Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sittin' up on Capitol Hill

I lobbied Congress yesterday. I'm going to do it again today, and a little bit more tomorrow.
I haven't quite wrapped my mind around that fact yet.
We're lobbying for good things - funding for the basic sciences, particularly high energy physics. It's not like anyone is going to tell us that science is a bad thing. It may not be their priority, but it's not like cigarettes or anything. Yay, science.
I lobbied Congress. I'm a congressional lobbyist. I can't quite get my mind around that. As I was walking from the House side of Capitol Hill to the Senate side, and I passed the steps of the Supreme Court. I had a flashback to the last time I was there, about eight years ago. The WWII memorial hadn't been built yet, and the Washington Monument was still covered in scaffolding. I was in high school, 14 years old. I won the trip in a school essay contest. It was one of those massive see-everything-ever trips that made sure you hit every major attraction in four days. They did a really good job of that - I don't feel like there's anything I need to go back and see this time. I'm no longer a tourist in Washington, DC.
I remember standing on the steps of the Supreme Court then. There were a few important people in suits milling around (I assumed they were important because they were wearing suits) and a lot of tourists. I was one of the latter, a giggling schoolgirl taking crazy pictures. I never thought I'd be one of those people in suits. Yet today I was mildly irritated with the giggling schoolgirls.
I've never considered politics as a career. I'm cranky, and in general, I don't like people. This is why science works for me. And yet here I am. I lobbied about 7 offices yesterday; I met with junior staffers, important staffers, and a Congressman. I was in the Senate building at the same time as Al Gore.
I'm massively confused. Does this mean the political system has some good points? A real live person, not a politician, made it to the steps of Congress. Should I be cueing the small world music? Can anyone tell me how the hell this happened?
I have no clue. It's my job for the next two days to tell Congressmen that science is cool. Luckily it's true. How do the real lobbyists do it?


Jen said...

Wow. What an awesome job you must have! :) First Japan, then Capitol Hill. . . .impressive! I always like to hear things about people going to lobby for science. Science is a very good thing! :)

e's knitting and spinning blog said...

Good luck Sarah:-)