Speak for yourself, others at advocacy events
Wanting to speak out about proposed state budget cuts? Many opportunities are available for self-advocates, their families and friends during the 2011 legislative session. Here is a sampling of upcoming days at the capitol, meetings and rallies. More information can be found at www.mnccd.org
Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MN-CCD) holds full membership meetings each Friday during the legislative session from noon – 1 p.m. in Room 500 N of the State Office Building. These one-hour meetings are an opportunity for disability advocacy community members to learn and share up to date information on disability policy issues being discussed at the capitol.
MN-CCD also hosts ‘Tuesdays at the capitol’. Each Tuesday through May 10, MN-CCD will be at the Capitol to help people share their stories about the importance of disability services with legislators and to ensure there is a disability community presence at the capitol. A briefing led by MN-CCD grassroots leaders will be held in the cafeteria of State Office Building at 10 a.m. each Tuesday, followed by meetings with legislators and opportunities to attend hearings. Please email [email protected] if you are interested in attending a Tuesday at the capitol, and/or if your organization is interested in “hosting” a Tuesday at the Capitol.
More advocacy days are coming up. The MCIL/MSCOD/DSPAM Day at the Capitol is Tuesday, March 7 and Courage Center Day at the Capitol is Thursday, March 10. Check the website www.state.mn.us/ for the March 7 event and www.couragecenter.org for details about March 10.
Oppose mental health cuts
The Mental Health Legislative Network, an organization composed of more than 20 statewide organizations, will hold a Mental Health Rally and Day at the Capitol at noon, Tuesday, March 8, at noon in the capitol rotunda. Speakers include legislators, advocates, families and persons living with a mental illness. Issues include ensuring access to community mental health services, housing, crisis services and medical care, and preventing further budget cuts to these and other critically important mental health services for children and adults. Anyone interested in improving the mental health system is encouraged to attend, and free buses are being provided from southern and northern Minnesota. A legislative briefing session, also open to everyone, will be held prior to the rally, at 10a.m., at Christ Lutheran Church, 105 University Ave. W. (across the street from the capitol). FFI: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Minnesota at 651-645-2948, 1-888-NAMI-Helps or go to www.namihelps.org.
Give them a call
Metro Center for Independent Living has set up a PCA “You Need to Hear Me” call-in line. The purpose of this call-in line is to provide consumers, PCAs/DSPs, families, and interested others the chance to share anonymous comments, reactions and concerns with Department of Human Services and Minnesota Legislature regarding the impact of recent legislative changes which are affecting their lives. How it works: Call 651-603-2009 to connect to the “You need to hear me” message line. The caller will hear a short pre-recorded message. The phone will not be answered, ensuring caller anonymity. The callers may leave a short message describing the impact of these changes on their lives, or the lives of their family. The messages can be complaints, concerns, suggestions or general comments. Zip code will be asked for only so comments can be communicated to specific legislators.
Courage Center is conducting a research study examining the effects of recent changes to the PCA program in an effort to inform future policy decisions pertinent to Personal Care Assistance. The purpose of this research study is to evaluate the effects of loss or reductions in PCA hours or services. Adults are eligible to complete the survey about themselves or any person they know who has been receiving PCA services in Minnesota under Medicare or County Waiver. The study questionnaire will take approximately 5 minutes of your time. This survey may be completed online or printed and mailed. FFI: Leslie Nordgren 763-520-0440, [email protected]