Self Advocacy and the Legislative Process

February 8, 2010

On Tuesday, January 26th I had the pleasure of accompanying two of our PWS adults to the State House in Boston to participate in a legislative lobbying event in an effort to educate our state representatives and senators of the negative impact state budget cuts will have on their quality of life.

It was a perfectly sunny morning as Dianne, Wanda, Cindy Loring (Residential Supervisor), and I drove over the Sagamore Bridge bound for Boston. After driving the maze of one way streets on Beacon Hill we were able to find a parking space not far from our destination, and proceeded to walk through the Boston Common to the State House. Arriving with time to spare, we decided to do a little “sightseeing” inside the State House were we all learned a little bit about it and our state’s history.

When it was time for the event to begin we found ourselves some comfortable seats and each picked out a catered “box lunch” to enjoy while we listened to the various speakers talk about the need for our state legislators to be sensitive to the well being of our disabled citizens when making difficult budget decisions.

After the formal program ended, the four of us set out to visit the offices of some of our state representatives and senators from Cape Cod. We were able to speak briefly with Representative Cleon Turner, and Representative Perry’s senior aide, as well as legislative aides from Senator Murray’s and O’Leary’s offices. As part of our visit we left each of them one of our Latham 2010 desktop calendars as a gift.

On our way back to the parking garage we again walked through the Boston Common, stopping briefly to watch the ice skaters on the “Frog Pond”. Of course no trip off Cape would be complete without stopping at Dunkin Donuts for a hot beverage, and not to disappoint, we all enjoyed our coffees (yes, they were mediums with skim milk and one Splenda) as we headed down Route 3 back to God’s country.

In conclusion, it must be said that I couldn’t have been prouder of our Latham “ambassadors” who conducted themselves in the most cooperative and polite manner, and as I told them at the conclusion of our adventure, that I look forward to making it an annual event.

Mike Marchese
Director of Adult Services

“Perhaps nobody has changed the course of history as much as the historians.”
~Franklin P. Jones

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