Andy and Tametria Dantzler with Alabama Senator Doug Jones. (Photo courtesy of the Dantzlers.)
It is an honor to be the first family advocates from Alabama represented at this longstanding Symposium and rally. The energy, momentum and knowledge exchanged during this week-long advocacy experience will forever be etched in our hearts and minds. From the hustle and bustle down the Senate and House hallways meeting with 12 lawmakers and staff members, to the intimate “Sharing your Stories” breakout sessions, to talking with Child Care Aware® of America board members at the Gala and to the fire that was lit at the rally, every experience gave us encouragement to continue moving forward on our advocacy journey.
Delivering a powerful speech on the Day on the Hill was an honor (Editor’s note: click on the link to watch her full speech, ending with a beautiful poem about child care). As an accomplished journalist and professional speaker, I knew when I was asked to speak at the rally, I wanted to write a compelling and creative speech that was representative not only of my story and advocacy journey, but others because I knew the impact would be greater. Not only did the poem and speech resonate with those who heard it in person, but the overwhelming amount of online positive feedback was mind-blowing. I want to thank everyone who approached me after the rally, thanking me for being a strong voice, especially U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), who shook my hand after the speech and briefly talked with me.