Advocating for Global Engagement
An important step in growing the advocacy confidence of new advocates in 2019 was attendance at the RESULTS International Conference in Washington, D.C., where we were able not only to network with other advocates, but also to participate in a lobby day on Capitol Hill.
Members of the WVU RESULTS team coordinated a day of meetings with staffers from each of West Virginia’s five Congressional offices: Senator Joe Manchin, Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Representative Alex Mooney, Representative Carol Miller and Representative David McKinley.
With days spent completing research, determining structure, and practicing our meeting roles (joined by two other advocates from West Virginia - a social worker and a teacher from the New River area), we were able to deliver a compelling narrative for increased United States support of the Global Fund in the face of a proposed 29% budget cut from the Trump Administration.
Because of the work of the RESULTS team at WVU, members of West Virginia’s first congressional district – Representative David McKinley and Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin – stepped up to co-sponsor resolutions in support of the Global Fund before the international replenishment conference in early October 2019.
This was the first time that Representative McKinley ever signed on to RESULTS sponsored legislation for global health.
Without an approved budget in October 2019, these resolutions were key in signaling increased US support of the Global Fund, which in turn influenced the increased funding commitments of other nations.
Quite happily, not only did the US eventually commit to funding levels at $4.68 billion dollars over the next three years (up 16% from previous years), but the global community stepped up the fight to reach their $14 billion dollar goal.
The COVID pandemic changed the way we interacted with our members of congress, but renewed our resolve to advocate for action relief measures.
The WVU RESULTS team met via Zoom conferencing with staffers Katie Brown and Kirsten Wing from McKinley's (R-WV-1) office in May 2020 and with staffer Max Pedrotti from Miller's (R-WV-3) office.