Well, this week was TAPA’s Day on the Hill… Ok, let me start at the beginning. TAPA stands for Tennessee Advocacy and Public Awareness Committee. These committees are from around the state of Tennessee and are part of your local Junior League. I am the current TAPA Chair for Kingsport… what does this mean you ask? What do we do? Simple, we keep ourselves and our leagues educated about legislation and issues concerning children’s health (our focus area). We are not a political group and we do not lobby. Ok, now that the technical stuff is out of the way, we will get on the fun part!
On Monday morning, two of my fellow Junior League of Kingsport members and I hit the open road to travel to Nashville. I would like to say that while we were traveling, lots of exciting things happened and that we found a way to create world peace… we didn’t, but we did catch up the 6-degrees of separation of people we know (if ever you are bored, try this game… you would be surprised who you know!). Anyway, we arrived in Nashville around 3 PM Nashville time (4 PM EST) and quickly freshened up and went to meet everyone at the entrance to the capital… well…apparently we were early, we waited for a while for everyone to get to the same place!
After assembling, we proceeded to walk through security… apparently we looked harmless (pearls, tweed, brooches, a big smile and Sarah Palin style hair will apparently get you through security with no problem!). Then we started the trek through the offices to get to the tunnel that would take us to the Senate Chamber and House Chamber. As we were walking I noticed several things. First, there were quite a few lobbyists there… Mondays – Wednesdays are their days to get seen. Second, there were the Occupy Nashville folks there with signs to protest.
Anyway, upon reaching the House of Representatives Chamber, we took our seats and waited to be recognized. We were quickly recognized from the floor and did our thing. We then hurried (and when I say hurried… I mean moved as quickly as a group of women in sky-high heels can hurry down marble steps, across a hallway, up marble steps and file into seats… all while being quiet) to the Senate Chamber where we were introduced again. After the introductions we headed to the reception site to await the legislators.
When the legislators arrived we had a good turnout from across the state and from various offices within the Capital. We mixed and mingled with all of them. The other two women from Kingsport and I spoke specifically with our legislators. We are very fortunate to have a good relationship with our Representatives and Senators, especially since we sit in on the weekly conference call our Chamber of Commerce has with them. Our evening ended soon thereafter. We were to meet with them one-on-one on Tuesday to review upcoming legislation and to thank them for their hard work and dedication to children’s health. Stay tuned for Day 2.
Until We Meet Again,