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Capitol DaysWednesday, March 28, 2018
Last month, individuals from the Iowa Family Leadership Training Institute and Child Health Specialty Clinics Family Advisory Council took to the Iowa State Capitol for an ID Action Capitol Day. The day began with an advocacy training at the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council office, and then everyone headed to the Capitol where advocates met with legislators, sat in on committee meetings and watched a floor debate from the gallery.
Read what some of the advocates had to say about their experience and what they learned.
“It was very enlightening to learn more about the legislative process and how there are many different bills being submitted that affect the lives of individuals with disabilities. What was most impactful to me was how many bills are submitted at the beginning of the process and the funnels they go through to become what is eventually brought to a vote…It is important to keep our eye on which bills are being voted on and keep our voice strong for families and individuals with disabilities.” Rachel Charlot, Family Navigator, Carroll Regional Center
“A highlight was visiting with a representative who gave us feedback on our presentation of concerns and insight into the current budget process. I felt encouraged by being given her time and attention that it is possible to advocate for policy change and that there are many legislators that share our concerns about cuts to essential programs.” Kate Thompson, Iowa Family Leadership Training Institute graduate, Des Moines
“This was a wonderful, empowering experience. I have to admit, I feel like I have not been exercising my rights as a constituent. I will definitely be returning again next year, God willing. Thank you for this opportunity to be a part of the solution with our voices and action.” Shelley Brichta, Child Health Specialty Clinics Family Advisory Council member, Spencer
“I felt that showing up in Des Moines was a step in the right direction to relationship building and finding commonality with members of BOTH parties.” Gabrielle White, Iowa Family Leadership Training Institute graduate, Decorah
As a reminder, your advocacy efforts should not happen just at the Capitol or during the legislative session. Your legislators are available to you year-round. You can email, write, call or invite them to your community to talk to them about the issues that are important to you.