It's Time for Recess!
Time to Visit Your Representatives at Home  
(July 18- August 16, 2015)

The Lanterman Coalition Urges Advocates to Visit District Offices Over the Legislative Recess to Save Developmental Services in the Special Session 
Dear Tony,

It's been about 4 weeks since the Developmental Services  budget relief was removed from the state budget put into the Special Session and still no decisions have been made.  Meanwhile the urgency for our community continues to increase and the state of collapse worsens daily.  Please take some time during the legislative recess to meet with your representative in your district.  You can either set up a formal meeting in their district office or just go to
one of their local events and talk to them there.

The Lanterman Coalition has developed a variety of talking points from several perspectives of parents, self-advocates, and other stakeholders in the developmental services system.  For more information on the severe underfunding of developmental services in California and the national comparisons check out our research page that also shows poverty statistics, the affordable housing crisis, early start, and system audits.
The Lanterman Coalition Fully Supports Senator Jim Beall's SB 2X-1, Across the Board Funding Increase

Ask your representatives to support SBX2-1, it mandates:
  • A 10% increase in the funding paid to a regional center and purchase-of-service vendors;
  • Funding to enable the regional center and the regional center's purchase-of-service vendors to fund certain costs related to minimum wage requirements; and
  • The Department of Developmental Services to develop a 10-year financial sustainability plan.
Meeting with Your Representatives Helpful Tips

Do's
Don'ts
  1. Make an Appointment
  2. Be on time
  3. Be positive and friendly
  4. State Reason for Visit
  5. Personalized the issues
  6. Reliable information
  7. Engage in the problem solving
  8. Encourage them to talk
  9. Provide them with good contacts
  10. Leave a written summary
  11. Take a picture
  12. Post the picture on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  13. Write a thank you letter
  14. Follow-up meeting later in the year
  15. Have others write letters
  1. Too many issues Too Complex
  2. Too Many Facts and Stats
  3. Stretching the truth for effect.
  4. Answering questions you don't know
  5. Messing around in the photo
  6. Forget to write a thank you letter
  7. Ignore the member the rest of the year
  8. Ignore the member the rest of the year
  9. Confrontational: The issues are personal to you, not them.  Personal attacks could close down communication.

Sincerely,
 
Tony Anderson
Executive Director 
The Arc California
Chair, Lanterman Coalition 
1225 8th Street, Suite 350
 
So what's the plan now that we're in the Special Session?

Policymaker Conversations:
Lanterman Coalition lobbyists and other legislative advocates are currently meeting with policymakers who are making the decisions that impact our community.

Local Visits:
Local advocates are meeting with their representatives in district offices during the recess.  Urging support for SBX2-1 (10% Across the Board Funding) and all other policies that could help save the community system.

Organizing Events
Events to be held during the week of August 10-14, 2015 (to be determined stay tuned).

Return to Sacramento
Policymakers return to Sacramento to continue work on the Special Session. 

The Lanterman Coalition members will organize grassroots advocacy for bills that support our community that come up for a vote.  We need strong turnout during the public hearings of these bills to get them passed. 

Summary:
Grassroots Pressure in District and in the Capitol, Traditional and Social Media Coverage and Community Action, Lobbying and Education of Poicymakers in the Capitol, Your Voice is Making a Difference and Your Participate Will Make it Happen.  

Assembly Districts
Senate Districts
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The Last Major Push to Save the Developmental Services System

In Case You
Missed It.

The Conference committee is working on the budget items and negotiating with the Brown Administration.  Here are their opening comments...


Senator Mark Leno, Chair

This issue of the serious underfunding of developmental services is not a partisan issue it impacts each of our districts it touches each of our hearts and we know it's our responsibility to help individuals and families.


As we are in this transition (away from DCs) we have simultaneously starved our local community infrastructure in many places.


There are service providers that are shutting down as we speak and we can't allow ourselves to repeat mistakes of the past where we close a state system only to realize we starved our community systems. 

 

The money saved I don't think that those savings should be dissolved in the General Fund they are for a purpose and the purpose should stay with this community.

 

As we continue let us remember that "Our community partners are literally doing the Lord's work and we have to be there for them." 

