Authored by Joe Cody and Jesse Fiest, 2020 Advocacy Day Co-Chairs
Spring, in Washington D.C., has many familiar sights and sounds. The hallowed halls of the Senate and House office buildings are teeming with energy and bustling with excitement as people from across the country come to advocate for issues they hold dear. Interns and staffers in sharp attire scurry about the halls, running from office to office, leading tour groups of constituents and dreaming about the impact they will have in their home states. Members of Congress congregate, walking from one appointment to another, flanked by staff and reporters. This is what advocates who attend RESOLVE’s Advocacy Day are normally greeted with as they embark on the annual effort to push for pro-family legislation.
However, 2020 was different. The halls of Congress were empty. Instead, living rooms were transformed into offices and our homes became the place of advocacy for RESOLVE’s first virtual Advocacy Day
The Biggest Advocacy Day Ever
As many of us have experienced, when it comes to pushing through adversity, being part of a community with a common goal is an impactful way to take control of a situation. And that is exactly what every one of our advocates did for Advocacy Day 2020. While we were unable to all meet in person, this did not stop a record number of advocates from coming together and lobbying their Members of Congress. A total of 385 advocates from all 50 states and Washington D.C. participated in over 262 meetings with Senators, Representatives, and committee staff. Although we were not physically on the Hill, our impact was felt in many ways. Dedicated advocates like yourself helped collect over 5,730 letters, which were delivered directly to Congress.
Breaking New Ground
In addition to the record number of attendees and letters sent, our advocates received special messages of support via video from Senator Cory Booker, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Julia Brownley, our amazing sponsors, RESOLVE, ASRM and SART leadership, members of RESOLVE’s Physicians Council, and most importantly their fellow advocates. These videos can be found on RESOLVE’s YouTube page.
Our amazing patient advocacy volunteer subcommittee put together the first ever virtual patient meetup, where advocates met to share their stories. The incredible training volunteer subcommittee held a virtual cram session the night before Advocacy Day, and we had 165 advocates prepare for their meetings. Finally, advocates came together to celebrate Advocacy Day for a virtual debrief happy hour.
Despite not being able to be together in person this year, RESOLVE helped put together a number of brand new, innovative features that kept advocates fired up, and helped make this the biggest and best Advocacy Day yet. All of this has led to more co-sponsors for our legislation than ever, and more Members of Congress sign on weekly!
The Best is Yet to Come
Despite these amazing gains, there is still work to be done. We can still get more co-sponsors for our bills. We can get coverage for fertility treatment covered across the country. We can end discrimination against those hoping to adopt. We are more confident than ever that together we will achieve our goal to help people across the country living with infertility, and trying to build their families.
Together, we can make a difference and deliver the message that the ability to have a family is a fundamental human right.