Your Advocacy Makes A Difference

BeAnAdvocate

Following last week’s amazing Legislative Forum, our team at The Arc of King County is fired up and ready for what we anticipate will be a tough legislative session in 2015. How could we not be excited to get started after hearing the stories that so many families and self-advocates shared with our local legislators on that cold, rainy Monday night before Thanksgiving. As I listened to their comments, I smiled knowing so many people were there to thank legislators for the actions they took previously to make lives better for people with I/DD in our state.

Every year, we expect a packed house of individuals with I/DD and their families because so many of our legislators attend the Forum to find out what is important to our community. Individuals share their personal stories of struggle, and they celebrate the benefits of legislation that has been passed thanks to the efforts of previous advocacy. A major component of our grassroots effort is seeing how self-advocates come together with families and professionals in the I/DD field to improve conditions for themselves, and to make life better for all of us.

In the last 30 years, I have learned that advocacy works. Every person who uses their voice to tell their unique story helps to increase awareness for everyone who hasn’t spoken yet. Our movement has been strengthened by countless advocates over the years. For that we are grateful. But we need YOUR voice, too. Share your story with your local representative. I promise that the first phone call might be intimidating, but we elected them to represent all of us. Therefore, they need to hear from all of us!

As 2014 comes to close, and you begin reflecting on what you want to happen in 2015, make a resolution to get active as an advocate. Our community needs you.

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2 thoughts on “Your Advocacy Makes A Difference

  1. It would be far better for those of us with severely autistic kids if you spent more time advocating for them, for more education and recreational opportunities for them rather than for political lobbying to shut down the very needed RHCs!!!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. We know you and other families are struggling to support loved ones with disabilities in the community. There is much work to do to expand and strengthen access to those resource for everyone. In the last legislative session The Arc, families like yours and our caring community advocated for and were able to secure funding to take 1,000 individuals off the wait list and move them to the basic plus waiver, as well as add resources to assist another 4,000 families with badly needed support from the Family Support Waiver. Again – there is much to do to assure that everyone has the supports needed for them to live a full life of their choosing. We hope you will engage with our Family Coalition this year and join the many voices that want for everyone what we want for ourselves.

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