Thursday, February 1st, more than 40 Colorado advocates attended our biggest Go Red Day at the Capitol yet! For many advocates, it was their first trip to the Capitol ever. They learned about our legislative priorities in 2018 - funding for multimodal transportation (bike lanes and sidewalks), and defeating bills that would take away local governments' ability to approach tobacco control the way they want to. Many legislators joined advocates for breakfast to hear their personal stories about why they're involved and why they care so much.
hero_image_alt_text===Group photo of advocates
thumbnail_alt_text===Group photo of advocates
The day began with an impassioned opening speech by Dr. Jandel Allen-Davis, Vice President, Government, External Relations and Research for Kaiser Permanente and AHA SouthWest Affiliate Board Member. Jandel spoke about the importance of getting regular exercise and how she’s able to get a 4-mile walk in every morning because of the trails near her home!
After Jandel’s opening remarks, our Colorado Government Relations Director, Rebecca Dubroff (formerly Levin), explained our policy priorities this year including funding for multimodal transportation and defending tobacco policies by defeating bills with preemption language. I gave a brief advocacy training on how advocates can tell their personal stories to lawmakers, and Miss Colorado, Meredith Winnefeld, shared her story as an example for the group. During the training, Representatives Landgraf and Valdez stopped by to say a quick hello and thanked advocates for attending.
We had breakfast in the beautiful west foyer where we were joined by Governor John Hickenlooper who gave remarks about the importance of the lobby day and the mission of the AHA. State Advocacy Committee Chair Julie Hill introduced the Governor. Advocates had a chance to tell their stories and communicate our legislative priorities during one-on-one conversations with the State Representatives and State Senators who stopped by for breakfast.
After breakfast, we broke into two groups and headed to the House and Senate Chambers to hear the Wear Red Day Tributes. The tribute in the Senate was sponsored by Senator Beth Martinez Humenik and the tribute in the House was sponsored by Representatives Susan Beckman and Edie Hooton. Many lawmakers and their staff wore red to honor National Wear Red Day!
We were so glad to be able to spend the morning with so many passionate advocates for heart health! We can't wait for next year. Thank you to everyone who attended!