 

 


Assembly Member Dr. Shirley Weber, Vice Chair

We want to do this right. This is a commitment that we have to the disabled community that's very clear...  Throughout the year, members from both sides of the aisle have said this is the year to do something significant for our disabled community.

 

Dr. Weber says the Senate version leaves out the day program and many others. They have some serious issues about keeping good staff that's is adequately paid...
Because many of their staff a re making almost min wage and yet have college degrees....


We're final looking at it I think in a holistic sense in funding.   

 

Assembly Member Melissa Melendez

It is certainly a community that deserves our attention. I think their funding levels have been abysmally low, considering who they serve, and I would ask that the members of the committee reconsider perhaps giving them the 10 percent that would keep them afloat.

 

"Over the last few days I'm sure all of us all of us have received the volume of phone calls that I've received in my office, and the tweets by the hundreds...  This is a group of individuals in the state that are organized around a very righteous issue from my perspective and I think the two houses have different approaches - but we are really aiming at the same goal - and that's to try and repair something that has been broken for some time."

Thank you to all the advocates and coalitions that are helping to raise awareness about this important issue

 

Senator Jim Nielsen  

The Senator has been here during the many years since the beginning of the Lanterman Act with Ronald Reagan.  We've been here before and I certainly support this community.  

  

 

Senator Ricardo Lara
There's no doubt in my mind that we have clearly devastated the funding for these regional centers and really impacted the lives of thousand if not millions of children and their families.

We've really done a disservice to these families and these communities and the buck stops here, we are the ones who have to do everything we can to support these families. 

 

We are in the final phase of this budget session
and it's the most critical moment so far.  The Brown administration has made it very clear in the budget hearings so far that he has no intention of giving the developmental services system any increases to save it from collapse.  They have been very clear that if the legislature sees this as a priority they will have to put it on the table for negotiation. 

In conference committee the governor's Department of Finance says they're working on the problem through the Secretary's task force. 
They just don't see the urgency of this problem.  The Lanterman Coalition and all of their networks are reaching out and urging everyone to continue to make their voices heard.  Legislators have often remarked throughout the year that they have been hearing a lot from our community and have even expressed gratitude for bringing this issue to their attention.  This is not the time to let up.     

So let's get crystal clear on what we need this year (5% annual increases in following years):

 

One:
An Across the Board 10% Increase 
   
Two:
Commitment to Rate Reform

Three:
Keep the Developmental Center Assets in Our Community System
   


By June 15, 2015 the Legislature will have passed the budget that decides whether our community services survive or continue to disintegrate.

 

If you or someone you love needs those services, or will need them when they get older, is saving the services worth enough to make two calls and send one more email today or tomorrow?

 

It's all now in the hands of the two leaders of the Legislature's Democrats (Senator Kevin de Leon and Assembly Member Toni Atkins) and the six members of the budget conference committee (Senators Mark Leno, Ricardo Lara, and Jim Nielsen and Assembly Members Shirley Weber, Richard Bloom, and Melissa Melendez).

 

At this late point, those eight decision-makers will listen to the people in the eight districts they represent, to the other 112 legislators, and to Governor Brown. For some of them, that may be all.

 

While constituents in the eight districts are the closest to these decision makers everyone can still contribute to saving the community system.

 

Please call and email your own Senate and Assembly representatives to urge them to talk to the decision-makers from their own parties. Here's how:

 

1.    Click here and follow the prompts. You'll get your two legislators' Sacramento numbers, party affiliations, and some possible talking points. Read them.

 

2.  If you've ever talked to someone in your senator's or assemblymember's district office near you or their Sacramento office, call that person now. Otherwise, call the legislator's Sacramento office.

 

3.    Say what you have to say politely but very clearly. If your voice sounds impassioned, or it shakes, all the better.

 

4.    When you're done, email me and let me know the results.

 

5.    Then send an email to your senator and assemblymember, no matter how many you've sent them already. This one is new.


 
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The Arc of California, 1225 8th Street, Suite 350, Sacramento, CA 95814.  Office (916) 552-6619, Fax (916) 441-3494