January means it’s that time again…time to gather with the rest of VCDL and other organizations and lobby our state representatives and let them know our opinions on current legislation. Husband and I have been doing this now for 5 years. Feel free to check out my reports on our past years: 2011, 2012, 2013.
This year we decided to stay the night, again. This is much simpler than waking up and driving in at awful early morning hours! To see our Richmond day trip adventures, click here.
One of the most noticeable other lobby groups supporting marijuana reform laws there with puppies!
Husband volunteered as an official leader this year, and it was a very nice experience! Usually, we meet up with friends, and then visit our representatives…which involves running up and down the entire building. Instead, our assignments included specific people to meet, and packets were provided to us to highlight our stance on current legislation. Our delegates were only on floors 3-4! Which is a much easier hike when you end up using the stairs lol.
Here’s the process:
You speak with the Administrative Assistants, to find out if the representative is available.
If they aren’t, you ask to speak with the aide. The first year we didn’t understand that the representatives usually aren’t available and its pretty normal to only speak with their aides.
Sometimes even waiting for an aide can take a little while, so its important to find ways to entertain yourself while waiting…like reading fun government pamphlets.
Sometimes you get lucky, and you’re able to steal the delegate’s time for a little bit.
And, don’t forget to sign the guest book.
The efficiency of this experience meant that we were quickly done with our task! We walked a couple of streets to get a quick food fix at the 7-11.
At 11 am everyone gathers in the court-yard to listen to speeches.
One of my favorite quotes this year was: “The love of Liberty is the love of others, the love of power is the love of self.” My favorite speech was the one that helped encourage how gun owners could be better ambassadors for our cause. He spoke about how to encourage others, instead of focusing on “snappy zingers that would embarrass them in public.” It reminded me a lot of how I approach educating others who confront me.
These gatherings are great opportunities to make new friends, or meet up with old ones.
One of my new friends appreciated the fact that I was wearing my DSLR AND a firearm. He took some of my new favorite pictures of myself and husband!
Once the speeches ended we headed back towards the canal. My husband’s work contractors work in Richmond and invited us to try “Richmond’s Best Pizza” at Bottoms Up. The company was great, the slices were huge, but warning, it does take a VERY long time. They were okay in my opinion, don’t know that I’d label them the best.
My last fun experience of the day before heading home was investigating the Hobby Lobby. I’d never been to one. I did find a couple of products that are not in my local craft stores…but I did find Hobby Lobby more similar to Pier 1 than an amazing craft store. The scrap booking section wasn’t as exciting as I’d been expecting!
You should come with us next year to Lobby Day, especially if you’ve never been. Our favorite experiences have been to see hour our groups have been different each year. We’ve been able to introduce many people to this practice of “voting all day with their presence” as one of my best friends puts it. Seriously, if you are interested in gun rights in Virginia, you should be out there…especially if you are the kind of person who thinks that voting is important.