As you’ve read in Mary’s most recent blog, I’ve just returned from a trip to Washington, DC. The trip was for a few purposes and one she mentioned was to visit the site for this year’s Symposium. The hotel and location are beautiful and accessible to many activities. The Omni will provide a well needed respite for you all to bring your family, relax, and gather with others in the Community. We are also hearing back from so many of you who have already booked your trip, which makes us even more excited as the Symposium draws near.
The main reason for my visit to the Nation’s Capitol was however to meet with many offices of the Senate and House of Representatives to get a firm grasp of what is going on with the asbestos ban and mesothelioma research bill. Overall, the outcome was very positive. Despite a tight schedule, many Senators and Members of Congress are still working diligently toward making the passing of this bill a reality this Session. The new Administration, Congress and new appointees have made regulatory agencies, like the EPA, more cooperative and will provide support for the much needed votes. What was stressed to me was the importance of the Meso Community staying in contact with our legislators and keeping advocacy alive in our awareness activities. Many offices remembered meeting with so many of you and are carried along in this work from the stories we’ve shared.
The following are some tips to help create and continue the momentum needed to ban asbestos and fund meso research:
- Call and write to your House Representative and Senators about the importance of passing an asbestos ban and research funding bill this Session.
- Call and write to the lawmakers who preside on the Committees working on this legislation (Energy and Commerce in the House of Representatives and Environment and Public Works in the Senate) to encourage and thank them for remembering the importance of this bill.
- Read news articles about asbestos and mesothelioma in your area and State and make sure to share that information with your lawmakers, asking what they propose to do about it.
- Call your local newspaper and media outlets and ask them to share your story of mesothelioma and the toll asbestos exposure takes on so many victims.
- Encourage your friends, family and community to do the above and spread the word. Everyone can do these simple tasks.
- Spread the word about the Symposium and Advocacy Day in your town and especially to at-risk groups by printing out this flyer and asking to post it at your oncology center, doctor’s office, Veterans clubs, Union halls, and local Cancer Societies such as the American Lung Association.
I am confident that we can raise our voices to educate, remind, and create action in our lawmakers’ offices and see the signing of the strictest possible ban and funding for mesothelioma research from this Administration!