Monday, April 23, 2012

Grass Roots Advocacy Day in Sacramento

We headed to the State Capitol last week to participate in the Association of Regional Center Agencies' (ARCA) Grass Roots Day on April 18. 

We descended on the Capitol Building in downtown Sacramento bright and early, ready to advocate for key issues affecting those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, across the state. We started the day with a briefing from ARCA and got to know our meeting groups. 

We reviewed our talking points and briefed ourselves on background information for our State Legislator meetings. We distributed piles of letters and petitions written by concerned Californians who want to ensure that our most vulnerable populations are protected and provided with the care they need. 

Then, we whisked ourselves away to countless meetings around the capitol building. At every meeting, we shared personal stories about how budget cuts have affected individuals from the Developmental Services system. We urged our legislators to "stop the bleeding" and do whatever they can to protect against additional cuts. 

Sharing stories in the office of Senate Majority Leader, Ellen M. Corbett

Words from Representative Paul Fong: I want to represent the most vulnerable. I'm a social justice and civil rights advocate. That's why I'm here in Sacramento. 

Assemblymember Jim Beall, Jr. Chair of the Human Services Committee.

"Quilt" of artwork in Jim Beall's office, provided by special needs students in his district.  

We were pleased to work with the Community Membership and Media Program at Hope Services, conducting participant interviews, taking photos and recording the day via ustream

Hope Services Community Membership and Media Program interview between Toby Ames and David Forsderer. 
We had a wonderful and informative day in Sacramento advocating alongside ARCA. We take our role as a provider of services for families with autism and other developmental disabilities through our Family Focused Support Network in the Silicon Valley very seriously. We aim to provide the highest quality care possible. Sometimes that means we step away from our day-to-day responsibilities to travel to Sacramento and beyond to lend our voices in support of our clients.

A huge thank you to Sheri Reynolds, Director of the Family Focused Support Network at Aspiranet for welcoming our digital media team to her advocacy activities in Sacramento. 

1 comment:

  1. This was a great day! Thanks for posting this Michelle. -Sheri Reynolds, Aspiranet