Role: Legislative Ambassador & West Region Campus Leadership Team Advocacy Co-Lead
Hometown: Union City, California
Years Volunteering for ACS CAN: 3
How did you first get involved with ACS CAN?
I started my advocacy with anti-tobacco legislation, primarily on the local city council level. I wanted to learn how to advocate more effectively, especially as I started learning about SB 793, which was a state bill that would end the sale of flavored tobacco. I saw the work that ACS was doing, and I wanted to get involved with them. So, I attended the ACS Ambassador Summit, where I learned from ambassadors how to speak to lawmakers and how to make my voice heard. At that point, I knew I would be working with ACS, and I still am!
How did you feel after that first meeting with a lawmaker?
Both thrilled and nervous. It was really exciting to know that I was working directly with lawmakers to drive change, and it was heartening to see them listening. It was also a little nerve-wracking being in that room, but afterwards, I felt confident that good things would happen.
If someone said to you “ I am not a political person, why should I get involved?” What would your response be?
I think everyone's actually more political than we think. Access to healthcare is one of the biggest political issues right now, and its something that affects everyone, so I think we all have opinions on it. I think what really matters is doing something about those opinions, and even small actions can make a difference. It can be as little as writing a post on social media, or sending an email with your opinion to a lawmaker's office. Being political does not have to be attending meetings and speaking to public officials, it is simply making your voice heard about things that matter to you.
What types of things do you do as a volunteer for ACS CAN?
Might be easier to list what I don't do! I post on social media, talk to other advocates, recruit more advocates, speak to lawmakers, educate the community, I think I've done a little of everything.
Any Final Thoughts?
I just really love working with ACS CAN. Cancer is such an important health care concern, and as someone really interested in public health and health equity, helping people affected with cancer and their loved ones, and making an impact towards better health outcomes is something meaningful to me.