On Wednesday, May 28 the North Carolina State Legislature saw a lot of red – in a good way. Over 50 of our passionate NC You’re the Cure advocates came together wearing their best AHA red and took over the halls of the Capitol buildings, using their powerful role as constituents to let their legislators know how passionate they are about issues that will build a healthier North Carolina from food deserts to tobacco control program funding to funding for the Stroke Advisory Council.
State Lobby Day was kicked off with a successful training on Tuesday evening. A special thanks to our presenters: to Pam Seamans, Peg O’Connell, Amanda Hodges, Jennifer Collins, Neil Dorsey, Michelle Ballasiotes, Mary Kay Ballasiotes, and Lee Storrow. After spending time learning the issues and how to share our story so it would resonate with legislators, we enjoyed dinner and fellowship time. Many new faces peppered the audience of advocates, and we were excited to welcome the newcomers as well as our seasoned veteran advocates. A special thanks to our incredible NC Advocacy Committee, who stepped in and led their groups with incredible knowledge!
State Lobby Day is successful every year because of our advocates. Many shared personal stories with their legislators about why we need a Joint Legislative Study Committee on Food Deserts, saying that since 1.5 million North Carolinians live in a food desert and everyone deserves access to healthy foods we need to do what we can to eradicate them. Others spoke to funding for tobacco use prevention, how vital the resources are to keeping our kids tobacco-free. Still others advocated about the work of the Stroke Advisory Council (SAC) and the importance of providing funding to the Council so their work can continue.
You’re the Cure is vital to the American Heart Association because it is our volunteers that put a face to issues that affect each and every one of us– and when they come together, their voice is amplified. Legislators listen.
Even if you missed lobby day, you are in a powerful position to make a difference. Right now, you can take action to ask your legislators for SAC funding. The SAC works to improve care for stroke patients along the full continuum of care from prevention to transitional management of stroke care.
Thank you to our North Carolina You’re the Cure advocates who joined us in person, and virtually, for State Lobby Day. Betsy Vetter, Kacie Kennedy, and Kim Chidester, your AHA team, thank you for your participation.
You are using your voice to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.