For the next 36 days (from March 28 to May 2), I will be contacting and writing about 36 extraordinary members of the House of Representatives. They are all extraordinary in that they form the bipartisan Congressional Spina Bifida Caucus, and so they strive to address the unique needs of the spina bifida community in the U.S. My “mission” is to write to them, and urge them to make quality of life, and not solely prevention, a priority on their agenda in Congress. It has come to my attention that education about spina bifida is critical during all the stages of development– from planning to prevent spina bifida through the consumption of folic acid, to comprehensive education about spina bifida once it is diagnosed. We need to educate, starting with the physicians and other healthcare providers, so that they will be made aware of the potential that each child with spina bifida possesses.
“The U. S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.” -Benjamin Franklin
Happy Easter, everyone! Whether you celebrate this day or not, I hope it was very peaceful and lots of fun. My parents and I drove to the nearby coastal area of New Smyrna Beach. While my now-infamous allergies raised hell all day, we still managed to have a good time, and it was a really gorgeous day!
I’m beginning to get the hang of profiling Congresspeople. The person we’ll be focusing on today is Rep. Michael Castle, from Delaware. Actually, you won’t be reading about an other representatives from Delaware, as he is the only one from that state in the House, not to mention the only one in the Congressional Spina Bifida Caucus!
But, as a minority, he’s making himself count. And, he’s making the voices of the people count, too. According to his biography, is the ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education. Similar to First Lady Michelle Obama’s own platform, one of his chief focuses is childhood nutrition and the prevention of obesity in children.
He serves on the House Committee on Financial Services. As founder and President of the Republican Main Street Partnership, he espouses the views that are more center-field than his very right-wing colleagues. In fact, he is a member of the more liberal-minded Republicans for Environmental Protection. Rep. Castle also co-sponsored the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which sought to to expand the number of stem cell lines that are available for federally-funded research, and he’s still pushing for funding of embryonic stem cell research.
Last but not least, the lone Delaware congressman is co-chair of the Biomedical Research Caucus, and is on the Task Force on Health Care Reform.
Oh yeah– and here’s a really cool fact I found: Castle is a direct descendant of Benjamin Franklin. Yes, that Benjamin Franklin. So, I imagine that, with each day in Congress, Rep. Castle would strive to help his constituents pursue that goal which is so central to our Constitution– simply put, happiness.
With that, I must leave you. It’s Monday tomorrow– back to the old grind! (I’m only somewhat kidding.)
Wishing you all great happiness this week,