Getting to Know My Senator
This Tuesday marked the second time I visited Springfield with ICIRR for advocacy day. It was an amazing sight to see 1,300 people come down to visit with their legislators and inform them of the issues that are important to them—everything from parent mentors to drivers licenses for the undocumented. When we first arrived in Springfield everyone gathered in the rotunda of the State Capitol to listen to various community members and legislators speak about the importance of the issues we were down advocating on behalf of. To witness so many people from so many different walks of life come together to make their collective voices heard was incredibly powerful.
When we first visited the capitol back in February, I was nervous about going around to visit the legislators’ offices by myself. As I had never really had contact with any legislators before, I had this idea that I think a lot of people may hold, that they are very hard to get in contact with. Participating in advocacy day and speaking with my own local senator helped me realize how accessible local representatives and senators are to their constituents and the people in their communities. In order to enact change and ensure that your voice is heard, it is crucial to exercise your rights and participate in our democracy. As the back of the ICIRR vest says, “Democracy is not a spectator sport—organize!”