We’d been well-prepared, spending all day Tuesday in meetings, meetings, meetings and more meetings. I enjoyed hearing a politician tell us “We all know what to do. We just don’t know how to get re-elected after we’ve done it.” And another that “We are not cyclists. We’re people on bikes.” An important distinction that helps to sell cycling infrastructure.
And then came our day on the ‘Hill.
I’d like to say we came, we lobbied, we conquered. But it wasn’t quite so simple. That wild weather that was supposed to hit DC the same day we would be out on the ‘Hill, asking for consideration of the idea that bikes belong on the street, and that the streets should accommodate all users? We went to bed last night with instructions to go to this website- opm.gov/status when we woke up, and, in a nutshell, it said WASHINGTON DC IS CLOSED FOR BUSINESS. United Airlines concurred, cancelling every single flight out of IAD and DCA airports for the day.
We received phone calls and emails telling us that, although technically the government was shut down, in reality many of the offices would still be open for business, and that our state coordinators would find out who was and who wasn’t for us. At the end of the day it was obvious; those from fair-weather states cancelled, while those from the Midwest were open for business. In our case, Anna Eshoo’s door was locked, Jackie Speier’s office was open but not doing any appointments because they trusted the weather forecast, and Sam Farr (representing my brother Steve’s district in Monterey) was not only open for business but there in-person. My daughter Becky was thrilled that one of their staffers was a fellow Stevenson/UC Santa Cruz student temporarily on loan to DC (through the UC-DC program).
Regarding that terrible weather… it never happened. And even if it had, what difference would it really make, since you can live entirely underground in the area around the Capital?
More soon; it’s past midnight here, one more long day tomorrow before flying home. It’s been a bit different than planned, but I’d still rate it as a successful trip. –Mike–