Here is a message I’m passing on from the Arc of the US. If you are or have a disabled family member, you are likely going to have to use some of the services provided by our government. We need to protect and improve these services so that they are as efficient and helpful as possible. We want to see our tax dollars put to the best use. Our advocacy and oversight of social service agencies and Congress is the only way to make this happen, regardless of your political affiliations. Take a look at the plea for action/advocacy below.
**** to my readers: PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME NEGATIVE COMMENTS TO THIS POST. I DO NOT BELIEVE THEY ARE HELPFUL. I HAVE A PROGRESSIVE POINT OF VIEW AND THAT IS WHAT I POST HERE WHEN WRITING ABOUT POLITICS. I WILL NEVER POST NEGATIVE STUFF, NOR AD HOMINEM ATTACKS. PLEASE KNOW THAT I AM TRYING TO REACH OUT TO ALL OF YOU HERE AND NEGATIVE STUFF WON’T HELP ANYONE. THANKS!!!****
From the Arc of the US:
Only You Can Cultivate the Next Generation of Congressional Champions for People with Disabilities
Congress is in gridlock. But sooner or later, this will change. When the time comes, will we be ready?
Will we have enough Members of Congress who understand the disability community? Who are committed to defending the programs that people with disabilities need to live in the community? Who are willing to fight for the rights of people with disabilities?
We have already lost a number of Members of Congress who went to bat for us. And more have announced their retirements in 2014.
Who will be there to take up the cause?
Despite all of the incredible advances in communications technology, the value of face-to-face relationship building cannot be overstated. While tweets, blogs postings, and Facebook interactions are helpful, they cannot compete with the value of in-person meetings. We need to do this the old fashioned way, changing hearts and minds one person at a time.
Reach out before Labor Day Congressional Recess (thru September 6). Invite your Senators and Representative to come to your chapter and meet with the people we serve. Have them see first-hand who we are, what we do, and how critical federal programs such as Medicaid, supportive housing, and supported employment are to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Call your Members’ district offices (click here for a link to the phone number).
What to say:
May I please speak to the scheduler?
I would like to invite ________________ to visit my chapter of The Arc.
We serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
We provide ________________________________.
If he/she is not available during the Labor Day recess, then ask about scheduling a visit for the Columbus Day recess (week of October 16). This is an on-going effort. Be sure to thank your Member for the visit and plan to check-in with staff in the coming months.
Information to help guide your meetings
Key message points:
Many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities rely on federal social insurance and safety net programs (such as Medicaid and SSI) and discretionary programs (housing, education, employment, transportation) for their health, safety, and wellbeing. These essential programs are entirely funded by tax dollars.
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities want to live and work in the community and have access to services and support to make that happen. Tax and revenue policy should support adequate funding for these vital services and supports.
Further cuts to non-defense discretionary programs and any cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare should be avoided by ensuring that the government raises sufficient revenue to support critical programs.