The U.S. Jaycees are at it again! Chrystal Ramsay-Dyess, the Immediate Past President of JCI USA, is leading BzzzTour 2.0, a 20-state cross-country advocacy and fundraising tour for Nothing But Nets. The goal of the BzzzTour is to engage JCI USA chapters across the country, develop new leaders in the fight against malaria, and educate members of Congress about the importance of U.S. leadership in defeating this deadly disease. Here are the highlights so far:
The BzzzTour kicked off in Tennessee, where the team held community fundraisers, talked on local radio stations about malaria and JCI’s Nothing But Nets partnership, met with local Chambers of Commerce, trained more than 80 JCI members on advocacy, and even held brainstorming sessions for JCI chapters to get more involved. The team attended five successful in-district advocacy meetings with the offices of Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander and Representatives Scott Desjarlais, Marsha Blackburn, and Jim Cooper.
In Hartford, Connecticut, grassroots supporters from across the state joined JCI USA and the United Methodist Church for productive meetings with the offices of Senator Richard Blumenthal, Senator Chris Murphy, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, and Congressman John Larson. Eight Connecticut constituents, as well as grassroots champions from Colchester and the Loomis Chaffee School, met with Congressional staff to share their passion for fighting malaria and told stories of how they have taken action to support Nothing But Nets. The staff we were all very receptive to our work, excited to connect with constituents on this crucial issue, and interested in learning about the ways they could continue to demonstrate U.S. leadership in the fight against malaria.
The BzzzTour then rolled on to Boston, where meetings were held with the offices of Congressman Joe Kennedy III and Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren. JCI USA was once again joined by our partners at the United Methodist Church for a productive day of malaria advocacy meetings.
Most recently, 30 JCI USA members came down to DC from Baltimore for an advocacy day on Capitol Hill. They engaged in 34 meetings, eight of which were with members of Congress themselves, in order to urge support for the President’s Malaria Initiative and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria!
We’re only one quarter of the way through the BzzzTour and JCI USA has already completed 55 meetings towards our overall goal of 100! Fifteen states remain, with upcoming stops in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Stay tuned for more updates on BzzzTour 2.0!