Rep. Jan Schakowsky meeting with our activists for CHD 2021

2021 Digital Capitol Hill Days Turned Inspiration Into Action

Written by YoVanna Solomon, Advocacy and Outreach Fellow | Published: June 14, 2021

Congressional Meetings and Digital Day of Action

screen shot of 4 zoom windows
A lobby meeting with Rep. Carbajal, his staffer, constituent Rogan Thompquist, and Lindsay Apperson, our National Field Manager

This year, over 200 people from across the country joined us virtually from the safety of their homes to advocate for reproductive rights around the world during our 2021 Digital Capitol Hill Days. After five days of workshops and trainings, activists began to file into the Zoom room early Monday morning feeling confident and prepared for their constituent meetings. We had 86 participants who met with the offices of over 90 of their senators and representatives to advocate for the Global HER Act and for increased U.S. investment in international family planning and reproductive health services worldwide. Our participants met directly with key members of Congress, including Reps. Julia Brownley, Salud Carbajal, Judy Chu, Ann Kirkpatrick, David Price, and Jamie Raskin.

more activists meeting over zoom
A lobby meeting with Rep. Kirkpatrick, her staffer, and constituents Danielle D’Angelo, Kyrah Hughley, and Shilpita Sen

The activists made sure their elected officials understood their desire for the prioritization of global reproductive health. Additionally, roughly 400 people from across the country joined them in flooding congressional offices with over 1,200 emails, phone calls, and social media posts. We also stormed Twitter with a #Fight4HER “rally,” reaching over 5.3 million people.

Thanks to Our Lead Volunteers!

None of this would have been possible without the support and dedication of our Capitol Hill Days Leads, a core group of volunteers who worked tirelessly to schedule lobby meetings, facilitate participant engagement, help orchestrate sessions, and lead constituent meetings. A sincere and heartfelt thank you to Liz Boucher, Adjoa Cofie, Colette Picchietti Cragin, Danielle D’Angelo, Nohely Diaz, Josie Erdy, Kyrah Hughley, Ranjana Iyer, Madison Peterson, and Katie Yeager.

“My favorite part about Capitol Hill Days was that I was able to take part in the event as both an audience member and as a Lead Volunteer. As a Lead Volunteer, I enjoyed scheduling and, later on, leading meetings with the offices of members of Congress. I really valued the conversations that my lobby team members and I had with staffers.”

–Nohely Diaz

Constituent Power Continues to Grow

In the weeks following Capitol Hill Days, we have met with attendees to discuss their experience at the event and help channel their inspiration into action. Many of the folks we met with had never lobbied before and found the opportunity to be both empowering and enlightening. Speaking with the offices of their elected officials illuminated the power that they hold as constituents to influence the policy decisions that shape the reproductive lives of people around the world. A few particularly motivated activists have chosen to amplify their voices by submitting letters to the editors of their local papers, while others have committed to continuing the dialogue around reproductive health and rights through hosting their own kitchen table conversations. Thanks to the success of Capitol Hill Days, our community of activists continues to grow!

“I’m really shy and generally try to avoid speaking in front of people. But it felt good to push myself beyond my boundaries to advocate for something that matters so much to me. I’m proud of myself for lobbying!”

–Jazmine John

You can watch session videos here and read our blog post recapping the event here.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky smiling at the zoom camera
Rep. Jan Schakowsky giving her keynote address (over Zoom)