Check out the message we sent today to our supporters in Massachusetts:
As you may know, the Compassionate Aid in Dying Act, which authorizes aid in dying in Massachusetts, is still under review by the Joint Public Health Committee of the state legislature.
While the bill is being reviewed on Beacon Hill, we need your help to remind lawmakers that we stand with the 70% of Bay State voters and the millions of voters throughout the nation that support expanding choices at the end of life.
Grennan’s leadership since 2012 as Compassion & Choices national field and political director helped Vermont in 2013 and California in 2015 become the first two state legislatures to pass laws to give terminally ill adults the option of medical aid in dying if their end-of-life suffering becomes unbearable. Her field and political team’s efforts have resulted in more than 200 lawmakers signing on as co-sponsors of similar bills in the District of Columbia and 25 states since 2015, a five-fold increase from 2014.
Since 2006, Grennan has served as board president of the youth civic engagement nonprofit Forward Montana. In addition, she was health alliance director for the American Heart Association in Montana and Wyoming from 2006 to 2009.
“Receiving this award from the nation’s leading political consulting organization is a great honor,” said Grennan. “It validates my work over more than 15 years to advance civil liberties like end-of-life choice, women’s health and voting rights. But this award also is a testament to my talented colleagues because our mutual success made it possible.”
“Jessica is a political dynamo who gives new meaning to the term ‘multitask,’” said Barbara Coombs Lee, president of Compassion & Choices, the nation’s largest end-of-life choice advocacy organization. “Her boundless energy and razor sharp political skills explain why lawmakers across the nation rely on her counsel to craft and move legislation to expand end-of-life care options for dying Americans.”
The AAPC will recognize the winners of the 40 Under 40 Awards at the 2016 Annual Pollie Awards & Conference next Tuesday, April 12, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The conference brings the leading political professionals in the world together to network and hear from top technology innovators, pollsters, pundits and service providers.
“The AAPC is proud to recognize leaders and innovators such as Jessica Grennan who have already played key roles in advancing their clients’ or organization’s interests and promoting democracy,” said AAPC President Mark Mellman.
“Competition for this year’s awardees nearly doubled compared to last year,” noted AAPC Vice President Tom Shepard. “Our bipartisan team of judges carefully reviewed the resumes of over 190 pollsters, campaign consultants, researchers, campaign managers and digital strategists from across the political spectrum.”
Only 17 Republicans, 17 Democrats, and 6 nonpartisan operatives in the United States were named to this exclusive “40 Under 40” winners list. Award winners were graded on a 40-point scale and selected for extraordinary achievements in politics and public affairs. Contributions to the health of the political business community through volunteer work and other forms of philanthropy were also considered.
Previously, she also was a staff member on senior Montana U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s winning Senate campaign in 2006. She also served as an intern at the White House, where she specialized in working with the disabilities community.
Click here to view the full list of the 2016 “40 Under 40” winners. About AAPC Founded in 1969, the AAPC is a multi-partisan organization of political and public affairs professionals dedicated to improving democracy. The AAPC has over 1,350 members hailing from all corners of the globe. It is the largest association of political and public affairs professionals in the world. For more information, see www.theaapc.org.
Check out the email we sent last week to supporters in the Buffalo, New York, area. We hope to see you tomorrow!
As you know, our campaign to bring the option of medical aid in dying to terminally ill adults in New York is now in full swing. And now, we’re coming to Buffalo to organize the grassroots teams we’ll need to succeed.
Please join me for a discussion in Buffalo about expanding end-of-life options in New York, and pending legislation that would authorize medical aid in dying for terminally ill people. We’ll discuss what we can do to ensure the passage of this vital legislation, and what dedicated advocates like you can do to help.
WHAT: Expanding Options at the End of Life: An update on the campaign to change the law to allow for medical aid in dying in New York State WHERE: Buffalo Public Library, Frank E. Merriweather Jr Branch, 1324 Jefferson Ave, Buffalo NY 14208 WHEN: Thursday, April 7, 3:00-4:30 p.m.
This meeting will give you the opportunity to meet other advocates in the area, share your personal stories, and find out what you can do to improve New Yorkers’ control over their end-of-life care. You’ll also have the opportunity to help form the Buffalo-area action team. An action team is a local group of supporters who meet regularly and work to build support for end-of-life options.
Joining our campaign as a member of the action team will allow you to have a close-up view of local activities and a voice in our strategy in the Buffalo region.
Click the link below to RSVP to this important event:
Compassion & Choices Multi-State Campaign and Outreach Manager sent the following email to our Connecticut supporters this week:
I wanted to give you an update on our campaign in Connecticut. This year, the legislature is hosting a short session that extends for only a few short months, and the state budget is currently occupying the time of the state legislature. These circumstances make it unlikely an aid-in-dying bill will be proposed this year.
