Thursday, April 15

Here is the big day! Although this is my first Lobby Day with ACMA, it is not my first time lobbying. Funny, the emotions are the same as they have been in the past. I can’t explain it, but there is something exciting about looking at the Capitol building. Today is beautiful outside. The flowers are in bloom and perfect in their own beauty, and there is no way to describe the beautiful architecture all around me. Most everyone is paired up. Jay and I are already calling ourselves the “A” team. I suppose this is fitting since our assignment papers show that we’re both team leaders. That made us both laugh…

We start our morning by walking to the Russell Building. We have a few moments so we sit on park benches to prepare. Okay, not going to lie: We’re both more than comfortable with the information to present, so we’re chatting about our kids. When it’s time for our first appointment, I tell Jay not to worry if I get held up in security. It happens to me all the time. I have to get my luggage checked, my purse checked and half the time I get patted down. He laughed and said that doesn’t happen to him. Imagine my hysteria when I pass through security the first time with no problems, and it takes Jay three times before he figured out his watch must be removed.

Our first meeting was with Julia Huber, Senator Evan Bayh’s aide. I had worked hard with Julie to find a time that would work. I hadn’t told her I was bringing others with me, so imagine her surprise when three of us come to the office. ACMA also had Zach Williams, a professional lobbyist, tag along. Julie was certain that Senator Bayh would be interested in doing something. Being in Senator Bayh’s waiting area brought back memories from when he was Indiana governor and how his office helped the composites industry during the Title V permit process and when some of the Presumptive NESHAP rules were being made.

We didn’t have much time before the next appointment with Senator Risch from Idaho. I was surprised at how well informed his aide was and impressed with the research he had done. It was great to chat with the Senator himself. He said that he would love to help us out and joked that hopefully this issue wouldn’t turn out to be like the health care issue. At the same time you could see he took seriously everything we told him.