Friday, January 11, 2019

Lawmakers Write to Lawmakers

Luke Mayville

It's Idaho law, and anyone who helped with the statewide petition effort to get Proposition 2, expanding Medicaid coverage to more than 60,000 Idahoans on the Mid-Term ballot is a lawmaker.

That's what we learned last night when Reclaim Idaho co-founder Luke Mayville spoke to a group of letter-writing volunteers at our local library.

First, Luke (a former student and Sandpoint High grad) read his favorite part of the Idaho Constitution which allows for the "people" to enact a law if legislators don't. 

The goal for lawmakers aka "the people" from across the state writing letters to elected lawmakers is to ensure that Proposition 2 goes into effect in its pure form and without added restrictions. 

Reclaim Idaho leaders and volunteers are dotting the i's and crossed the t's in their efforts to follow through on the Proposition's resounding passage in November and its actual application as a state law.  

The successful Proposition allows Medicaid expansion to those who fall within the earnings "gap" for receiving health care coverage.

So, in the next few days and weeks, legislators will be receiving letters of reminding them and encouraging them to maintain Proposition 2 as is. 

In addition, numerous volunteers will participate in Advocacy Day at the Idaho State Capitol Feb. 4. 

During this day, the goal will be for individuals to talk directly with Idaho's elected lawmakers about the Proposition, which was initiated by Reclaim Idaho leaders, supported by as many as 1,000 volunteers statewide  and passed by more than 60 percent of Idaho voters in November. 

Approximately 40 volunteers attended last night's gathering where they not only received letter-writing assignments but also learned tips from Kootenai County volunteer Rebecca Schroeder about using social media and how to be an effective advocate.

Schroeder, the mother of a child with cystic fibrosis, ran for the legislature in hopes of representing voters Idaho's District 4.  During her campaign, she served as a strong advocate for Prop. 2.

Meanwhile, Luke Mayville, a professor at Columbia University, continues to return to his home state as often as possible to meet with and guide volunteers associated with the Reclaim Idaho movement and Prop. 2

So, for my former English student, I have an assignment, which involves writing a few letters to our elected lawmakers.  

And, as one of the many "lawmakers" among "the people,"  I'll be proud to take on this assignment.   

Furthermore, from the many fine examples I have observed among the movement that Luke and another former student Garrett Strizich started, I'll take great care to dot my i's and cross my t's while writing those letters.

Happy Friday.   Hats off to all Idaho lawmakers, elected or not!

Shaun Keenen and Rebecca Schroeder

Keenen, a Kootenai County activist, served as Shroeder's campaign manager. 

Luke visits with local Prop. 2 team coordinator Linda Larson. 

Let the letter writing begin. 

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