Thank you all for your understanding this week as our plans shifted drastically at the last minute! We’re excited to have lots of new advocacy options in the works. Please let me know if you’d like to join us for any (or all!) of the following:
1. We’ll head to Richmond for a mini-DD Advocacy Day on Tuesday, February 13th. This will be a smaller trip than our original plan. I’m hoping to have about 30 total people who can join. We will carpool instead of taking the bus this time. One carpool location will likely be the commuter lot at Rt. 123/I-95, but we can set up more based upon the needs of folks who are RSVP’ing. We will still aim to be at the General Assembly around 9 AM, then have meetings until 11 AM when caucus begins. We will have lunch together, courtesy of our state chapter, then head home around 12/12:30 PM. I’ll still arrange meetings for anyone coming and put us on teams, but it will be about 1/2 the size and scale of the missed day this week. Please let me know right away if you’d like to join!
2. We’ll head back to Richmond on Wednesday, February 21st for a Disability Advocacy Art Show. Delegate Kory sponsors this event. As the new building is so small, it will be in an art gallery space across the street at SunTrust. The show will feature artists from our area and Richmond with disabilities. We will carpool for this day, too, with plans similar to the mini-DD Advocacy Day above. The art show is from 9 AM-12 PM, so we’ll be there for a large portion, and also walk to the Pocahontas building to drop off updated materials for legislators. This day will be a mix of celebration and advocacy with few formal meetings, but lots of dropping off materials for many legislators to keep them up to date on our issues. Please let me know right away if you’d like to join!
3. Most Saturdays from now until the end of February will have a local town hall with 2 or more legislators. I’ll keep you updated as town halls for your legislators crop up. They’re all local and a great way to go and give a quick speech or comment (I’ll help!) if you can’t make it all the way to Richmond, or if you want to have extra time with your legislators to really drive our issues home.
4. We’ll release Action Alerts during session when there are critical times to call or email legislators based on votes coming up. Be on the lookout! We usually need folks to call/email the day of the alert.
5. We host a monthly meeting for self-advocates to learn about advocacy and improve public speaking skills called People First/A Life Like Yours Toastmasters. Anyone is welcome to join anytime! https://thearcofnova.org/membership/people-first/
6. Each month we share Waiver Stories with our legislators to keep the waiting list in their mind all year. I’ll talk to you and write a draft of how the Waiver is a part of your life, either on the waiting list or using one, and we’ll share them with legislators. We always need new stories! Ask about this anytime.
7. During the late summer and fall, we’ll ask legislators to meet people locally in their homes to hear their stories. We call this My Life, My Community, My Legislator. I’ll set up and run the meeting, you’ll provide the home and story. Let me know if you’d like to do this anytime.
8. Ensure you’re signed up for emails from us, our state chapter our national chapter for federal issues and the Autism Society of NOVA to get all the advocacy news!
Director of Advocacy, The Arc of Northern Virginia