Oregon ladies on the road (or in the air) to Washington!
This rally report was sent in by Jolie of Skipping Hippos who is working closely with the two ladies who are representing their small business organization from Oregon.
Yesterday afternoon I dropped off the last package to the ladies selected and sponsored to go to Washington DC by the people and small businesses of Portland. They have been working frantically for more then a week to get prepared for this trip.
Times are tough everywhere, but the Oregon economy has double weakness right now. Oregon has the third highest unemployment rate in the country, and Oregon people are very, very creative. The crafting and artist community defines the Pacific Northwest. Travelers from all over the world can recognize the style and care of the people of Oregon. Products leading in eco-friendly and safety. This is the community who sent these women to Washington, who saw an opportunity to be heard and pooled their money together in bits of $15 and $25, to send these women out there to make a differences.
Two families are interrupted, two businesses are put on hold, two daughters will be very sad about 8 pm tonight when they do not have their mommies there, to love them to sleep. These two women, mothers, business owners are on the plane, flying across the country to fight for the people and businesses of Oregon. They are sleeping on couches, eating packed lunches, and working tirelessly for the people who raised the money to send them there.
We owe these women more then just the cost of the trip. They have turned to all of the resources in order to make this trip possible. The staff at Spielwerks Toys is working the extra time to cover for Sonja’s absence, friends and family were called in from hundreds of miles away to help care for her young daughter for 4 days.
Stephanie has called on friends and family to assist her as well. From coast to coast, Stephanie has a support system who has spent hours helping this inspiring woman to fight for what is right-the necessity to bring common sense to the CPSIA. Stephanie spent hours writing and compiling information to hand to all of the lawmakers in Washington DC that she will be meeting with, and she was doing this with her 4 year old daughter sitting patiently, waiting for her mom to play, cook, and care for her.
Stephanie and Sonja represent the 100,000′s of mothers in America who have worked early morning, all day long and deep into the night to live the American dream. We want to do both, be a mother and a business owner. We want to be able to take a vision and make it come true; to share our gift, craft, talent, whatever it may be, with the world, and make money with it to support our families. This is our right! This is the right we have earned through generations starting with our homesteader Great Grandmothers, who made their own clothes and made them well enough to bring in food in a time when no one had money.
I want to teach my kids to sew, knit, stamp leather belts like their Grandfather. I want my kids to know they can work hard to learn a trade, and then be rewarded for their hard work. How will I explain that their projects must be filed in the great “testing bin” for an indefinite time, because we do not have the money to third party test the hat she just knit!
Stephanie and Sonja are out in Washington DC fighting for us all. Everyone has a story that is his or her own, but we all need the same thing.
We need common sense brought to the CPSIA.