Rallies, advocacy days help get community's message across

Rallies, advocacy days help get community's message across

Going to the capitol and meeting with state lawmakers are key steps in getting a message across and communicating needs for Minnesota’s disability community. Many events are planned during the 2020 legislative session. Here are a few: 

Disability Advocacy Day at the Capitol is sponsored by several organizations. Events start at 9 a.m. Tuesday, February 25, with time to create posters and share resources in the Minnesota Department of Transportation cafeteria. A 10 a.m. policy overview session and brief self-advocacy training will follow. 

At 10:30 a.m. the group will walk and roll to the capitol, for an 11 a.m. rally in the rotunda. Hear from legislative leaders from around the state about their work with the community and policy ideas for this upcoming session, cheer for advocates who will share personal experiences, and learn how sharing one’s story can be an effective tool in lobbying for legislation. 

The rally is followed by meetings with legislators, which event organizers can help set up. 

This year’s Disability Advocacy Day emphasis is on the community’s shared values and the political power the community has when everyone shows up and advocates together to promote equity and belonging in their community. Disability rights as human rights is a key focus. 

All are welcome but participants need to register, especially if accommodations are needed or help is needed to schedule meetings with legislators. Visit the ARC MN 2020 Disability Advocacy Day at the Capitol website

Disability Services Day at the Capitol for 2020 is Tuesday, March 10. Organizing is led by the groups ARRM and MOHR, along with a host of sponsors. More than 1,000 direct care staff, managers, family members and people who receive home and community-based services rally together at the capitol to make their voices heard. The rally is at 10 a.m. 

Staff will be on hand starting at 8:30 a.m. in room 500S of the State Office Building, so that attendees have a space to relax between legislative meetings, get extra packets or buttons or have a spot to eat a bag lunch. ARRM and MOHR can also offer help with setting up legislative meetings. If there is a major hearing on March 10, attendees can also witness that. 

Go to the ARRM 2020 Disability Day at the Capitol website or the MOHR MN 2020 Disability Services Day at the Capitol website for additional details. 

The 2020 Mental Health Day on the Hill is Thursday, March 12. It is sponsored by several mental health advocacy organizations. Advocate for children and adults living with mental illnesses and their families. 

Buses from around the state will arrive at 9:30 a.m. for an informational briefing and leave by 2:30 p.m. It is a whirlwind day with meetings with state lawmakers, an information session and a rally at the capitol at 11 a.m. Participants are encouraged to bring their lunches and then meet with legislators between noon-2 p.m. 

Pickup locations for people around the state are listed at the NAMI MN registration site for 2020 Mental Health Day on the Hill.

Contact Sam Smith at 651-645-2948 ext. 107 or at ssmith@namimn.org with questions. 

The Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD) typically sponsors Tuesdays at the Capitol. These events can be superseded by larger rallies but are typically held 9:30-11 a.m. in the Minnesota Department of Transportation cafeteria. The Tuesday events are often sponsored by specific groups, which bring their members to lobby and meet with legislators. 

To find out about Tuesdays and other events, go to www.mnccd.org 

Self-advocates gathered with Gov. Tim Walz prior to the start of the 2020 legislative session.