This is where my advocacy began in earnest.
I headed to Washington in the hopes of helping to save lives by sharing Jewel’s story and the shocking facts I had learned about the poor regulation of the automotive industry.
Here’s how it went:
FTC Meeting Monday, May 10, 2016
I met with the Commissioners of the FTC for 3 hours. I said to them, “I represent the tragic results of something that was preventable if regulatory action, by your agency, would have been put into place prior to my daughter’s death.” I implored upon the Commissioners to enact regulations prohibiting the sale of any vehicle unless all outstanding safety recalls were fixed. Doing otherwise would be endorsing the dangerous, unethical, and deceptive business practices of corporations… increasing the risk of death and injury to the public.
DC Meetings on Capitol Hill Wednesday, May 11, 2016
On Wednesday, May 11th, I went to several meetings on Capitol Hill.
10:00 am – Met with Senator Schumer’s office
11:00 am – Senator Durbin’s office, at the time he was the Senate Minority Whip
1:00 pm – Met with the Senate Commerce Committee staff that work for Senator Nelson and Senator Blumenthal. At that time, I spoke with the following two gentlemen:
Christian Tamotsu Fjeld – Senior Counsel for Senator Bill Nelson
He said to me, “I have 3 daughters and I don’t know how you do this.”
I replied, “That’s why I’m doing this. I’m doing this for you and your daughters, for the families of everyone.”
Christopher R. Day – Deputy Staff Director for Senator Bill Nelson and former JAG Officer
When he came into the room, he went directly over to me, shook my hand and said, “I know who you are. You should be the face of this.”
2:30 pm – Met with Congresswoman Schakowsky’s and Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr.’s offices
Co-signed letter addressed to the NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) Chairman. NADA is a special interest group that represents all new car dealers, both foreign and domestic, before Congress, federal agencies, the media and the general public.
US House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee hearing: auto safety recalls – April 8, 2016
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky reading from a portion of the NADA letter at an oversight hearing on the Takata Recall.
My work has just begun. Unfortunately the Takata saga continues, as recalls are ongoing and millions of people are still driving around with faulty airbags. And although Takata was a major player in Jewel’s tragedy, it was not the only one. Her death opened my eyes to the massive problem we have in the US with consumer safety—life shouldn’t be “buyer beware.” Corporations need to be held to stricter standards to ensure public safety, and I’m ready to be a voice for all of those whose lives have been lost because of this kind of corporate greed and negligence.