streettalk (2008-10)

Haley Ham, 11-year-old political advocate

Street Talk

What is the Haley Ham Bill?

Itâ’s a bill that would require the antifreeze makers to add a bittering agent to their product so that animals and kids do not drink it. Antifreeze is a sweet substance, and animals will ingest it. Kids will drink it, too, because it is sweet.

Why did you decide to become an advocate for safer antifreeze?

My two dogsâ"Sam, my Golden Retriever, and Jessie, a dog I lovedâ"were poisoned by antifreeze. They were like my two best friends. They were really sweet dogs. Then I learned that more than 10,000 animals are poisoned by antifreeze every year, and 1,400 kids. I sent letters to all my state senators and representatives. Sen. [Raymond] Finney (R-Maryville) got my letter and decided he was going to help.

What do your friends think of your passion to change laws? How have you been treated by the lawmakers in Nashville?

My friends are excited, supportive and proud of my efforts. The people in Nashville have been very nice, kind, and caring. They have shown a lot of interest in this cause.

Whatâ’s next on your quest to get the law passed?

Well, it has to pass in the house sub-committee [Ed. Note: It did on Tuesday.], and I plan on being there for that. Then it must pass in the full house. I will have to visit a lot of house representatives before that hearing. I think itâ’s going really good. It passed unanimously in the senate, so I think itâ’s going pretty good. I hope to be present when the governor signs it into a law. â" Greg Wilkerson

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