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Stories from the week of November 20, 2009

Howard on the Hill

Stories from the week of November 20, 2009

I have seen this film before:  This week began my fourth trip to the Senate.  It should take me about two months to meet with 100 offices.  Returning from the DPA conference in New Mexico, I had already set up 21 meetings from Tuesday till Friday.   The seven on Tuesday wore me out.   I am just about getting too old to handle that many in one day.

 Existential Crisis:  At the end of a 25 minute meeting with two staffers from a top Dem office on the judiciary committee, she pro-offered that drug reform will come from the States, not originate at the federal level.   The next day I asked four staffers with whom I have 2-3 year relationships,  if they agreed.  They all agreed.  BOOM.  My brain went into overdrive thinking of the concept that what I am doing was not worthy of my time. 

 “Hello Eric.  Do you have sometime this afternoon?  You do. Great.  I will see you at 3PM.”   I poured my heart out to Eric.  I reminded him of his words to me shortly after my arrival in DC, “Howard, you have no idea how much good work you are doing.”   Fill in the blanks for me Eric.  

30 minutes later Eric Sterling had put the Howard train back on the tracks.  Thank goodness for mentors.  Major concept – since the staffers I present to meet hundreds of VIPs from the Congressional Districts & States, their exposure to the COP message does influence their conversations.   I could not be more effective, if I went to every Rotary & Kiwnais Club in every state. 

When the bell rings:*    My last appointment the next day was with a woman I had met in 2007 & 2008.  She said she enjoyed our little chats.  Just before departing, she said, ‘when changes begin to happen at the federal level, you will be my “go to guy.”   

Like a fireman, I need to be ready, to know my craft, to know the Member Offices, have long-term relationships – so when the time comes, we in reform can move the federal level quickly.

 *when the bell rings = wenn ein Ereignis fängt an.

 Consider being a member of COP at $30.00 per year.  Add your voice to those who agree that Modern Prohibition/War on Drugs is the most destructive, dysfunctional and immoral policy since slavery & Jim Crow. 


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