Our friend Krisdee from Keep Austin Nursing in Public asked us to help get the word out about the two Legislative Action Days that The Texas Breastfeeding Coalition is hosting this spring:
The second is March 3rd and coincides with a House Resolution commemorating the 20th anniversary of Health and Safety Code 165, which asserts the Right to Breastfeed in public and establishes the Mother Friendly Worksite designation.
Come to one or both days and visit with legislators and staffers if you’d like to ask for their support of the bills that TXBC is promoting.
(Can’t make it to Austin, or not on these days? You can still contact your legislators or even visit them in district. Explore the TXBC website for more information and resources on supporting the bills!)
Legislative Action Days
Texas is the size of 11 other states. We are the second largest state in both geography and population.
Legislators want to hear from their own constituents – the voice that matters is the one that may or may not vote for them.
When you attend a legislative action day, you will meet with staffers or legislators, usually paired with another advocate. You’ll be provided with materials to help prepare you for your meetings. You’ll pass along a packet of information and talk about why breastfeeding support is important to you and imperative for maternal and child health.
You may bring your child(ren). If you’d like, you could bring them in a doctor’s jacket or with a stethoscope, to highlight that breastfeeding is a public health issue.
Your dress should be business attire or business casual. Very comfortable shoes are advised.
You may want to bring a tote bag (and maybe a stroller, if you’re bringing children) to carry your packets and the small gifts that we will likely send to offices.
If you have a smartphone, please take photos on your visits and share on social media with the hashtag #txbfleg. (Anyone not attending can use the hashtag to find these and repost & retweet them.)
You will need to register so that we will know your availability and can determine whom you should visit.
Please register for February 18th here.
Please register for March 3rd here.
Details for Feb. 18:
We will meet at the north end of level E2, between the E2.400’s and E2.700’s wings. (This is where our art is being exhibited that week. You’ll want to be sure to check out Scott Wade’s Dirty Car Art creation in front of the Capitol on 11th Street while you’re there, as well.) Our legislative chair, Krisdee Donmoyer, will be on E2 from 9am to 5pm to coordinate visits – giving you your assignments/appointment times, and materials to pass along. You can check in with her after your meetings in the same place, to give her notes on your meetings, or you may want to use a smartphone or tablet to send them as you go.
Details for Mar. 3:
We will meet in the House Gallery before 10am. The Resolution will be presented by Representative Farrar, probably in the first half of the 10:00 hour. Rep. Farrar will recognize a few advocates on the House floor, then everyone in the gallery. After the resolution we will take a group photo on the stairs outside the House chamber (exit the Gallery and take the stairs on the right of the west wing down to the 2nd floor), then disseminate assignments, packets and gifts. At this point, depending on the time and appointment times you may have, you might wish to have lunch (there is a cafeteria, the Capitol Grill) before you begin your visits. Krisdee will be available in the cafeteria until 5pm to coordinate, answer questions, and receive visit notes.
If you have questions or concerns you can reach Krisdee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512.655.9647.
You may want to park at the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage, east of the Capitol, located at 1201 San Jacinto located between Trinity and San Jacinto Streets at 12th and 13th Streets. Parking is free for the first two hours and $1.00 for each half hour thereafter (maximum daily charge: $8.00). If you go to the top floor and park near the elevator (there are stairs at each corner with glass doors; the elevator has concrete walls), you can take the elevator down to the 2nd floor, turn right, and it’s just a one-block walk to the Capitol grounds.
Coming from the Capitol Visitors Parking garage, you can enter the east side of the Capitol (or go to the left and enter the main entrance of the capitol building.) There are more maps here.
TO E2 on 2/18 – Just take the North Wing elevators down to E2, and walk straight all the way down to the other end of the building. You will go around the Central Court, an open-air rotunda. It gets confusing here. You should pass one hallway, then at the next hallway – which is the main hallway again – you should be able to see our exhibit.
TO HOUSE GALLERY on 3/3 - Take the North Wing elevators to 3rd floor. Head south out of the elevators into the rotunda, and turn right to go into the west wing and enter the Gallery at the end of it.
TO THE CAFETERIA - Take the North Wing elevators to level E1. Follow the hallway until it opens up into the Seal Court. The Capitol Grill is on the left of the court.