Annual Citizens for Space Exploration Advocacy Trip to Washington, D.C.
Each year for the past 26 years, the Citizens for Space Exploration groups from across America have gathered on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to hold sit-down visits with members of Congress to help advance support for human space exploration and demonstrate a large, grassroots constituency for space exploration.
The 2017 annual trip included 96 travelers, representing 27 states, who conducted a record 401 congressional office visits. The diverse group of travelers was composed of elected officials, 35 students studying engineering or related technical fields, industry representatives, and community leaders.
The congressional reception was well attended by over 50 staff members and included remarks from eight members of Congress: Sen. John Cornyn, Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Brian Babin, Rep. Mo Brooks, Rep. Gene Green, Rep. Will Hurd, Rep. Pete Olson, and Rep. Randy Weber.
Space Day at the State Capitol
BAHEP’s Bob Mitchell, Bob Payne, Richelle Brasher, C.A. Shields, and Jimmy Spence traveled to Austin, along with 17 industry travelers and 21 NASA travelers, for Space Day at the State Capitol earlier this year. The group was there to educate law makers about two programs funded by the state, Texas Aerospace Scholars and the Technology Outreach Program, as well as the impact of the aerospace industry in Texas.
The travelers conducted 25 scheduled meetings with legislative members who serve on multiple high-value committees and conducted an additional 156 stop-by meetings. The visits went well, since TAS and TOP have benefitted every district in the state.
The Legislative Kick-off Reception was well attended with NASA Johnson Space Center Director Dr. Ellen Ochoa, Sen. Eddie Lucio, Rep. Dennis Paul, and Rep. Wayne Faircloth all making comments during a brief, informal program.
The Astronauts and Ice Cream Social may have been the most popular event. Legislators and staffers were in a line stretching out of the door to get ice cream and meet with veteran astronaut Rex Walheim and rookie astronaut Christina Koch.
Sen. Ted Cruz speaks to the Citizens for Space Exploration travelers during the congressional reception held during CSE’s 26th annual advocacy trip to Capitol Hill. Bob Mitchell, president of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, standing next to Cruz, introduced the eight congressmen who addressed the group.