April 2007 — RAINN recently partnered with a new national spokesperson, actress Christina Ricci, for a successful day of meetings with members of Congress to urge full funding for programs that serve sexual assault victims and help prevent sexual violence.
During her visit to the nation's capital, Ricci and RAINN met with top lawmakers, including Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and three appropriations leaders: Reps. Alan B. Mollohan (D-WV), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), and Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ).
RAINN’s president, Scott Berkowitz, and vice president of policy, Evelyn Fortier, and Berit Francis, a member of both RAINN’s National Leadership Council and Speakers Bureau, joined Ricci. Together, they urged lawmakers to provide sufficient funding to implement the Sexual Assault Services Program, the DNA provisions of the Justice for All Act, and the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.
RAINN concluded the day with a Capitol Hill reception packed with congressional staff and RAINN supporters, during which Berkowitz introduced Ricci as a new national spokesperson for RAINN. In her remarks at the event, Ricci again stressed the importance of funding DNA testing of rape evidence, the Sexual Assault Services Program, and other programs that serve victims of sexual violence.
Other speakers at the reception included Assistant Attorney General Regina Schofield; Sens. Richard Shelby (R-AL), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee; Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); and Jeff Sessions (R-AL); Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), a former judge and the co-founder of the Congressional Victims Rights Caucus; and Berit Francis shared her personal experience with sexual assault and how her case was assisted by DNA evidence.
A bipartisan group of 33 members of Congress, including Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and John Cornyn (R-TX) served as honorary co-chairs for RAINN's reception. RAINN is grateful to these honorary co-chairs (listed below) and to the sponsors of the reception, Lifetime Television and Berit and Michael Francis.
The Honorable Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii)
The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-Delaware)
The Honorable Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa)
The Honorable Barbara Boxer (D-California)
The Honorable Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Florida)
The Honorable Ben Cardin (D-Maryland)
The Honorable John Cornyn (R-Texas)
The Honorable Jim Costa (D-California)
The Honorable Mike Crapo (R-Iowa)
The Honorable Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland)
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein (D-California)
The Honorable Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
The Honorable Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota)
The Honorable Nick Lampson (D-Texas)
The Honorable Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont)
The Honorable Barbara Lee (D-California)
The Honorable John Lewis (D-Georgia)
The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Connecticut)
The Honorable Carolyn Maloney (D-New York)
The Honorable Carolyn McCarthy (D-New York)
The Honorable Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey)
The Honorable Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland)
The Honorable Ted Poe (R-Texas)
The Honorable Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas)
The Honorable Dave Reichert (R-Washington)
The Honorable Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama)
The Honorable Christopher Shays (R-Connecticut)
The Honorable Richard Shelby (R-Alabama)
The Honorable Lamar Smith (R-Texas)
The Honorable Pete Stark (D-California)