Habitat on the Hill
By Anne Myers, Habitat for Humanity International’s associate director of advocacy campaigns
How can you measure success?
- 300 Congressional offices to visit
- 13 workshops planned
- 60 program pages to spot check
- Seven blocks between our D.C. office and the location of this year’s Habitat on the Hill legislative conference
This year’s event is the third I’ve organized, with the incredible support of a core planning team of 17 people. This year, I’m excited to share other numbers: 100 and two.
The first is the number of participants who will attend Habitat on the Hill for the first time. We are delighted to see new faces join our veteran advocates. They will learn about the legislative priorities that affect affordable housing, such as the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program, National Service’s AmeriCorps program and weatherization initiatives that allow us to partner with families looking to invest in a home and in their communities.
For those who can’t join us in person, the second number is good news for you. There are two sessions you can watch anywhere in the world via live stream. On Tuesday, Feb. 11, tune in for the opening session at 8:30 am EST, where we’ll kick off the conference with award presentations and an exciting discussion from the 100,000 Homes Campaign. Come back at 4:30 pm EST to hear comments from Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan.
As thrilled as I am about these opportunities, no number can capture the rewarding feeling when hundreds of Habitat representatives head to Capitol Hill, carrying valuable information about our work and supported by fellow Habitat advocates (like you!) around the country.
Exchanging ideas and equipping our network of supporters with tools to build sector impact — by advocating for smart policies and systems — is paralleled only by hearing success stories about how Habitat affiliates have employed their knowledge in the field.
I attended the first two of my now five Habitat on the Hill conferences representing Sea Island Habitat, and I remember how excited I was to talk with lawmakers and bring that experience back to South Carolina. Now I aim to make each year as helpful and impactful as possible, so that the Habitat family can continue to move toward our shared vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Planning for Habitat on the Hill goes on year-round, meaning you can mark your calendar now to join us Feb. 10-12, 2015. Email us to join our list for conference updates. Registration opens in October. We’d love to see you there!