In February and March, several organizations that I am a member of had legislative days at the state and national levels. For many years, I have participated with the pest control industry and women business owners’ legislative days in DC.
Coincidentally, both are usually held within days of each other every year. Because of my hectic schedule last month, I did not attend legislative events in DC that pertained to issues that regulate how I do business as a pest management professional or a woman-owned company.
But I did visit our state legislators to address issues that I felt strongly about professionally and morally. The voter registration ID bill reminds me of the Old South and legislating when a mother can breastfeed her baby sounded too much like “big government” overstepping. Because I blog about issues on the hill often, I was right at home with our state legislators, even this new crop of politicians. Many issues cherished by my family because of my grandfather’s contributions on the civil rights battlefield have been steamrolled by this group. I have shared my thoughts with many bill authors by phone, email, and in person. Bills regarding voting issues have wiped out years of voter rights activism.
Although not as important as bills pertaining to voting issues, the food desert legislation bill, left me with mixed feelings. It is a good idea but I do believe more education around food deserts is essential, and the community of color needs to be informed of the role it plays in getting this type of legislation momentum.
Food desert legislation has been a hot topic since our First Lady, Michelle Obama, kicked off her initiatives to tackle obesity in children. "Food deserts" are neighborhoods and areas of the country without supermarkets that sell fresh fruits and vegetables. Mrs. Obama, like many First Ladies before her, picked a cause that is close to her heart. She is raising awareness about childhood obesity and using her platform as First Lady of the United States to influence others to become involved to make a difference in stamping out childhood illness related to obesity.