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Grassroots Advocacy in the U.S.

In March 2008, Lisa Marchal, a minister who works with ACTION partner RESULTS Educational Fund, had a very successful one-on-one meeting with Rick Wilson, deputy chief of staff for Representative Dan Burton (R-IN). On the agenda: the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and its TB provisions. After discussing the need for robust TB-HIV co-treatment programs, Wilson asked Lisa to send him additional information.

Later that month, while networking at the Indiana Bread for the World conference, Lisa attended a panel discussion on tips for working with legislative offices. One of the panelists just happened to be Rick Wilson! 

Midway through the discussion, Rick launched into a story . . . 
 
"A few weeks ago, a young woman comes into my office. She's a minister, and she wants to talk about TB. She came in and thanked Rep. Burton for something he did on the TB issue last year, something I didn't even know he'd done. Then we started talking about PEPFAR. This woman obviously came prepared. What's more, she offered to follow up with some additional information. Now she's my best friend! I depend on her for up-to-the-minute information on the issues that she works on."

Photo credit: Rebecca Sullivan