds of Easter Seals advocates who climbed into buses and rode to Capitol Hill. We descended on our senators and representatives to talk about the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP). Our goal was to encourage Congress to override President Bush’s veto of SCHIP legislation.

I traveled with volunteers and staff from our four Easter Seals affiliates in Florida. It was inspiring to see Easter Seals folks walking through the halls and engaging our representatives. I dropped off an information packet for Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R. – Fla.) and told his staff about our new Autism Center of Excellence in Daytona Beach. 

Then I trekked to Rep. C.W. Bill Young’s (R. – Fla.) office — they were very supportive of the SCHIP reauthorization and had already signed on as a sponsor for the Americans with Disabilities Restoration Act — yea! They received a brochure about our Center, too! 

Next, I visited Rep. Tom Feeney’s (R. – Fla.) office. Feeney had toured our Easter Seals facilities last month and actually saw firsthand the Autism Center of Excellence.

I also met with Rep. John Mica (R. – Fla.), who has been a good friend of Easter Seals in the past. Mica has helped us with several bills supporting people with disabilities, and was very interested in signing on as a sponsor for the ADA Restoration Act. Yea! At Mica’s office, I ran into Mike Matousek, who works for Mica and is the son of Diane Matousek. I know Diane from my work in Daytona Beach. Small world!

Those meetings were all in the afternoon — we had already met with our senators that morning!

One meeting went especially well. Sen. Bill Nelson (D. – Fla.) was on board and supported our efforts! The other visit with Sen. Mel Martinez (R. – Fla.) didn’t go quite as well, but we did a good job explaining our perspective and the need for the override.

At lunch I had a chance to sit down and talk with other Easter Seals folks — I heard very encouraging feedback about their visits.

One bit of advice though: if you ever have a chance to visit Capitol Hill, wear comfortable shoes.

I did, and I was very glad! After seven hours on the Hill, I was very tired! And my feet still do hurt a bit, I must admit. But I’m ecstatic about what we accomplished, and now I think everyone should pay a visit to Capitol Hill and their representatives — it’s a great experience!

Read Lynn Sinnott’s biography.


Comments may not reflect Easterseals' policies or positions.

  1. Lynn Sinnott Says:

    Marilee–yes, voting is really one very good way to have your say. Visiting our elected officals and sharing our concerns is another. Good luck in the classroom! Lynn

  2. Marilee Says:

    Lynn, thank you for representing Florida! It sounds like you found the most important people to speak to -as a teacher in Orlando, I appreciate what you are doing for all citizens with disabilities. The message I am hearing over and over is that all eligible people need to vote- this is a lesson we must start teaching our children.

  3. Maurice Snell Says:

    Lynn, sounds to me like you have been working 9 to 5 on Capitol Hill. No wonder you all did a lot of walking! But it was all worth it as you were with a terrific group out there: the family of Easter Seals. I’m sorry I wasn’t present in Washington to witness this historic event, but in past speaking experiences, I would encourage Americans to vote, just like Paul Simon did.

    I think we, as Americans can do it; we have to stick together to reach our dream that will help out every disabled individual out there. We, as Americans aim for a brighter and better future!