WASHINGTON: Last year I found myself wanting to do more than sit behind my computer and gripe about the government. I wanted to become part of the voices that created the change we so desperately need in our world. So I joined protests against GMO’s. I joined rallies for patients rights to medical cannabis. I started volunteering for non profits benefiting my community.
The first time I went to Olympia was in November, to speak up against the fleecing of our medical cannabis laws. That was the first time I saw Kari Boiter. She was busy rushing to meetings and greeting patients she knew. She was speaking to committees on behalf of safe access for patients and protection for providers.
A few weeks ago I saw Kari on Lobby Days with many advocates I already knew, working on a project called, “Health Before Happy Hour”. She greeted me with a friendly smile and then rushed off to another meeting.
Last week I was able to sit with her and talk. Kari empowered me to speak again to the Legislature about my needs as a patient. She offered to help me get meetings with key lawmakers I had been trying to get meetings with. She listened when I told her my thoughts and views, and that was important because I feel like she is the first person that has really cared enough to ask and then listen. She told me that my needs are important, and that the things I feel are valid, and then she helped me collect my thoughts enough to be able to speak them effectively to the lawmakers.
Yesterday I spoke to the Legislature, and I think I did okay. When I think of activism, I think of Kari Boiter. Kari empowered me to become part of the process.