Last week I had the opportunity to take part in the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) Public Policy Forum in Washington, DC. I must admit that I was pretty nervous about this endeavor. My knowledge of policy making and advocacy was limited. Granted, I did learn a lot about the legislature in my high school Government and Politics class many years ago..surely working as a page on the floor of the Connecticut House of Representatives counts for something, right? I think over the years I had lost confidence in my ability to make my voice heard in political arenas. I questioned how much I could really do to inform politicians and effect change. So, with just my nerves and the Schoolhouse Rock classic, “I’m Just a Bill”, rolling around in my head, I boarded a plane to DC.
Upon arrival, my expectations immediately began to grow. Looking up at the enormous hand of our 16th president at the Lincoln Memorial, I thought about how change begins with one person reaching out and employing his/her voice as an advocate for a cause. It is spurred on by those who have the courage and integrity to pursue what they know to be right, regardless of how their platform is received.