The past few days have been pretty hectic, job-wise. In between editing a couple of books, supervising the other designers, writing sample advocacy letters for people to contact their members of Congress, and shepherding the first book of a new imprint through the printing process, my boss told me about a major new lobbying campaign that was suddenly on the front burner because the legislation in question (a) is on a fast track to passage, and (b) is pretty damaging to health freedom advocates.
Quick background: For many years I’ve been working for a great guy named Hunter Lewis. He co-founded Cambridge Associates, a global investment firm whose clients include many research universities and charitable organizations. He serves on boards and committees of fifteen non-profit organizations—not to mention the World Bank. And he casually drops bits of information about phone conversations he had with the Vice President, totally without any pretension. He’s written books on the related fields of economics and values, as well as numerous magazine and newspaper articles.
Most of the work my work for Hunter over the years has been for his publishing company, Axios Press, which publishes an interesting mix of economics, travel, history, philosophy (including religious philosophy), and ethics. He’s recently started Praktikos Books, which will all be on natural health or how the FDA is a horrible agency that needs to be restructured from the bottom up. The book we just got off to the printer was our first in the Praktikos imprint.
Hunter also co-founded the American Association for Health Freedom, which is a 5019(c)(4) non-profit working to ensure the rights of the consumer to have access to any kind of healthcare—mainstream or alternative—they wish, and the rights of the practitioner to treat patients without government interference. I edit, and sometimes write, their weekly newsletter, and increasingly I edit their press releases, advocacy materials, and their letters going to Congressional leaders and local government policymakers.
The legislation that’s just been introduced in the House of Representatives is HR2749, which is meant to be a food safety bill but is really an excuse to give the FDA tremendous power and control, including punishing anyone who breaks their rules with ten-year prison sentences and up to $7.5 million in fines. And “breaking the rules” might be as innocuous as a cereal manufacturer talking about how it can lower cholesterol, or a cherry producer talking about how cherries help reduce inflammation: if the statement hasn’t been approved by the FDA, it’s a violation, and if this new bill becomes law, there are major consequences.
So Hunter tells me about this while he’s on vacation in Wyoming, and says we need to launch the campaign, and would I please make it the focal point of this week’s newsletter (this is Saturday and the newsletter deadline is Monday) and oh, by the way, we’ll need to place a full-page ad in Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill that reports all of Congress’s legislative and political maneuvers. Then he says he’s going to be traveling for the next several days, and oops, forgot to mention that AAHF’s executive director will be on vacation beginning Tuesday.
So we have an administrative assistant / marketing director, a legislative aide who’s leaving the organization, an intern, and me—the Peanut Gallery. Somehow we get the ad booked and I pare down the newsletter and rewrite it for a Congressional audience and design the ad. And now it’s in today’s paper—in a lovely location on the back page! AAHF has gotten the ad reprinted and today it’s being hand-delivered to each congressional office. I also created a display ad for the online version of Roll Call, but I think it appears at random so I haven’t seen it yet.
Now back to book editing. I’m procrastinating like crazy on these books, because the source material is, shall we say, quite rocky.
Fellow bloggers, what do you do in the course of an average day that we may not have heard about? Write about it and post a link here.