Sunday, March 10, 2013

Cookies at the Capitol - a lobby day for mothers and midwives

Cookies at the Capitol

A lobby day for Mothers and Midwives

Supported by the Coalition for Illinois Midwifery and Illinois Friends of Midwives

What: A day to talk to (and share M&M cookies with) your legislators to support the Home Birth Safety Act!
When: March 19, 2013 starting at 9 am 'til done, about 2 pm. Best chance to see your legislator is in the morning, before session.
Where: At the Capitol Complex, Springfield, IL
Can't Attend? You can help even if you can't be there in person – read for more details!

Before Cookie Day:
Make M&M cookies (6 to a package) for your legislators. Bring at least 3 packages – one for your representative, one for your senator, and one for the Governor. Home-baked are preferred, but do what you can, even if it means no cookies. Attach a handwritten note to your legislators. Feel welcome to decorate your cookie packages (please use sealed bags; no uncovered plates). Pretty is great! Add a card, or a photo, or a personal note. If you have extra cookies, bring packages to distribute to other legislators.

Print out the names and office numbers of your legislators. You can find this information here:

Let us know if you are planning to attend, and how many cookie packages you are bringing! RSVP for our event on facebook, or by contacting Carrie Vickery – 319-470-4304 or

On Cookie Day:
Dress: Wear your Got Midwife t-shirt or button if you have one. Dress comfortably for walking.

Transportation and Parking:
You can catch Amtrak from Chicago-Joliet or St. Louis. The train station is a couple of blocks from the Capitol Complex. If you drive, bring plenty of quarters to feed meters. There are a few parking garages, but you'll have to walk several blocks. Be prepared for walking!

Arriving at the Capitol:
You'll need a photo ID. You'll also need to pass thru a scanner/security check point to enter the Capitol building. You may need to wait in line. You will enter the building via the North or East entrances, and proceed down the hall toward the Rotunda. Our table will be in North Hallway. Someone will be at the table throughout our day at the capitol, starting at 9 AM. Check in with us and pick up the materials for legislators, a button/ribbon to help us identify each other, and a feedback sheet to record responses from the people with whom you speak. We'll try to answer whatever questions you have!

Visiting Legislators:
When you arrive at your legislator's office, ask the secretary if you can have a few minutes of the legislator's time. If you can speak with them, give your cookies, and ask for their support of the Home Birth Safety Act. Ask if they have questions or concerns about the bill. If you don't have answers, it's okay – let them know you'll check into it and get back with them, or find someone who can better address their concerns. (Let us know at the table so we can send a midwife to speak with them.)
If your legislator is in a hearing or meeting, you may go to the room to wait for them. (It might be helpful, if you're good at remembering faces, to look up their photo ahead of time.) When they exit, approach them, introduce yourself and ask for a minute. Do as you would have above, but be aware of their time.
If your legislator is in the Chambers, go to the 3rd floor, and you'll see a group of people waiting outside a large door. Write your name, address, and their name on a business-sized card, and hand to the doorman, who will deliver it to your legislator. Eventually, your legislator will come out to speak with you. Our lobbyist will be there to assist you if needed.

After you've spoken with your legislators, please return to our table to report back in. Every bit of information you can give us helps.

Remember, you don't have to say a whole lot – smile, be pleasant, give cookies, share your handout, and ask them if they will support the Home Birth Safety Act. Say thank you!

Feeding Yourself and Family:
There are cafeterias located in the basements of both the Capitol Building and the Stratton Building. You are also welcome to find off-site eating places.
Other Things to Do in Springfield:
Take the opportunity to visit some sites in our state capitol!
When you finish your lobbying, you might enjoy taking a FREE architectural tour of the capitol building. See the million dollar renovations of our gorgeous capitol building.

Watch the Illinois House and/or Senate Floor in the Visitors Galleries.

Especially if you have an extra day, Springfield has many area museums and learning opportunities (most close at 5pm):
• The new Lincoln Presidential Museum
• The Illinois State Museum, a free state natural history museum part of the capitol complex, South of the capitol
• The Springfield Children's Museum, a sweet little museum for young children; 619 E Washington St, Springfield, IL‎ - (217) 789-0679‎
Lincoln's Home (with tours an opportnity to earn a Jr. Rangers badge)
• Lincoln's Tomb (a little outside of town at Oak Ridge Cemetery; automobile needed; call ahead to ask for hours 217-782-1717)

Post-Cookies Get-Together: Gather with us for a bit of fellowship and sharing your experiences. Meet some of your fellow midwifery supporters from across the state!

Can't Attend?
While it would make the greatest impact to have your presence at Springfield, we understand sometimes circumstances prevent that.

Prepare cookie packages to send with a friend! Please let us know if you can't find someone to take your cookies and notes for your legislators, and we will see if we can arrange for your cookies to arrive with another attendee. Contact Carrie Vickery for possible arrangements.

Call the your legislator's Springfield office the day of Cookie Day to let them know you support the Home Birth Safety Act.

Contact Numbers:
If you need help the day of lobby day, you are welcome to contact any of the following people:

Carrie Vickery – 319-470-4304
Trish ShermanPfeiffer - 217-622-4213
Ashley Price – 217-550-9900
Aisha Goodman - 630-306-6662

So, to summarize:
RSVP on Facebook event, by phone, or email
Bring M&M cookies packaged prettily
Bring quarters/money for parking
Know your legislators names and faces
Wear your Got Midwife t-shirt or button
Be ready to walk and talk!

We look forward to seeing you at the Capitol!

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