In The Know

Lizzie Velasquez brings anti-bullying campaign to Congress

She’s used to pumping up the crowd as a motivational speaker, but this week Lizzie Velasquez had a different audience: Congress.

The 25-year-old Texas native called her Capitol Hill experience “life-changing,” saying, “It is such a huge honor to come to a place made to be the voice for so many people who may not be able to use their own.”

{mosads}Velasquez, who has an extremely rare condition that prevents her from gaining weight, headed to Washington to lobby lawmakers to support the Safe Schools Improvement Act. Introduced by Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), the bill would require schools nationwide to implement anti-bullying guidelines.

“For so many years, all that we have done is talk about bullying,” Velasquez told The Hill in a phone interview. “All that we have done is say, ‘It needs to be fixed.’ Something needs to be done, and it’s time for us to stop talking about it and actually start doing something about it.”

Due to her condition, Velasquez weighs 58 pounds and says her appearance made her a frequent target of bullies as a kid.

But Velasquez gained many fans after video of her delivering a TEDx Talk went viral, garnering more than 6 million views. Now she’s filming a documentary about her life, tentatively titled, “The Lizzie Project.”

Just before heading to Washington, she had a chance to meet Hillary Clinton. Velasquez calls her encounter with the former secretary of State and potential 2016 candidate “surreal.”

“When I met her, she was so kind, and it was very crazy for me to say, ‘It is so nice to meet you. I am actually headed to Washington, D.C., to lobby for the Safe Schools Improvement Act.’ And to hear her react in support and telling me she wants to put her own cheerleading uniform on to cheer us on was very cool.”

Tags Bullying Linda Sanchez Lizzie Velasquez
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video