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 Subject : Legislative Day Follow Up.. 03/17/2017 02:29:04 AM 
Harry M Zollars
Posts: 24
Location: Bethalto, IL
Hey everyone! I wanted to take a moment and share a few points I learned from my first legislative day with IPhA. Previously while at SIUE, I wanted to attend but felt I really couldn't take off from class or travel up to Springfield. After becoming a Region Director, I'm realizing how silly that thought was, especially with the literal mass of white coats that day. But here's a few things I learned.

1. The capitol is... really beautiful. I worked in Springfield and go there quarterly for IPhA business and have always seen it as the epitome of Land of Lincoln: statues of Abraham Lincoln and references everywhere, all referencing times from the distant past. So thinking on the capitol, I would have thought it was the same; man, was I mistaken. I shared some pictures on Facebook, but they really don't compare to standing beneath the dome and just taking in the immense size and activity that happen within those walls. The senate and house rooms are huge(!) and ornate. Art is everywhere. It was no where near what I expected. If you get a chance to be in Springfield and finished seeing the Lincoln Museum, the capitol is definitely worth a visit.

2. If you are a group leader or get in contact with the group leader, schedule an appointment well in advance with your congress people's staff. I did and it made the day a lot smoother than what I was seeing with other groups. Yeah, we had some delays and a no show for a meeting, but staff members were more willing to work with you when you set up the rapport ahead of time. And people (congress people, staff, and more) really love humility.

3. Pack and travel light. I didn't really have much on me, but to get through security and to travel throughout the tunnels, if I carried any more I would have become more frustrated. And there are SO MANY PEOPLE walking through the halls and jumping in and out of offices, so traveling lightly is necessary to meet with all the congress people you need.

4. Politicians, at their very core, are human. Especially in Illinois and with the state of politics at the moment, it is very easy to demonize a lot of people in Springfield and in Washington DC. However, just meeting with the staff and the congress people... It was humbling to see they are there to not only live their lives but to do what they see best to help their constituents. In our group's meeting with Senator Haine, one of the first things he told me was, "Forgive me but I can't shake hands because I'm going through chemo." It kinda shook me because I saw him before as this monolith of SIU Edwardsville support and loud mouth in the senate, but right then it hit me that there's more to him than that. Even some members of our group had gone with him and his wife to church. I guess I was jaded or clouded when I thought of politics before Legislative Day, but it really helped me change my tune.

Those were just a few points I got from attending Legislative Day this year and it made me more pumped to attend next year. So I want to pass it on to you guys: what did you learn from legislative day this year?

Last Edited On: 03/20/2017 05:28:41 PM By Harry M Zollars
Pharmacy Manager
Sullivan's Drugs
Mount Olive, IL
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