Wabash Blogs Immersion 2008: Washington D.C.

« Padgitt Goes to Washington | Main | A Good Week »

A Full Day of Lobbying and Advocacy

Stephen Maynard '11 - We really started to feel the hustle of Washington Wednesday! A morning meeting with a lobbyist from Eli Lilly showed the importance of pharmaceutical companies' relations with Capital Hill. A Senate Office meeting with Senator Bay's health aide proved how members of Congress rely on their staff to give them all the information they need to make a decision. Last, a teleconference at Consumers' Union showed the dangers of lobbying without oversight and of the strength of grassroots advocacy.

This week so far we've met people representing a lot of the sides involved in the policy-making process. Any person who has observed past and ongoing debates over healthcare knows that it is a divisive issue that has no real solution that doesn't involve a great amount of compromise, usually on the key issues.

The trip is challenging our perceptions of how Washington truly works. Outside of the beltway it's easy to ridicule and belittle the federal government; but when you come to understand just how many voices need to be heard in order for decisions to be made wisely,that pessimistic opinion might change.

Everyone is having a great time here in Foggy Bottom, and we're looking forward to a great conclusion to this week.

First Picture: The group on its to Eli Lilly

Second Picture:  Susan Herald at Consumers' Union

Third Picture:  The group listening to Herald explaining the organization's mission.