Saturday, July 25, 2009

Another Encounter with Rep. Heinrich at the Grocery Store

Timing is everything.

Just as Bread for the World members were being asked to call our member of Congress to make a final push to convince him or her to cosponsor HR2139 by July 28, we found out that Rep. Martin Heinrich was having another one of his
Congress on Your Corner consultations with constituents on Saturday, July 25.

If you recall, Bread member Marjorie Williams of Trinity United Methodist Church and I had
separate meetings at Talin Asian market with Rep. Heinrich back in May to ask him to cosponsor HR2139.

I later talked about the legislation with an aide to Rep. Heinrich during
Lobby Day in June. As of July 24, there were 91 cosponsors, and none of three New Mexico congressional representatives were on that list.

Ellen Buelow lobbies Rep. Henrich
This latest supermarket meeting was not at an ethnic grocery store, but at one of the
Smith's chain of supermarkets in our city's west side. And the person who met with our member of Congress was Ellen Buelow, a Bread member from Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Community. The grocery store where the meeting took place is close to Holy Rosary parish. This parish, which produced about 600 letters about this issue to Rep. Heinrich this year, is one of the more active local congregations in the anti-hunger movement.

Here's Ellen's account

I was number #3 in line to talk to Representative Heinrich this afternoon. When I asked about the status of HR 2139, he replied that he wasn't on that committee. His own committees keep him more than busy. I asked why he hadn't signed as a supporter of this legislation, and he asked his staffer to check in on this.
But Ellen did not stop there. She set up a mechanism for follow up.

I talked to his district director, Heather Brewer, who said she would get back to us on this. I reminded her the Most Holy Rosary Church had sent about 600 letters for Bread for the World to Representative Heinrich and that merited some response.
Thank you Ellen! Maybe this last push will convince Rep. Heinrich to cosponsor this bill and help us reach the magic number of 100 cosponsors before the summer recess.

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