On Saturday, September 24, my son and I set out to volunteer for the Convention of States booth at the Occoquan Arts and Crafts Festival in Northern Virginia.
The crowds were prodigious! It was a great day! My son was a bit of a last minute add-on. His schedule suddenly opened up and we needed more help for the day so I shot an e-mail to the event organizer to tell her about him and she said to definitely bring him! She said it would be great to have a millennial working at the booth. He first learned about Convention of (COS) through their scholarship competition in his senior year of high school. Later he learned much more at his college, Patrick Henry College, which was founded by one of the COS founders, Michael Farris. So of course my son had a lot to share about COS!
When we first arrived we hunted for our booth even though our shift was for the last half of the day. We found it and connected with our fearless leaders, telling them about my day at the Williamsburg viewing party for the Convention of States simulation the day before. I have met the greatest people while volunteering for COS. All of the volunteers have been great to talk with, connect to and work with. Then we left to do a bit of exploring, mini-mountain climbing/mystery solving and eating Texan BBQ before taking our turn at the booth.
We had a great afternoon talking to guests about Convention of States and collecting signed petitions. Even though I have struggled with exactly how to articulate the COS at previous events, this day seemed so easy. I knew that was because of having watched the Convention of States simulation in Colonial Williamsburg the day before. Lots of things started to click for me during the viewing. This experience helped me to help the guests when they questioned whether delegates from across America would actually attend, much less work together, at a Convention of States. When I shared that there had just been a simulation in Williamsburg of delegates from each of the 50 states who worked together writing amendments, the tide was turned which motivated many to sign the petition. And that is exactly why the simulation was done...to model to a questioning America exactly what a Convention of States entails. Even though conventions of this nature were common in the 18th century, they are a rather novel concept to us so now we have a recent example to show us exactly what it would look like.
While we were working the booth my Congressman Rob Wittman (federal level) exuberantly walked up to shake my hand and commended me for partaking of my 10th amendment rights. He also assured me that once 2/3's of the states call for a convention he knows what his job is...to stay hands off and allow the process to move through the states. The federal government has nothing to do with this process. Neither does the governor of any of the states.
Then Delegate Richard Anderson (of district 51, state level) walked up. He agreed to all he had heard Congressman Wittman say and said that we had his full support at the state level.
Wow!!!! What a boost! Meeting them really put a twist on my day, putting new meaning to "we the people."
To learn more about the Convention of States process, read this.
To sign the petition, click here.