The fine folks at StripSafely have created #Vote4DM, “a targeted awareness campaign that lets you ask Congress to support three bills related to diabetes already on the Hill.” The bills we’re talking about aim to coordinate federal diabetes policy, provide quality diabetes education and cover CGM for T1Ds over 65.
I recognize the importance of diabetes Advocacy – capital A, for government related stuff. If the types of change we want to see in the lives of people with diabetes is actually going to happen, we need help. Big time. That’s where Congress comes in – they control the purse that funds that major diabetes efforts and legislation.
But, I don’t know the first thing about how to approach interpreting these bills. I don’t know how to effectively communicate the importance of these bills to our elected officials. The skeptic in me doubts one voice can make a difference in all of this, especially if I’m not representing a multi-million dollar special interest group. Part of me is doubtful that a simple hashtag is enough to influence, or inform a potential vote. The cynic in me wonders if anyone in Congress actually pays attention to their Twitter feed, of if that task is outsourced to an intern and their account is just another sounding board instead of serving as a method of communication and interaction with constituents.
But doing nothing is not an option. Surely someone is paying attention to mentions and notifications – there must be a tipping point that will compel an elected official to at least become informed on what these Twitter avatars are talking about. Again, doing nothing is not an option. If we’re going to make a difference, we have to try.
StripSafely has a full walkthrough on how to participate in the #Vote4DM campaign. Once you’re logged into Twitter, you can send all of the pre-formatted tweets that they have carefully crafted. There’s a lot to parse on the page, but it will essentially boil down to clicking a link, and then sending the tweet. The entire process, informing leadership and representatives in your Congressional district about each of the bills, will take 2 minutes. That’s it.