NETWORK Virginia Advocates Team Lobbies for COVID-19 Relief

May 17, 2021

I am a longtime supporter of NETWORK with financial contributions, prayer support, and occasionally (pre-pandemic) attending in-person witnesses in Washington, D.C. I am also a longtime admirer of the women religious and the lay leaders at NETWORK.

For many years, I have been immersed in advocacy for justice, especially in state and local organizations in my home state of Virginia. Like so many other justice-seekers, the dawn of 2021 and the inauguration of our newly elected president brought rays of sunshine and hope that We the People were embarking on a new journey replete with reform and improvement for all, but especially for people struggling on the margins of our great country.

I was invited to join NETWORK advocates in northern Virginia to advocate for President Biden’s legislative initiatives to rescue the American people from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic and to restore many of the basics of our country’s democratic systems fractured under the previous administration. NETWORK provided me with a unique opportunity to learn about proposed legislation and why it was critical to persuade Congress to pass it. As a NETWORK Advocate, I received resources that explained the problem, proposed solutions and gave me tips for how to present it to my Members of Congress. NETWORK also provided materials (“leave behinds”) to share with our legislators and their staff.

Our small group of enthusiastic advocates for justice met in advance (virtually) to discuss the legislation we planned to raise with the Senators, choose the specific issue on which each of us wanted to focus and outlined a strategy for our meet-up. We took a couple of days to study our focus-areas in the legislation and then had a final brief meeting (virtual) for a practice lobby meeting. By the time we met with our Senators’ staff, I felt like I was sufficiently knowledgeable to share my concerns for struggling people and why the proposed legislation would help solve the problems we wanted addressed.

Now, I am more attentive to what is happening on the federal stage and am looking forward to further collaboration and participation with NETWORK Advocates.

Anne Murphy
New Member of the Virginia NETWORK Advocates Team

This article was originally published in Connection. Read the full issue here.

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