Seventeen radon advocates and professionals met with more than 20 Kentucky lawmakers for Radon Advocacy Day on January 23rd. For the first time, Kentucky Radon Advocacy Day was held as a stand-alone event focused on radon-related advocacy. Strategically during National Radon Action Month, with this event, the Kentucky Chapter kick-started the year and revived efforts to unite in the fight for radon issues for the benefit of members, consumers, and ultimately public health.
Right out of the gate, members of the organization mingled with members of the General Assembly. A legislative breakfast was held in a cozy room in the Capitol Annex building. A few dozen lawmakers attended the buffet-style meal. Posters with concepts, charts and data aided conversations.
Representative Robert Duvall (R-Bowling Green) and Representative Kimberly Moser (R-Kenton) spoke to the group. Rep. Moser is a retired nurse and lung health ally. Rep. Duvall credits radon PSAs for saving his family’s life. He told a story about discovering dangerous levels in his family’s house and shared more about his wife’s battle with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Rep. Duvall represents Bowling Green Kentucky the district where Mammoth Cave National Park is located.
Shannon Baker, American Lung Association Advocacy Director for Kentucky and Tennessee also joined the group and offered advice for speaking to lawmakers.
Speakers shared key strategies to apply when meeting with lawmakers.
- Relate to your lawmaker. Tell a story that speaks to the issues.
- Be prepared to share relevant data.
- Follow up with the lawmaker. Include the topic or reference comments from the conversation.
Armed with the Kentucky State Radon Report Card and a general policy brief, advocates deployed to their district representatives’ offices for individual constituent meetings. Participants reported interactions were overall pleasant. Plans to continue building relationships with representatives across the commonwealth are underway.
The event brought members from nearly a dozen different cities with some members traveling more than 70 miles one way. It took weeks of planning and hours of preparing for minutes with lawmakers, but it doesn’t require lots of time to make a lasting impression that can have an impact beyond this legislative session.
“I am thankful to members of the organization for dedicating time to advocate for issues that impact our industry and our overall national health and economy. I’m excited to see how we can activate chapters to advance advocacy in Kentucky and across the nation,” said Kyle Hoylman, President of the Indoor Environments Association.
– Andrea Stephens