When AVMA Governmental Relations Division extern Rebecca Steers started her four-week stay in Washington, D.C., she was a Capitol Hill newbie, unsure about what to expect. When she left, she had a better understanding and first-hand experience with the power one person can wield when it comes to affecting national legislation that impacts the entire veterinary profession.
You see, Rebecca, a fourth-year student at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, found out that one voice can indeed be heard. She shared her story with us in the May issue of The AVMA Advocate, and I urge you take a look. And I’d also like to borrow a few of her words that I think capture the essence of our participatory democracy: “For those of us that are not directly involved in writing public policy, advocacy is where we can have the greatest impact. Citizen involvement is crucial to making sure our government serves us, and, as veterinarians, we have the additional opportunity of representing our profession.”
You, too, like Rebecca, can make a difference. If you’d like to get involved in the AVMA’s advocacy efforts, check out the Advocacy section of our Web site, join the AVMA Congressional Advocacy Network and contact your congressional representative. That’s what Rebecca did, and her efforts really paid off.
If you want to tell us how you’ve affected local, state or federal legislation by being involved, we’d love to hear your story.