By Shahriar

This was my first time going to Lobby Day in Albany, New York State’s Capitol. I was very nervous at first, but once I got onto the bus, I knew it was going to be alright because that feeling of optimism was everywhere. Once we got to Albany, the Capitol was crowded with other activists that came for different movements. We came to fight for the Women’s Equality Agenda. The sight of seeing other people coming for a righteous cause amazed me because the causes we are fighting for affect us all in every way. It’s 2013, yet we are still struggling to fight for women rights — isn’t that absurd?

It amazed me to see how people were working together for this agenda, especially NARAL Pro-Choice New York staff. Assemblywomen and Assemblymen spoke at the beginning of the day with great enthusiasm. After hearing the inspiring speeches, we went to meet with our assigned senator, which was exciting because I wanted them to hear my voice and the voices of other pro-choice constituents. Unfortunately, I couldn’t meet the Senator, but I met his representative, which was great because the staff members are the ones who tell the Senator and have influence on the decision the Senator makes regarding the ten-point Women’s Equality Agenda. After that, I got the chance to go to the Assembly Hall, which was the best part of Lobby Day. I was introduced to the Assemblyman on the floor of the Assembly and I felt very special and happy!

Personally, this topic of women’s equality is taboo where I come from (Bangladesh). I think that my being involved is a good start in creating change because it only takes one person to start a revolution. Thankfully, in this case, we have hundreds fighting for this cause. Overall, Lobby day was a great experience. I got a chance to fight for something important and I made new friends.