Episode 67: the Million Mom March-- Continuing it's Legacy 20 Years Later


So Donna I want to start with you. Can you talk to our listeners? I know you're going to have to be brief about it. But tell our listeners what prompted you to begin the million mom, March, what was the million mom, March you off and can you take us through your journey? Sure. Well, it was August 10th 1999 typical vacation day on Fire Island. I was with my daughters who were four and five years old that summer they had also gone to a JCC day camp in New Jersey and never what I dreamed that suddenly I would be frightened that they would be targets off from a white supremacist on that day a white supremacist storm to JCC Day Camp, Granada Hills, California. He opened fired on Little Campers and fortunately none of the kids dog. But they suffered great injuries, including a sixteen-year-old day camp counselor and my world changed at that moment at the time. I was a part-time publicist for Late Show with David Letterman. I felt like, you know, I have time to do something serious like volunteer to do PR for gun violence prevention organization. And and really the only one I knew of and usually get through to was was called handgun control Inc then but for purpose of this podcast, I'm calling it by its since rebranded name since 2001 the Brady organization, so I called Grady but I filled a volunteers and it was very hard to volunteer at that particular moment because Congress had just a few weeks before failed to close the gun-show loophole that was exposed when Columbine happened. That's how those Shooters got their guns through a loophole. And so there was a lot of discouragement in the basic. I was told but we still tell people who call your cock. Spend and I was embarrassed that I hadn't actually called my congressman at all since becoming a mother and you know, I knew the number by heart because I had worked on Capitol Hill for years right out of college. So I know the importance of making your voice heard and I even understood the importance when like five women would sit out in our reception area five women used to terrify my boss US senator Russell long. He thought five women sitting out and reception area meant five thousand women were right behind them. So I am going to tell you a secret JK I I wrote a book so I had more detail about how the whole minimum March came together and it's a great book. Thank you, but I left out as a little secret and I know I've told a lot of people that you're not the first person I'm talking but I think it's frozen on a broadcast. My goal was never to really get a million moms. My goal was to get five moms in every congressional district in this country but to Orange Is the 2175 person March just in the sounded interesting so because I'm a pure person million mom, March a little more Pizzazz, but I thought okay million. Mom March million is a thousand million as a metaphor, you know for a lot of people and so we launched it on Labor Day when I say we I get all my friends who I'd worked with. I worked at CBS news for several years. I worked in different, you know different places that immediate mavens and they helped me put together, you know logos slogans a press release and we launched on Labor Day. I was actually shocked on how newsworthy they they considered a million mom March and Mother's Day. It was nine months from the day. I applied to the permit on August seventeenth two Mother's Day that made fourteen. We were the headlines wrote them, you know takes nine months to make a baby nine months to make March, you know, maybe you know, we get congressmen to pass laws to protect those

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