I Lobbied Congress for Improving Access to Eating Disorder Treatment, Coverage and Education — You Can Too!!
My interest in the political process changed when I volunteered to participate in Spring Lobby Day for the Eating Disorders Coalition on April 18, 2016 as a representative of IFEDD (International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians). Although I grew up around politics my entire life — my mother worked for Governor Mario Cuomo of New York State and my husband was the mayor of Ardsley, NY, a small Westchester County village for six years — I never truly understood how the political process worked.
On April 18th, I visited offices and spoke to staff from both Senators and Congressmen/women to lobby for passage of The Anna Westin Act. This legislation is poised to be a landmark victory for eating disorder sufferers and their families. The bill is still waiting for a vote in Congress. I walked in and out of offices with Team New York/New Jersey. We were a small group of volunteers with a team leader for the Eating Disorders Coalition named Gail Schoenbach. Gail has been lobbying for the Eating Disorders Coalition for many years and she directed us on how to speak to people in the Congressional offices. We wanted to bring a face and story to the topic of eating disorders and we each had a chance to talk about the impact that eating disorders has had in our own lives.