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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Autism Mom Runs for Congress

The Contra Costa Times reports:

Elizabeth Emken remembers clearly the brief conversation she had last summer with Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney outside the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing room.

As a 13-year advocate for a national autism research organization, Emken was pushing for an amendment within the fiercely contested national health care reform bill that would ban insurance company discrimination against certain treatments for autistic children.

"I didn't feel there was an understanding of the issues before him," Emken said. "I had one of those moments where you think, 'I can do this. I should be the one making the decisions.' "

Emken resigned from Autism Speaks the day after her amendment passed and immediately applied the organizational and persuasive skills she learned in the halls of the Capitol to her new quest: running for McNerney's 11th Congressional District seat.