What a great legislative conference! The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) really does a wonderful job training up pediatricians, family advocates and affiliate members who wish to take action and do what they can to be a voice for kids.

SODBP members & AAP Leadership meet & greet
SODBP members & AAP Leadership meet & greet
With Julia Beckett, mother of Katie Beckett...who advocated tireless for legislation that allowed kids with severe disabilities to live at home (Katie Beckett Waiver)
With Julia Beckett, mother of Katie Beckett…who advocated tireless for legislation that allowed kids with severe disabilities to live at home (Katie Beckett Waiver)

Fun Run photo stop I wanted to do one last post to reflect on the 25th Annual AAP Legislative conference and all I learned from that experience.

  1. Anyone with a story to tell can become an effective advocate. As a citizen of this country, everyone and anyone can exercise their right to vote and talk with their legislators on any issue that is most concerning or important to them.
  2. Talking to legislators is a whole lot easier than you think. The bottom line is you can make an appointment to meet with or talk to your legislators. if you do not know who they are, you can go to house.gov  and put in your zip code to find your representative or go to senate.gov and put in your state to find your two senators. The two times I have gone to the Hill I met with knowledgeable and smart staffers and want to understand why a certain issue is important to you. The appointments are usually 20 minutes tops. Just have a fact sheet, business card or  other piece to leave behind with information you wish to communicate.
  3. Social media can be an effective platform to share your views, break through
    Proud tweetiatrician moment!
    Proud tweetiatrician moment!

    myths/misconceptions and even tweet your legislators! If you went on Twitter this past week, you likely saw #AAPLegCon trending. There is power in numbers…so when you see certain hashtags trending, that means a lot of chatter is going on…I got to help some new tweetiatricians launch their first tweets…as well as tweeted with two of my representatives in real-time to say THANKS and make appointments!

  4. Follow up with your contacts after your appointments to the Hill or local offices by email. Offering to be a resource and sending links to stories/op-eds is a great way to follow-up and keep building your relationship.
Getting ready for the fun run!
Getting ready for the fun run!
The future looks bright for our kids...hope
The future looks bright for our kids…hope
"I see 1/3rd of a nation ill housed, ill clad & ill nourished" -FDR Same issues today, fighting 4 kids
“I see 1/3rd of a nation ill housed, ill clad & ill nourished” -FDR Same issues today, fighting 4 kids
Outside the Capitol...pediatricians ready to advocate for kids!
Outside the Capitol…pediatricians ready to advocate for kids!
Waiting to advocate for kids!
Waiting to advocate for kids!
Outside Rep Brooks's office in DC
Outside Rep Brooks’s office in DC
Outside Sen Donnelly's office
Outside Sen Donnelly’s office
Outside Senator Coats's office
Outside Senator Coats’s office
We're Ready! (L-->R) Me, Dr. Carol Weitman, Mark Del Monte, Dr. Peter Smith
We’re Ready! (L–>R) Me, Dr. Carol Weitman, Mark Del Monte, Dr. Peter Smith

RELATED: Because of Katie Beckett, Children with Severe Disabilities Can Live at Home

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Written by

Nerissa Bauer

I am a behavioral pediatrician, consultant, child advocate and blogger. I am a wife, mommy to 2 amazing children and a golden retriever. Love cooking, travel, reading, tap and creating.