Think “lovable,” and very likely, puppies and kittens come to mind. Think “lobbyist,” and for one reason or another, those puppy-kitten images disappear, revealing a cloud of skepticism and distrust. Why the bad rep? We’re challenging the not-so-sunny perceptions of the lobbying community, one face at a time. Meet Christine Sequenzia, a Texas A&M graduate who has dedicated her career to animal welfare and public policy. Ms. Sequenzia currently serves as Federal Policy Advisor of the Animal Welfare Institute in Washington, D.C. and has worked on Capitol Hill and in the private sector
Do you have a personal connection to the nonprofit you work for?
Yes, most definitely. As a young girl, I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. This dream lead to my first job as a horse stable hand cleaning horse stalls, and then on to the Animal Medical Center of Plano, where I worked as a veterinary technician for 7 years. After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Texas A&M University, I realized my impact would be greater lobbying for animal welfare measures on Capitol Hill. Today, my efforts include ending horse slaughter, increasing humane living conditions for farm animals, marine mammal conservation and others.
For a full list, visit: AWIOnline.org.
What positive things would you like people to know about lobbying and advocacy?
Good Question! First, not all lobbyists are “bad people.” Many nonprofit and NGO lobbyists make less than Capitol Hill staffers, lobbying for causes in which they believe. Advocating for stronger laws protecting girls against sex-trafficking, rights of domestic violence victims and solid animal protection policies are valiant and honorable causes. Remember to look beyond the title and instead toward the goal.
What can people do to get involved in lovable advocacy activities with the Animal Welfare Institute?
To assist AWI in our lobby efforts visit the Compassion Index (CI) at www.CompassionIndex.org. There you will be able to communicate directly with your elected representatives, view each member’s score on animal protective policies and write in support of AWI endorsed legislation by simply entering your zip code.
What else makes you lovable outside of your regular work?
Thank you for asking. Currently, I am very busy volunteering at Doorways women’s shelter, answering hotline calls and assisting women seeking shelter, while coordinating our Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure team. Most recently, the leaders of McLean Bible Church and I are planning a new praise event on Capitol Hill, called Capitol Praise! Capitol Praise will be held weekly on the national mall during warmer months and will feature praise music from rock to gospel. Please follow me on twitter @CSequenzia or visit my website, www.ChristineSequenzia.com, for details.
To nominate a lovable lobbyist, email email@example.com.