AOTPAC Contest Winners Participate in Historic Inauguration and Congressional Swearing-In
The excitement of the November 2008 elections continues as the 111th Congress was sworn into office on January 6, 2009 and the Presidential Inauguration approaches. Not only was a new President elected but the entire U.S. House of Representatives and 1/3 of the U.S. Senate. For the November 2008 elections, AOTPAC achieved a 94.4% success rate, supporting 126 candidates for U.S. House and Senate with 119 winning election/reelection. AOTPAC held two contests in the fall of 2008 to increase member participation and advocacy for occupational therapy by offering unique and historic prizes for the winners. Susan Harris of California won the contest of contributors of $1,000 or more and will participate in the presidential inaugural activities in Washington, D.C. Jody Werner of Kansas won the contest of contributors of $365 or more and participated in the congressional swearing-in activities in Washington, D.C. To keep you informed of activities for these events, AOTPAC Chairperson Amy Lamb will be blogging and welcomes your comments.
Despite the rain, the congressional swearing-in activities were festive and a celebration of change. Jody Werner and her husband, Michael, joined AOTPAC Chairperson Amy Lamb, and AOTA staff members: Christina Metzler, chief public affairs officer, Tim Nanof, federal affairs manager, and Ralph Kohl, legislative representative. The attendees visited receptions on Capitol Hill to not only congratulate members of Congress but also to gain visibility and advocate for occupational therapy.
The Werners were excited to be a part of the historic event and to join Lamb and AOTA staff members at various receptions. “This amazing opportunity provided me with the opportunity to see that our AOTA lobbyists do a critically important job for members,” says Jody Werner. “AOTA staff made the whole process really come alive for me and I now know how our simple input can really move legislation along.”
While Lamb has become quite accustomed to visiting Capitol Hill, it was her first time attending a swearing-in of Congress. “It was an exceptional opportunity to promote occupational therapy and begin building relationships with new members of Congress,” says Lamb.
Advocating for occupational therapy will continue as AOTA and contest winner Susan Harris participate in the historic presidential inauguration on January 20, 2009. Read Lamb’s blog to find out how AOTA’s participation in the inaugural activities will promote occupational therapy.
A new Congresswoman from Illinois’s 11th District, Debbie Halvorson, summed it up well when she said, "We are ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work." AOTA and AOTPAC want members to share that sentiment by joining in the effort of advocating occupational therapy with the goal of achieving our 2017 Centennial Vision.