Call to Congress
"Call to Congress brings diabetes advocates from across the country together in the movement to Stop Diabetes and provides them with the opportunity to tell our federal government how important it is to fight this deadly epidemic."
— Janel Wright, JD, Chair of the Board, American Diabetes Association.
Hundreds of Diabetes Advocates Visit Capitol Hill to Urge Congress to Stop Diabetes®
Every 2 years, nearly 200 Diabetes Advocates from the American Diabetes Association meet with their members of Congress as part of the Association's premier national advocacy effortevent, Call to Congress. Attendees include children and adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, family members of individuals with diabetes, and researchers and other health care professionals who are committed to the fight to Stop Diabetes.
What Happens During Call 2 Congress?
The most recent Call to Congress was held March 11 – 13, 2015 and advocates urged policymakers to support federal funding for diabetes research and prevention programs at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Advocates also asked Congress for a multi-year reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program.
During the opening day of the event, Diabetes Advocates met other advocates from around the country and received key information and training from various Association staff, as well as special guest speakers. Advocates were inspired by U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, (D-NH), who serves as co-chair of the Senate Diabetes Caucus. The Association presented Sen. Shaheen with a petition that had more than 30,000 signatures from advocates across the country calling on Congress to do their part to Stop Diabetes and Senator Shaheen encourage all advocates to keep up the pressure to make diabetes a priority in Congress.
You never know who's going to stop by!
NASCAR's Ryan Reed, fresh off a victory at Daytona, also stopped by to address the advocates, and to offer his support. Ryan told advocates "without your advocacy, I would not be able to climb in a racecar. I'm very fortunate to be where I'm at and to be able to race again." Ryan also spent time meeting with the youth advocates who attended Call to Congress, encouraging them to never give up and to make their dreams come true.
Storming Capitol Hill
After a day of training, advocates then meet with their elected officials in Congress. During this past Call to Congress meetings were held in hundreds of congressional offices and advocates were able to put a real face to the diabetes epidemic. Advocates shared their stories on their social networks and a great collection of them can be found at storify.com/AmDiabetesAssn/call-to-congress-2015-stopdiabetes.
Taking The Fight Back Home
The final day of Call to Congress, advocates shared their successes from the day before and received timely training on how to keep the momentum going. Advocates committed to meeting with their elected officials back home and continue to advocate for our diabetes priorities.
How can you participate in the next Call 2 Congress?
Call to Congress participants are selected from our pool of active advocates. If you'd like to be considered for the next Call to Congress event please sign up to become an advocate by visiting www.diabetes.org/takeaction.