Friday we made a big push to thank all of the members of Congress in the Detroit area that have been real allies to Pacific Salmon. First on the docket, Rep. John Dingell. Congressman Dingell was crucial in getting protections for fish and wildlife included in the Northwest Power Act of 1980. Unfortunately, salmon and steelhead numbers have dramatically declined since this time even as the number of federal dollars spent on their recovery has skyrocketed. Congressman Dingell's chairmanship of the Energy & Commerce Committee means he has the opportunity to be a leader, provide oversight on this issue, and find solutions that work for salmon, fishing communities, and American taxpayers. We had a great meeting with Field Representative Ryan Werder, joined by Kris and Jodi Matthew, local leaders from Michigan United Conservation Clubs. It was a productive meeting and we're glad Ryan had the time to sit down with us.
Then, after fueling up on some Timbits, we headed to Rep. Kilpatrick's office in downtown Detroit. How lucky did we get when the Congresswoman herself pulled up right behind Fin and the gang. Rep. Kilpatrick was very enthusiastic and posed for a great picture.
This was a special highlight for Bill, because he grew up in her district. It was a big boost of confidence for Bill to see his hometown Representative so excited by the issue he cares so much about.
Turned out Congressman Conyers' office was only a couple of blocks away, which meant we were left with little choice but to stop by. Unfortunately we didn't have the same luck with running into the Congressman as we were with Rep. Kilpatrick, but we received some encouraging words from his District Director Pat Hartig, and Shawn Campbell was able come out for a photo op. Thank you Pat for thinking of us!
The drive to Sander Levin's local office in Roseville was a little longer, but well worth the trip. We don't think we've seen a local staff more into Fin to date. These folks loved her, and were crawling around inside in no time flat.
We would like to thank all of the staffers that took a some time out of their days to meet with us, and look forward to more great leadership from the Representatives we visited today.