September 4, 2019
people, the world of public policy is a mystery, something that happens behind
the scenes if not completely out of sight. Every few years we go to the ballot
box and elect leaders to (hopefully) solve some of our problems. But there are
times when an issue becomes so hot, so personally meaningful, that we as
everyday citizens are compelled to take direct action.
Bethesda, we advocate regularly for issues that matter to people with
intellectual and developmental disabilities. We want to uphold their rights and
make their voices heard on everything from proper funding for support programs
to increased accessibility for people with disabilities in public spaces.
particularly encourage people who have an intellectual or developmental
disability to get directly involved. Often, they are the best advocates for
their cause, because of their unique experiences and their ability to
communicate in their own way what it means to them.
advocate means you’re trying to focus officials’ attention on what matters to
YOU as opposed to the myriad other things they could consider. It all starts
with learning about issues and the process. Which layer of government has an
impact on my concern? Who are my elected officials? From there, advocates have
many ways to communicate.
- Signing an online petition is very helpful – it connects you with
others who feel similarly, demonstrating strength in numbers.
- Meeting one-on-one with lawmakers or their staff communicates the
seriousness with which you take an issue.
- Public testimony is a highly visible way to make your case when an
issue is up for discussion and a decision.
To learn more about matters affecting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and to get involved, please visit the Bethesda Legislative Action Center. There you can stay up to date on the latest news and information regarding public policy affecting the disabilities field and the people we support.