ISN Georgetown Presentation

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Archbishop Mitty senior Elise Sudlow addressed the ISN Teach-In audience on Sunday morning on Organizing a Catholic Advocacy Day in Your State. 
Mitty Advocacy President Sruthi Ramaswami wrote an earlier post you can review while listening to Elise’s informative presentation.

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Eruption at Pentagon Press Conference

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At 10:00 a.m. the morning routine press conference at the Pentagon erupted into a conflict never seen before in world history when two American delegates took the podium and declared war against Switzerland, a neutral nation with a history of peace in the modern era.

 
Leon Panetta stated these two delegates, pictured below, had no authority to declare war (as its a reserved power under the Legislative Branch) and provided an apology to the Swiss government. Delegate Megan Linney pictured below, stated “we are going to make Switzerland one large ski resort.”  “My mom bought me a lot of sweaters last Christmas, I need a place to wear them,” barked Amanda Dillon.

Delegates firing threats against Switzerland at Pentagon

The Pentagon quickly dispatched official Taji Hutchins to repair this mornings verbal assaults on the Swiss government stating, “The United States apologizes for this morning’s remarks, we have and will continue to have a long lasting and peaceful relationship with the Swiss, those two delegates this morning have a ‘screw loose.'”

Pentagon official Taji Hutchins attempts to repair Swiss relations

MAP Students Inspire on Capitol Hill

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Mitty students put in a full day (8-5) lobbying and walking the halls of Congress today.  The day began with a tour and film at the Supreme Court where cameras gathered outside of the building regarding the Supreme Court’s review of President Obama’s health care law.  (Here’s a Washington Post article to read up on this case).

Mitty students visit The Supreme Court

Senior Amanda Dillon lead a strong group of advocates to meet with Anna Eshoo’s office at 10:00.  While another group met with Mr. David Shahoulian Legislative Assistant from Congresswoman’s Zoe Lofgren’s office.  Mr. Shahoulian works with Lofgren on the House Judiciary Committee and is an expert in Immigration and Human Trafficking.  Since 2009 Mitty students have led the nation on researching and ensuring America’s law combat this problem.  MAP students are hoping to develop a long-lasting relationship with the House Judiciary Committee to continue to fight and toughen the laws on this erosive moral and social issue.

After a quick lunch at the Library of Congress students registered and received their Library of Congress reader cards.  Followed by meetings with Congresswoman Anna Eshoo and Senator Diane Feinstein’s offices.

One of the most inspiring photographs of the trip

Students selected, researched, then strategized on six federal bills for this year’s trip.  Take a look at our six bills located in each topic located at the top of this page.

  • Foster Care
  • Conditions for Veterans
  • Human Trafficking
  • Anti-Gang Legislation

There are many more highlights, please check back soon and look at today’s photo album.  Tomorrow:  Tour of the Pentagon…and headed home!

Today’s Photo Album:

Capitol Hill: 11/14/11

Sunday Night Update

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Tonight we went to the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. We then went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and walked to the Lincoln Memorial.

Interior of the National Archives

We went to the White House and walked to the infamous Old Ebbitt Grill for dinner. Resting before a long day on Capitol Hill tomorrow.

 

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Here are a few pictures from tonight:

D.C. Trip Day 2

Sunday morning updates from D.C.

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Senior Elise Sudlow delivered a fantastically professional and moving address to the ISN Conference this morning. Video of her speech will be uploaded soon.

Elise Sudlow and Mitty students walking to Georgetown

The theme of love, passion, in our service was prevalent throughout the morning after Elise suggested the audience, “follow their heart, and fall in love with the service work you are doing.” Elise challenged the Catholic audience to continue their work after their trips and experiences. She encouraged them to take their concerns formed from these experiences to the halls of power to make a permanent change. “I feel the way to revolutionize our country for the better is to use the power of our network as Catholics in our halls of power.”

Following Elise’s talk, Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS from Camden, N.J. connected many of the same themes to his service work in Camden, NJ. Inspired and shaped by the service of Dorothy Day, McGrath stated “even in the middle of life’s worst hardships, beauty is there, we just have to slightly shift our focus to see it.”

Students had southern BBQ at Georgetown’s famous Old Glory restaurant. They are visiting the National Mall and Smithsonian museums this afternoon and dining at the infamous Old Ebbitt Grill near the White House tonight.

