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    Issues and Priorities

    March of Dimes advocacy and government affairs efforts focus on national and state policies and programs that relate to our mission - improving the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. We are also involved in issues that affect non-profit organizations.

    Advocacy Network

    The Advocacy Network is made up of volunteers and staff who promote the March of Dimes mission agenda in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. by contacting governors, mayors and state legislators in response to Chapter action alerts.

    Since the nation's capital is in this Chapter, our volunteers also visit Capitol Hill to address national legislation. One of our long-time volunteers, Kathy Paz-Mingledorf of Springfield, Va., was our strongest advocate for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). In February 2009, President Barack Obama signed legislation that expanded the program (Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2009).

    For the past two years, Kathy has testified on Capitol Hill, given local and national media interviews and spoken at press conferences on behalf of SCHIP. To read a recent story about Kathy ("Speaking for SCHIP: Springfield Mother Testifies on Capitol Hill for Health Insurance Bill for Children," Springfield Connection, Feb. 19, 2009).

    If you are interested in becoming an advocacy and government affairs volunteer, or being part of the Advocacy Network, please email us.

    Lobby Day

    Each year the Maryland-National Capital Area Chapter organizes lobby days to give staff and volunteers the opportunity to visit local legislators and tell our elected representatives about issues important to mothers and babies. The chapter conducts annual lobby days in Annapolis, Md., Richmond, Va. and Washington, D.C.

    Each Lobby Day includes a briefing by the chapter's legislative consultant, legislator office visits and a debriefing. For more information, please email us.

    If you wish to focus your advocacy efforts on national issues, please visit our Advocacy Action Center. This site will keep you informed on issues facing Congress today and give you tools to help spread the word on key issues. You can also sign up to receive legislative updates and alerts.

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