I know that for many this is disappointing, however that does not mean we are out of this fight. We are going to continue to be active and engaged in creating change here in Connecticut to carry momentum into next year’s session.
Over the next year, we’ll continue to grow our list of dedicated supporters like you who are willing to help educate the public on this issue. We will also continue the vital work of educating key stakeholders in this debate, like the Connecticut Medical Society and the Connecticut Hospice Association.
Though the new legislative session won’t start until next year, we are not wasting a moment in our efforts to win the votes that will put us over the top.
Renew your commitment to end-of-life options by signing our petition today. Click the link below to sign on:
We sent the following message to our New Jersey supporters this week:
As you know, we’ve been working hard to lay the groundwork for the passage of death-with-dignity legislation this year. We’ve spent the last few weeks talking with members of the legislature and their staffs about our legislation. And now, we are securing allies for the bill’s introduction.
This week, we’re delivering letters asking assemblymembers to sign on as sponsors of the Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act, which would authorize death with dignity in New Jersey. And you can help by reaching out to your lawmakers and telling them that you support this legislation.
Introducing the bill is just the first step to passage — it will be followed by hearings and then a vote. But a long list of co-sponsors would send a signal to our opponents and the media that we have momentum and strong support from State Assembly members.
Lawmakers are most interested in hearing from their constituents, so a letter from you has the potential to go a long way and convince assemblymembers on the fence. Get involved today and tell your assemblymember why medical aid in dying is so important. Please feel free to include a personal story in your message — I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for lawmakers to hear personal stories about why this issue means so much to all of us.
Click the link below to use our quick and easy online tool to email your assemblymember:
Check out the message we sent today to our supporters in New York:
As you know, our campaign to expand end-of-life options in the Empire State has been moving forward at full steam. We’ve recently held organizing events in Rochester, Albany, and Long Island, and we’re planning to make trips to Buffalo, Syracuse, and the Catskills within the month. And soon, we’ll hold our biggest event yet.
On May 10, Compassion & Choices supporters will gather for a lobby day in Albany. We’ll meet with legislators to tell them why New Yorkers feel so strongly about authorizing medical aid in dying. It’s an important opportunity to build support with face-to-face interactions and sharing personal stories.
WHAT: Compassion & Choices Spring Lobby Day in Albany WHERE: NY State Capitol, State St. and Washington Ave, Albany, NY (meet on the 3rd floor outside the Senate chambers) WHEN:Tuesday, May 10, at 11:00 a.m.
Our January lobby day was a huge success – more than 85 dedicated supporters registered, and with our bright yellow shirts, we were noticed by the press and throughout the Capitol by lawmakers and other advocates. Though we were well-received by lawmakers, we walked away knowing that we needed to provide more education to make sure legislators and their staffs are fully informed about medical aid in dying.
That’s why we need you to join us in Albany on May 10. Elected officials are eager to know where their constituents stand on medical aid in dying, and this is your chance to impact their decision making.
We will arrange visits with your Senator and Assemblymember, as well as other influential lawmakers, and provide training, materials and talking points in advance. Compassion & Choices yellow t-shirts will be available if you need one! If you need assistance with transportation or lodging, please let us know on the RSVP page.
Feel free to prepare your personal stories in advance of your visit. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for lawmakers to hear personal stories about why this issue means so much to all of us.
Today we sent the following message to our supporters in Rhode Island:
I’m writing to update you on this week’s hearing and the status of the Lila Sapinsley Compassionate Care Act. As you may know, the bill, which would authorize medical aid in dying in Rhode Island, was discussed in a hearing held by the House Health Committee this week.
Our witnesses from across the state delivered powerful testimony in support of the bill. The Compassionate Care Act’s sponsor, Rep. Edith Ajello, spoke about the painful deaths terminally ill people have been forced to endure and our local supporters shared stories of their loved ones.
The committee members listened respectfully to our testimony and arguments in support of the bill, but it was clear that we have work to do to educate them on the need for expanded end-of-life options. That’s where you can help right now!
Those opposed to medical aid in dying were on hand and visible: they held a rally immediately before the hearing and flew operatives into Providence from across the country. Even so, turnout from our supporters matched theirs.
But legislative testimony will not be enough to succeed. To convince the committee to hold a vote on the Compassionate Care Act, we’ll need to show that medical aid in dying has support from all parts of the state. If you support death with dignity, now is the time to take action and urge the committee to pass the bill.
