I&E Days 2010 – What an event!

It was about two weeks ago today that tobacco control advocates gathered at the State Capitol for Capitol I&E Days. A few of us here at the Center decided to take a second and reflect on some of our favorite parts of the event:

It takes a long time to make I&E Days appointments and even longer to break people into legislative visit teams; we consider geography, workplans and level of I&E days experience. It is great to see the fruits of our labor all come together when the teams break out and start working together as they did at this years I&E Days. Veteran I&E Day goers helping newcomers, newcomers diving into the process with everything they have and all participants being flexible and understanding of last minute changes, additions and problems. What a great community of advocates!

–Erin Archer

My favorite part of I&E Days was the end result of all this preparation: the legislative visit.  I was able to assist with a couple of legislative visits with two new participants (Esmeralda Gonzalez from Stanislaus County and Christine Ricohermoso from USC TEAM Lab).  They were both a little nervous before their visits, but when we got to the actual visit, they did a wonderful job talking about their local work.  It was great to see first time participants who worked hard to get prepared for their meetings have such successful visits.

–Justin Garrett

In the midst of all of the last minute planning that goes into I&E Days, my favorite part of I&E Days this year was the calm before the storm, the fun before the work — the PACT Coalition Meet & Greet. Hearing Senator Alex Padilla speak is always an inspiring experience. And although the PACT coalition was honoring Padilla for his great work, it was nice to hear him, and the other speakers, thank everyone in the room for all of their hard work. I don’t think that that happens often enough. And it felt really nice before we all broke into our individual legislative visit teams the next day to be united as one movement for the evening.

–Vanessa Marvin

I liked the fast pace of the day in Sacramento.  We weren’t sitting around as much as last year.  I felt more energy in the group.  I went to five offices including one drop by, and every one of them, supporter and opponent alike, was interesting and fun.  Vanessa told us last week that (rough numbers): for 31 folks, it was their first time at I&E. I was with two of them at meetings and they did great.  59 had attended one or two years previously.  That’s my category, and I felt I was getting the hang of it.  And 57 had been here 3 years or more and could handle anything.  I sat there during the morning orientation looking at the 150 or so people seated in the tent and said to the person sitting next to me, “What a smart, committed, diverse group of people this.  It’s a real movement.”

–Jack Nicholl

Good causes need to tell good stories and every year I&E Days brings together some of the greatest storytellers in our movement. I’m not kidding. You might not think of yourself as a storyteller but every one of us has a story to tell whether it be a lesson learned, a battle endured or a victorious moment realized.  Every year at I&E Days there’s a moment when I step back and fully appreciate what it is we do, both collectively as a movement and individually in communities all across California. This year was no different. So often we put our heads down and just do the work diligently and methodically without taking the time to appreciate our collective successes. We talk about movements and creating social norm change one step at a time but rarely can you step back from it and see it so clearly as I can when advocates from all over the state join together at the state Capitol and tell their story.

— Kimberly Weich Reusche

One Comment

  1. Posted Jun 14, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Yay

One Trackback

  1. By What Comes After I&E Days? – on Jul 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    […] year I’ve seen two of the best examples post-I&E Days follow-up I’ve ever seen. These two coalitions went above and beyond the normal “thank you” […]

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