As you can read in our “Year in Review” article, lots of things have been and are happening in our community. Minnesota has a very active disability community and especially in the coming years we need to make ourselves even more visible in national and state government. When we do finally know who will be going to Washington DC as our next US Senator with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, you need to make contact with him and let your needs be known. Both candidates during their campaigns showed interest in the disability community having more success in employment. Tell the declared winner that you want to work, and ask the honorable senator to work on opening some of the doors to help you become a taxpayer.
The new administration has promised to work on health care right away, and all of us in the disability community have good insight on what the country’s needs are, what works and what doesn’t—and how we all can save through appropriate spending and preventive healthcare. Inform them that we don’t need handouts; we just want equal rights with equal opportunities. Let’s let them know what we need by getting involved: help them help us through progressive actions.
With the record-breaking deficits in our state and across the country, I think our best bet is to go to the politicians with ways to save money on health care programs, and encourage them not to eliminate successful programs or to cut them to the point that they are no longer successful. In
the next couple of months Access Press will be working with lobbyists and advocates to give you specific talking points on health care programs that are at risk and how best to talk to your political representatives about those programs.
In this issue, we list some upcoming Rally Days at the Capitol and in the coming months we will have many more rallies that you will be able to attend. You can always call your representative and senator and set up an appointment to meet with them. Just let them know that you’re there and need help. When you tell them your personal stories, you help them to put a face to the programs that they are considering cutting. You can help them associate actual people with money, and you can remind them that all of us are concerned about the state’s spending. Remember that your story is as important as anyone’s.
We have a new column debuting this month, “Health Matters.” We will be enlisting several prominent organizations to inform these pieces. We’re looking at several different organizations with dissimilar specialties that can highlight topics that might be a little bit different than what we normally highlight. I think it’ll be very successful. If you have any health-related topics you’d like to share or have us look into, please drop us a line.
We are also continually updating our “Directory of Organizations,” so if you see any mistakes or your organization is not in the directory; please give us a call and we will fix the problems or direct you to the person who can get you listed in our directory.
I want to thank everyone for supporting Access Press this past year and in advance, for all your support in the new year. We have new donation methods on our Web site, and in the coming months we’ll be able to accept your credit card donations. If your employer participates in United Way, one of the easiest ways to support Access Press is to contribute to Community Shares through a pretax donation taken from your paycheck. However you can donate, and however much you can offer, we appreciate it. We look forward to a strong year of advocacy in 2009.