Click the link below to email the committee and ask them to pass the Compassionate Care Act:
Direct contact with legislators played a huge role in last year’s passage of California’s End of Life Option Act. Make your voice heard and Rhode Island could be next. Please feel free to include a personal story in your message. It’s impossible to overstate the resonance of personal testimony when appealing to lawmakers.
Thanks for all you do,
Tim Appleton Multi-State Campaign and Outreach Manager
If you like in Rhode Island, take action today to fight for death with dignity!
Compassion & Choices President Barbara Coombs Lee wrote a moving piece in The Albany Times Union that pushes back against the false idea that those who choose medical aid in dying are “giving up”. Take a look at the excerpt below:
Cancer comes in many forms, with many degrees of ferociousness and velocity. Sometimes modern medicine can beat it back. Stories like Hanson’s are, indeed, joyous celebrations. But often, and sadly, cancer continues a relentless course in spite of every effort to cut it out, irradiate it, or poison it into remission. People die of cancer, and not because they didn’t try hard enough to cure it.
Brittany did not make a different decision from Hanson. She made the same decision, to undergo aggressive treatment. But it didn’t work. That doesn’t make her weak, or a quitter. It just means life dealt her a lousy hand. Given that hand, Brittany determined to make the best she could of it.
People who are comforted to know medical aid in dying is available if they need it are also committed to fighting their disease when there’s a chance to cure it or slow its progression. The Hansons present a false choice of treating disease or submitting to death. That kind of thinking is seductive. It supports our delusion that we are different from those who die of cancer, and that difference will save us. But it does a grave disservice to those unlucky enough to have fought bravely, long and well and died anyway.
Of course, people hearing they have a terminal illness want to beat it. If they can’t beat it, they want to slow it. If they can’t slow it, they want excellent pain control and comfort care. If hospice cannot control pain and other symptoms, they want a peaceful escape from suffering, hopefully at home, in the arms of their loved ones. Why would a benevolent government, or a compassionate politician, or a fortunate cancer survivor, want to deny them that?
Today, we sent out the following email to our Minnesota supporters:
Last week, the Compassionate Care Act was heard by the Senate Health Committee and withdrawn before a vote was taken. Despite the moving testimony from physicians, clergy, families, and Brittany Maynard’s husband Dan Diaz, bill sponsor Sen. Chris Eaton withdrew the bill because it did not have the majority support of the committee.
For my team, this is a legislative setback, but for so many terminally ill people in our state the legislature’s inaction has painful, real-life consequences.
Though we’ve hit a barrier in the legislative process, the bill we support came within a single vote of passing the committee. That’s a tremendous success considering the Minnesota Senate had never previously considered the Compassionate Care Act. We are prepared to build on our success next year, and we need your help to grow our ranks and increase the number of North Star State supporters.
Without the hard work of supporters like you, there’s no chance that legislation would have gone as far as it did this year. And the progress we made during this year’s session has convinced us that with a little more time, we’ll be able to secure the votes we need.
Though the new legislative session won’t start until next year, we are not wasting a moment in our efforts to win the votes that will put us over the top. We have our work cut out for us, but we know what to do – energize and empower supporters like you to raise your voice and be heard!
We can only pass this legislation with your help. Send the petition below to 3 friends and ask them to join our campaign:
Check out the email we sent out today to all Rhode Island Compassion & Choices supporters. Take action so the committee knows that Rhode Islanders support expanding end-of-life options to include aid in dying:
We’re closer than ever before to authorizing medical aid in dying in Rhode Island. And this week, we’ll face a crucial legislative test.
The Rhode Island State House Health, Education, and Welfare Committee will consider the Lila Sapinsley Compassionate Care Act, a bill that would allow terminally ill people to access medical aid in dying. We need supporters like you to attend the hearing and send letters to the lawmakers considering the bill to motivate them to support it.
WHAT: Hearing on the Lila Sapinsley Compassionate Care Act WHERE: Rhode Island State House, Room 101, 82 Smith Street, Providence WHEN:Wednesday, March 23 at 4:30 p.m.
Our opponents will likely mobilize their activists to be on hand for the hearing, so we need supporters like you at the State House to illustrate support for aid in dying in Rhode Island. If you want the freedom to make your own end-of-life decisions, now is the time to act. With your help, we can send a strong message that Rhode Islanders support death with dignity.
Direct contact with legislators played a huge role in last year’s passage of California’s End of Life Option Act. Make your voice heard and Rhode Island could be next. Feel free to include a personal story in your message. It’s impossible to overstate the resonance of personal testimony when appealing to lawmakers.
Your support is crucial. Whether you plan on joining us for the hearing or not, please take a few moments to tell lawmakers the time to pass this bill is now. It’s quick and easy with our online tool. Click the link below to email the committee: