Summer Plans? Plan to Advocate!

Several years ago we began a program we call Summer Homework.  We decided to use the summers when legislators are home and families often have more flexibility to invite legislators in.  During the busy time of year when legislators are making decisions, we feel fortunate to have 15 minutes with them or their staff.  However, we’ve found that during the summer they’re often willing to meet a family in their home AND they stay much longer- often an hour or more.  This is a critical time to talk about our Waiting list, Waiver redesign, and the future of Medicaid.

Does it Work?

Legislators tell us over and over that they just can’t know everything about everything.  It is our job to help them really see what it is like to have a loved one with a developmental disability in your life and for them to understand all that must be in place to keep that person as safe, happy, and independent as possible.  We’ve found that the legislators who come to these visits are much more likely to vote for and even to lead the charge on disability services in the future.

What Should I Expect and Who Will Help?

  • We’ll help! Contact Lucy Beadnell, our Director of Advocacy, and let her know you may be interested in a meeting with your legislators.
  • Lucy will find out who represents you and will share any past experiences we’ve had with those elected officials.
  • Lucy will find out issues that matter to you and reach out to the Delegate or Senator to ask if they’re able to come talk to you about it.
  • You’ll open up your home for about an hour to allow the Delegate or Senator to meet you and your family member with a developmental disability.
  • Lucy will come to the meeting, help you share your personal story, and will couple your story with information on how what affects you affects other people.
  • Lucy will help make requests for how your life, and the lives of many other families, can be changed by these elected officials.

That’s it!  Please let Lucy know if you may be interested.  We have a number of new elected officials in office and this is a great way to forge a relationship with them.