[AAACE-NLA] Comparing the House and Senate WIA
dwyoho at earthlink.net
Wed Jan 21 17:33:46 EST 2004
"The problem is that the field of adult literacy does not have an organization that does this type of thing for us." (in reference to organizing advocacy campaigns).
I thought the National Coalition for Literacy accepted this mantle, although my impression is that the NCL does not have enough resources to do a really good job of this--i.e. Jon Randall's time is divided and limited. I am certain the NCL is extremely busy working for a good law (or at least improved language) to come out of the conference committee, but hasn't had the time to report to the field what is happening.
On the other hand, to galvanize broad support, we need to feel we are in the loop. Jon, are you listening?
When we had our legislative luncheon yesterday, the staffer from Senator Graham (R) made a comment as she was leaving that I think is instructive. To paraphrase her remark, she observed that too often good people (she meant in Congress) attempt to change things for the better in good faith, but have no idea of the impact on the field where the rubber meets the road. I took this to mean that she was impressed with our presentation in terms of the realities of what could happen in our programs if the House version prevails, and also that it is important to hear from the grass roots. We also talked about partisanship, and I told her frankly that we thought the Senator would basically endorse whatever the Republican stance is (i.e. the House version) since the votes were so polarized on party lines. I was impressed with how she received this, as she acknowledged that literacy really is a bi-partisan concern because it cuts across the priorities on the agenda of both parties (business development vs. social programs, etc.) She told me specifically that she will talk further with the LA on the hill in Graham's office and keep in touch with me as to what happens from here.
Time well spent. Best, Debbie
Deborah W. Yoho
Co-moderator, NIFL-Health Listserv
President, SC Adult Literacy Educators
Executive Director, Greater Columbia Literacy Council
2728 Devine Street, Columbia, SC 29205
803-765-2555 Fax 803-779-8417 dwyoho at earthlink.net
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