Hello from the Nation's Captitol
On a break from lobbying in the Botanical Gardens
My representative's office - 1111

New lobbying friends, by the Capitol Building

Biggest CapHillDays Ever!

For years I've felt that population growth is the most important environmental issue we face.  I traveled to Washington, DC to participate in Population Connection's Capitol Hill Days. This was probably my 8th trip for this purpose. It's a combination of advocacy training and lobbying on Capitol Hill.   Here's a quick action you can take to both learn more about where we're at with international family planning and to ask your representatives for help on the matter. And, if contacting President Obama is your cup of tea, here's a request to him to lift the Helms amendment and loosen restrictions on abortion care overseas. 

This year's event was the largest ever and I was surrounded by a diverse group of college students from across the US who are passionate about womens' reproductive health issues. It was inspiring to feel their passion and caring for the planet. We heard some great speakers who have direct experience on how access to contraception impacts peoples lives in less developed countries of the world.  

I also got to wander DC some and I had an interesting time on day 1 in Georgetown, and Day 2 in some nooks and crannies near the Mall that I'd never seen before. I didn't go to the main collection of cherry blossoms, but still saw my fair share - enjoy these photo collections! 
While in the area I also got to visit with my parents, Rich and Hannah, and my brother, Dan, who is also known as BakerMan Dan

We are so lucky in the West, and yet we face many of the same problems people in other parts of the world face due to our increasing human population - overcrowding; resource depletion (thinking of California's drought); having to grow food for 7.42 billion; species loss - staggering number of species dying off to make way for more humans. I don't know the exact answer to how to stave off climate change and our other environmental issues - but any conversation that does not include human population growth as part of the issue is leaving out a key element. So, I'll keep trying to include it and keep advocating for the low-hanging fruit - easy and free access to contraception; reproductive healthcare for all; sex ed at all age levels and encouragement to those who have small families and no children at all. I'm encouraged by this recent story/book: Childless, Proud and Happy: An Honest Conversation about Forgoing Kids that was on NPR. 

And, if you have kids - great. I look forward to being a great uncle to them and a friend and support to you, cause kids can use all the adult connection they can get and parents could certainly use a hand.

Here's to us all figuring this out together. I wrote a note to myself while wandering Georgetown and it's a theme I hope to develop more: " It's not like people haven't been lying in the past. It's just that right now we really need our wits about us.  Instead of having people educated and smart and making good decisions we're arguing over lies and bullshit and wasting money and time that we don't really have right now". I think now, more than anytime in history, money has to come out of politics and those who are working to deceive us (climate change deniers, anyone who advocates against access to contraception - Republicans), need to stop so we can work to figure our way through. Otherwise, we're done for as a species. 

On that happy note, I'll see you back on the West Coast! Can't wait to get home! 

Happy Spring

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