Mr. T Goes To Washington

Mr. T Goes To Washington

By: Ryan Strunk and Tom TeBockhorst

(Editor’s Note: At our semiannual convention, we had the fun of listening to an interview our affiliate president, Ryan Strunk, did with Tom TeBockhorst about his first Washington seminar. As you’ll read, this was quite an adventure for Tom.)

Ryan: You’ve been a member of the NFB for 28 years. What made you finally decide to go to Washington Seminar?

Tom: I’ve heard about it so many years from other people. in the past, I didn’t have a job, so I couldn’t afford it. Once I did get a job, I was working, so I didn’t have time. This year, Minnesota said they would pay, so I decided to go.

Ryan: Were you nervous?

Tom: No, I wasn’t nervous. I was really excited. I couldn’t believe I was actually going to get to go and talk to our representatives and senators about the issues.

Ryan: How did it feel when you finally got there?

Tom: It was totally awesome! I ended up being on the same flight as Judy and Sharon, so we were able to share a cab to the airport. Once I got to the hotel, I really found out what we mean when we talk about a Federation family. There had somehow been a mix-up with my room and I wasn’t on the hotel’s list. A Federation leader ended up paying for the room. That was really great!

Ryan: What was your favorite part of the trip?

Tom: My favorite part was getting to meet people from all over the country.

Ryan: How did you feel actually talking to senators and representatives?

Tom: One of the first people I talked with was Senator Nolan, and he agreed to co-sponsor one of our bills, the Affordable Accessible Technology Act. We got to meet with Keith Ellison, and he was willing to support our issues, too.

Ryan: If there are other people who want to go to Washington Seminar, what would you tell them?

Tom: I’d suggest doing it because it’s a great way to meet with our legislators, and they may just end up supporting our issues. If you are a first-timer, our state affiliate may be able to help pay the cost.