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Article Date: 12/1/2013

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New Grads and the Political Scene
From the AOSA

New Grads and the Political Scene

James Deom, AOSA President

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The American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) has made political awareness a major focus of its messaging to students over the past 2 years. Several hundred students attended the last two Congressional Advocacy Meetings in Washington, D.C. and raised more than $40,000 from students across the country. Students have stepped up to the plate and taken an active role in politics. Our hope is that if students begin to focus on politics during their education, they’ll be more likely to do so as doctors.

So, what does it mean to be politically active? Let me start by saying that we’re much stronger together than apart. The AOSA provides a common bond for students. The AOA then builds upon this as we transition into practice. We all have the power to change the future of optometric practice and how we provide eye care. To accomplish this, we must be active members of our local societies and state associations, and we should support the national AOA by attending Optometry’s Meeting and donating to AOA-PAC.

As students, we’re asked to donate $20 to support AOA-PAC. Practicing doctors are often asked for more. My suggestion is to start with $20 for your first couple of years and increase your donation by $10 every year. If we all do this, our PAC will grow by leaps and bounds. And it doesn’t end there! Ask your local societies and state associations about getting involved in your Key Person program. As a Key Person, you’ll educate lawmakers about issues important to optometry.

Students across the country are brainstorming and working tirelessly to instill the importance of political advocacy in our colleagues. We’ve paid out of our pockets to lobby our legislators in Washington, D.C. We need you, as role models, to carry forward what we’ve done in the AOSA. We need you to advocate for us at the state and federal level. We need you to take an active role by financially supporting PAC no matter the size of the donation. nOD

To become an AOSA Sustaining Member today, contact an AOSA Executive Council Leader. Contact and additional membership information is available at www.theaosa.org.


Optometric Management, Volume: , Issue: December 2013, page(s): S7

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