For the 14th straight year National Wear Red Day also coincided with our annual “Heart on the Hill” Lobby Day in Salt Lake City.
hero_image_alt_text===Advocates wearing red, gathered at the Capitol
thumbnail_alt_text===Advocates wearing red, gathered at the Capitol
Volunteers from across the state had a chance to learn lobbying tips from former legislators as well as receive training about polices like Tobacco to 21 and Safe Routes to Schools directly from Legislators and fellow volunteer advocates! Special thanks to the staff and volunteers for coordinating and executing this awesome event. Also noteworthy – IASIS Health Care sponsored the event and provided breakfast, lunch and health screenings for legislators and volunteers!
Volunteers had a chance to hear from Brigham Young University Professor Robbie Chaney and his students who have been working on Safe Routes to School issues in Utah County. Now on their third year (3 different classes/semesters each year) Professor Chaney has successfully helped hundreds of students get real-life experience of how to get involved with their community to find solutions to problems. Students shared with our volunteers tips on how they can get involved in their own communities and ways to get their friends and neighbors involved in the effort as well. Their go-to resource: Social Media. If you see a problem, take a picture of it. Share it on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, tag local officials in the post, tell people where it’s at and why it’s a problem. Then recruit others to help you find other problem areas and bring awareness of the issue and work toward solutions!
Representative Brad Last spoke about his current efforts to curb youth smoking and close loopholes in current laws that have allowed tobacco shops and others to get business licenses in “restricted zoning” areas. He encouraged volunteers to reach out to their legislators and let them know about the issues they are passionate about and what bills they should be supporting.
Lastly, former Senator Pat Jones – who has been involved with our Go Red For Women campaign for years – shared with volunteers the importance of lawmakers getting a woman’s perspective. Women make up less than 20% of the legislature – but they make up just more than 50% of the electorate! She shared examples from the time she served in the legislature about how she spent much of her time sharing with other lawmakers how proposed legislation would impact women – especially health-related issues. She encouraged our volunteers to not just build relationships with lawmakers and share their thoughts with them but to prepare to run for elected office themselves! Public service is a passion of hers – as she demonstrates by the many volunteer boards and other organizations she dedicates her time to.
We closed out the day with a wonderful “heart healthy” lunch with lawmakers! This was a great opportunity to sit across the table from our elected officials and discuss tobacco and other health-related bills that they would be debating this year.