A Steep Climb Up The Hill

We’ve been interviewing attendees at this year’s National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s annual conference, and we plan on posting individual interviews shortly. Those attendees who were kind enough to take time to speak with us, told us of the tools and resources they hope to acquire here in DC, and how they will employ those tools back home in their communities.

They also told us what they hoped to achieve as their state delegations headed up to Capitol Hill to visit with their Senate and House representatives. Then, those delegations report back to the full conference. The good news is many representatives are responsive. The more sobering news is that in certain places, there’s a lot of work — and education — to be done.

In Utah, the Congressional delegation needs “a lot of education, and there’s a lot of ignorance.” In South Carolina, the need to educate Sen. Jim DeMint is palpable: “We have to put a lot of pressure on Jim DeMint.”

Of course, some places in the country are harder than others to get a friendly ear out of their respective Congressional delegations, but the advocates are here, working, some harder than others, to get their elected officials to listen.

Matthew Brian Hersh served as senior editor at Shelterforce from March 2008 to October 2012. He studied English at Rutgers University and has spent his professional career in journalism, policy, and politics.


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