Our last week as Advocacy interns was extremely eventful! We went to Columbus to present our ideas for policy change to people in State Congress. There, along with Drew and Robert Kirschner, LMM’s VP of Development and Communications, we were able to truly be advocates for both children and parents who are in need of affordable and high-quality child care. We proposed our policy changes to six different congressional offices; five legislative aids and State Representative Kent Smith. They were engaged, willing to hear from us, and provided constructive feedback to improve our proposals. Interacting with State Congress was a valuable experience to understanding how to initiate change.
On Thursday, August 9, we held a roundtable discussion on the topic of the Child Care Assistance Program at LMM. The roundtable event was a learning experience for many reasons. First, we got to understand the process of event planning and all the details that are involved with planning an event; structure, scheduling, invites, discussion topic, etc. With the help of Development and Communications, the event turned out great! We had four community members and child care experts come to LMM to discuss the Child Care Assistance Program. The guests in attendance are doing wonderful things for the community and their passion for the well-being of children is truly inspiring. It was a very informative and engaging discussion. Thank you Central Kitchen and Chopping for Change for the delicious breakfast. Also, shout out to LMM employees, Dani and Liz, for their attendance and observations.
Thursday afternoon, we had the opportunity to meet with executives from Cuyahoga County. We learned about the deep and complex complications of the child care system, as well as the political complications with the state. Although we were somewhat disheartened from the overwhelming information, we are very grateful to gain a better understanding of the Child Care Assistance Program so that we could properly advocate for it. This meeting helped us to adjust our policy proposals.
The experiences and knowledge we have gained as interns at LMM is truly invaluable and will help us in pursuing future endeavors. We have really enjoyed our time here and all the wonderful people we got to work with. Thank you LMM for this incredible opportunity to advocate for your organization and the people you serve!
Erin Brown and Jillian Doherty