A full day of legislative meetings await tomorrow. The question is… are these Congressman ready for Mitty students?

Update on Day 1, ISN Conference

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Seniors Alisha Dua, Amanda Dillon, and Megan Linney gave a brilliantly delivered presentation titled From the Classroom to the Capital: Establishing an Advocacy Program on your campus at Georgetown University this evening.

The highlight came when the Mitty students challenged workshop participants to take on an issue or cause to advocate for within the next 6 months.  Participants wrote out their pledge which students from Mitty will send in six months time.

Students attended various workshops and lectures throughout the day.  Met and have networked with dozens of students from across the U.S. and tried D.C.’s famous Ledo’s Pizza, which candidly received mixed reviews from these finicky pizza aficionados.

We have included some of the photographic highlights of the day in a slideshow below.

MAP DC Trip 11/12

Creating Your Own Advocacy Program

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Thank you for visiting our website! As the Mitty Advocacy Project (MAP) visits Washington D.C. this weekend, we look forward to collaborating with you to create advocacy groups at your own institutions, and eventually, your own advocacy event. Our website is designed to facilitate this process for you, so please explore the links here, and feel free to post a comment if you have any questions!

Why advocacy?

Injustice is not and should not be something we just see, but rather something we act upon.

      “Advocacy on behalf of justice is both the natural outgrowth of effective campus ministry programs and the ultimate form of putting faith into action.  When one engages in service–week after week, year after year–at some point one comes to ask the obvious question, “Why?”  Such questioning leads the sincere questioner to a deeper understanding of unjust structures and their causes.  This understanding leads the true believer into action/advocacy.  Of course, we as Catholics also believe that Jesus provides us with the greatest model for action an behalf of justice, and He also impresses upon us the essential value of community, reflection, and celebration as necessary sustenance for those in the trenches.”

                                                                       – Archbishop Mitty Principal Tim Brosnan

Mitty Students meeting with California Assemblyman Rich Gordan

How does MAP advocate?

Every year, we start by choosing 4 state and 4 federal bills of importance to us that we focus on throughout the year. We become familiar with them, and then begin the planning process. In California and in each of your states, each Diocese has a legislative advocacy director or outreach coordinator working for the Bishop’s office. We contact this office to get the word out to other offices, but more importantly, down to the schools. We also contact Campus Ministers at Catholic high schools across the state to create interest.

MAP delegates meeting with CA Assemblyman Paul Fong

What you can do:

  1. Contact your Campus Ministry or Student Activities Departments to determine how to begin a club or service organization at your institution.
  2. Contact your state’s Catholic Conference.
    1. Communicate with the Legislative Outreach Coordinator or the equivalent in your state.
    2. Determine 3-4 issues you are passionate about. Have you seen something in your community that you would like to change?
    3. Research bills in your state assembly and senate. On the right under Legislative Action, you will see links that MAP uses to research California legislation. A simple Google search will help you find similar sites for your state. For example, this is the site for New York:  found by just typing “New York Legislation,” in the “Google Search Box.
    4. When choosing bills, please keep the following in mind: The bill must be on the floor at the time you wish to lobby. We recommend not choosing bills that will pass through very easily, as your lobbying   does not really make an impact there. We also do not recommend choosing bills that have a very low chance of passing (ie. a Democratic bill in a house full of Republicans). Choose wisely, but take the challenge!
    5. Create talking points. See the link under “Advocacy Resources.”
    6. Go through Lobby Simulations. See the link “Conducting Legislative Meetings” under “Advocacy Resources.”
    7. Contact your legislator’s office to set up a meeting once you are prepared! Build relationships with these offices, and make a difference!

Remember, Catholic advocates are different from other lobby groups. What gives us strength is the impressive network that we have created all over the United States, and even the world. We are not driven out of self-interest, but the desire to serve our communities. Even as youth, MAP has made a visible impact, and we hope that you will share in our mission as well.

          “The fullness of a Catholic, college preparatory, education can only be realized if students are challenged theoretically and in practice. The Archbishop Mitty Advocacy Program provides the practical application of social justice teachings to the student’s contemporary political context. The program allows students to apply their learning and empowers them to challenge political and social structures with an eye toward developing a more just society.”

– Associate Principal, Dick Robinson, Archbishop Mitty H.S.

Blog article written by MAP President Sruthi Ramaswami.