[nfbmi-talk] My Thoughts On The List and Washington Seminar

Elizabeth Mohnke lizmohnke at hotmail.com
Sun Feb 2 17:39:07 UTC 2014

Hello All,


I am making a brief appearance on this list to respond to some of the messages I have read through the archives. I believe it is not worth my time to remain a part of this email list due to the repetitive negative rhetoric that occurs on this list. However, since I took part in Washington Seminar this year, I thought I would share a few words regarding this important event.


I am honestly not quite sure what all the fuss is about in regards to Washington Seminar this year. This event takes place every year without any problems. The issues are posted to the members email list which is sent to anyone who is on any of the NFB email lists. In addition, Fred Wurtzel forwarded a copy of an email stating that the issues were posted on the NFB website. Finally, the issues are also featured in the January Presidential Release which should have been played during your local chapter meeting. If you do not have a local chapter in your area, you can find these Presidential Releases on the NFB website.


As for the comment about twenty percent of the people doing eighty percent of the work, I believe if you keep chipping away at the twenty percent who are currently willing to do the work that some day you may be left with only ten percent of the people doing ninety percent of the work. I know J.J. worked very hard in scheduling our appointments for Washington Seminar. He did his best to make sure that not too many of the appointments overlapped each other as well as group appointments in the same building for the same day to prevent us from scrambling from building to building for every appointment. I also know he provided advice to someone in another state who was scheduling the appointments for the first time. I can only wish others in our state affiliate could express this same kind of passion and interest in Washington Seminar.


As already stated, we had appointments with every member of Congress from Michigan including all of our Representatives and two Senators. In most cases, we met with legislative aids and not the member of Congress. However, members of our delegation met briefly with Senator Stabenow before talking about the issues with one of her legislative assistance. Other members we met with included Representatives Upton, Bentivolio, Kildee, and a possible brief appearance with Amash. However, we had to split into two different groups when the Amash appointment took place, and I cannot recall if the group who met with his office did indeed meet with him as I was not a part of this group.


I thoroughly enjoyed our meeting with Kildee. He seemed rather laid back and personable, and I found it rather easy to talk to him about our issues. He seemed rather supportive of our issues, but he did not express any commitments to sponsor or co-sponsor any of the bills related to our issues. I was not a part of the meetings with Upton or Bentivolio, but I herd that Upton made a commitment to co-sponsor the Fair Wages bill, and Bentivolio made a commitment to co-sponsor the TEACH Act bill. All other appointments were declared as undecided.


As for my fellow friends in Jackson, we could really use your help with Representative Walberg! As usual, we met with his legislative assistant who could be described as a brick wall. Representative Walberg is an important key figure for two of our issues. He sits on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and is the Chair of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee. Thus, he is an important figure for the TEACH Act, but more importantly, the Fair Wages bill sits idle in his Subcommittee within the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. If you wish to contact him in regards to our issues, his Washington D.C phone number is (202) 225-6276, and his Jackson number is (517) 780-9075.


If we have not mentioned your Representative by name in our reports, this does not mean we did not meet with his or her office during Washington Seminar. It simply means nothing substantial came about from our meeting. Please feel free to follow up with your Representative. The more they hear from people who live in their district, the more they will be willing to consider supporting our issues.


Please forgive my long post, but I hope this provides some clarification in regards to Washington Seminar. It is highly likely I will not be able to attend the next quarterly board meeting, so I thought I would briefly break my code of silence on this list to present my personal report on Washington Seminar.


Warm regards,

Elizabeth Mohnke

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