On April 25 a group of 16 AWHPC supporters met with staff for Senator Feinstein to request her leadership and intervention to protect wild horses. By taking the time to meet with the Senator's staff personally, these advocates made a strong impression that Senator Feinstein's constituents care about this issue. Their experience can serve as a model for AWHPC supporters in other areas to mobilize in order to get your legislators to stand up for wild horses and sign the Keep Wild Horses Wild pledge. Special thanks to Stephanie Zil who spearheaded this meeting, and to all who attended!
By Stephanie Gil
As promised, I'm writing with an update on the meeting at Senator Feinstein's Westwood office last Friday, April 25th. Sixteen advocates gathered at 2pm for a brief introduction and strategy discussion prior to our scheduled meeting with Kevin Chang, Senator Feinstein's field representative, at 2:30pm. Kevin began the meeting (at our request) with a brief description of his position on the Senator's staff. Along with his responsibility for the Riverside area, he also works on issues relating to various Federal agencies including the Bureau of Land Management.
After he had introduced himself, each member of our group introduced herself (or himself) with name, occupation or affiliation, and a brief statement of her motivation, advocacy work and anticipated outcome of our meeting.
Kevin Change made notes throughout our presentations. Once everyone had spoken, he reiterated the concerns and proposals of the group as a whole, as he understood them.
We confirmed the following list of requests for action:
In closing, Kevin informed us that the issue of protection for wild horses and burros had gone from being intermittently monitored by the Senator's staff to being on the agenda at virtually every meeting. He said that the level of public interest and comment has escalated dramatically, and urged us to keep contacting Senator Feinstein's office, and to reach out to other members of congress as well.
I am honored and proud to have been part of this exceptional group of advocates. Working together, we made real progress in enlisting the support of a powerful member of Congress. But we know, and Senator Feinstein's representative confirmed,that we need to do more. After our meeting at Senator Feinstein's office, we discussed continuing our lobbying efforts with visits to Senator Boxer, Representative Schiff, and other members of Congress.
Thank you for helping to organize such a stellar group of advocates!