Saturday, January 21, 2006

Mr. Wooldridge Goes to Washington

Yikes. I'm getting a late start today. Like an idiot I stayed up until 4:00am watching this ridiculous skydiving movie so I'm still waking up. Fortunately Howard Wooldridge checks in with his weekly newsletter and since it's not up on his page yet, I'll reproduce most of it for you.
Surprise of the Week:
This morning I had a break between meetings and headed to the cafeteria for a coffee. Just before reaching a table, a tourist asked me about my ‘LONG RIDER’ buckle.** We chatted for a few minutes about the Misty trip and then he asked what I was doing. I explained my mission to make drug problems a medical issue and use as the cornerstone of drug policy, personal responsibility. I stated that my greatest obstacle seemed to be to get the politicians to say the 3 hardest words in English: I Was Wrong. He laughed heartily and said he had to agree with me. He then introduced himself as Congressman Mike Honda from California. We chatted a bit more, leaving his aide to take my business card and LEAP pamphlet.

Rumor of the Week: With the growing scandal surrounding Jack Abramoff, look for photo ops of your Senators and Congressman eating lunch with zillionaire lobbyists at McDonalds. That will be proof positive that your politician is a good guy/gal and not taking lavish gifts!

In addition to meeting w/ staffers from 38 congressional offices, I participated in a conference sponsored by Scott Ehlers and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The group consisted of reps from 28 organizations. The group is focusing on assisting each with state issues from death penalty to innocence cases to drug prohibition.

On Monday I made contact with a member of NOBLE (National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives) who acts as their rep on Capitol Hill. After a few minutes he was finishing my sentences and then paragraphs. After 45 minutes he promised to present to the NOBLE Board the proposal that they endorse the LEAP mission statement. Cross your fingers. Later that evening I met with Tara Andrews, Executive Director of Maryland Justice. I explained LEAP’s goals and pledged to help in anyway we could.
Way to go Howard.


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